Advocate /ad·vo·cat/ noun a person who pleads for or on behalf of another, intercessor; See Thom Skalko
The Thomas K. Skalko Award for Public Policy is named after long time SRTS Board Member, Dr. Thom Skalko. Thom served the profession as Chair or Member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s Federal Public Policy Team from 1984 to 2020. In addition, Thom has served in roles on the Licensure Team in the passage of the North Carolina Recreational Therapy Licensure Act and five years as the chair of the North Carolina Board for Recreational Therapy Licensure.
If you are given a choice between buying a new pair of designer shoes or using the money to pay your ATRA dues, we know what Thom would advise you to do. Thom will challenge you to learn who your representatives are and reach out to them. Thom would tell you that public policy is an essential activity in the growth of the profession. He would also note that meeting elected officials was no different than meeting any other person. We all put on our pants the same way, one leg at a time.
This award is designated for an individual or organization that works to promote the profession through actions directed toward public policy initiatives. These initiatives could entail state practice legislation, federal legislative efforts, public policy educational action, or promoting advancement of the profession through activism.