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Students/Faculty News Kevin Storr December 21, 2017

Valley McCurry Ann Cosby AwardChris Eidson and Valley McCurryValley McCurry, MBA, OTR/L, assistant professor in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Occupational Therapy, received the Ann Cosby Service Award from the Alabama Occupational Therapy Association (ALOTA).

The award is given annually to an advocate “who has made contributions to the advancement of occupational therapy and/or health care” over their career.

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award from an organization that I care deeply about,” said McCurry. “I had the pleasure of being able to serve on the board with a group of fantastic, caring volunteers who love OT and our state, and it was really that group of individuals who allowed us to move the profession forward in Alabama.”

McCurry, who has worked as an OT since 1998, is a former president of ALOTA (serving from 2007 – 2014) and is currently the co-chair of their Government Affairs. She served as vice chair of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Affiliated State Association Presidents Council from 2014-2017.

“It would be hard to overstate her impact on the occupational therapy profession in Alabama over the past 10 to 12 years,” said Chris Eidson, MS, OTR/L, president, ALOTA and assistant professor, UAB Department of Occupational Therapy. “She took over ALOTA as president in 2007 and turned around an organization, which should be enough, but it was her charge in 2012 that led to the first major revision of the Alabama State Occupational Therapy Practice Act revision since 1990.”

She was co-author of the Alabama State Occupational Therapy Practice Act revision, which significantly expanded the list of health care professionals who can refer clients for OT services. The bill was signed into law on May 28, 2013. For years she has been a champion for the occupational therapy profession at the government level including testifying multiple times to the Alabama House of Representative Health Committee.

In 2013, McCurry founded the ALOTA Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee, which is a voluntary, non-profit, non-partisan, unincorporated committee of members of ALOTA working to promote the OT profession in Alabama legislation. She still serves as co-chair of the OTPAC today.

“It has always been an honor for me to serve,” said McCurry. “I think as occupational therapists it is part of our professional obligation to serve - it can be in any capacity, as long as you are advocating for your profession.”

The ALOTA award is named after Ann Cosby, who as a consumer of OT services was the driving force behind occupational therapy being licensed in the state of Alabama, and who has now served as the executive director for the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy for the past 25+ years.

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