Massage Community Rallies Aganist Continuing Ed Bill
Published on March 15, 2013 by Peter Tomala
The Utah massage community came together in a unified voice against a massage bill that would add education and cost to massage therapy licenses. In a bold move made by the Utah Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association, House Bill 0351 was introduced before the Health and Human Services Committee. The bill required a massage therapy licensee to complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years, but opposition quickly mounted as questions were raised.
“I did not believe the bill fairly represented the professional body it was representing,” said Licensed Massage Therapist and Broadview University Massage Therapy Program Chair Kelley Sloan. “The bill was an incomplete bill and needed further study before consideration.”
Many in the industry believed the bill would not surface until 2014 but its quick introduction caused a flood of activity. “Opposition to this bill was a grassroots effort,” Sloan added. “Once information about the bill began flowing to the professional body, the response was overwhelming. Many professionals contacted legislators personally, through email, and through a physical presence on Capitol Hill.”
The main concerns from the professional community sat with a lack of explanation on what entailed continuing education, how education was verified, who provided the courses and why 24 hours were selected.
With so many concerns, the committee elected to move the bill into interim study by a vote of 8-0.
“Responding to the pleas from the professional body, the congressmen on the Health and Human Services Committee, (chaired by Representative Paul Ray) concluded there must be more preparatory work performed and the bill needed amending before they could bring a responsible bill to the floor,” said Sloan. “This was the best possible outcome and I am very pleased.”
Therapists across the state now have the opportunity to develop legislation that meets the needs of the industry and the communities they serve.
“Become involved,” Sloan urges. “Massage therapy has grown far beyond the enticing concepts of rest and relaxation afforded by bodywork. Therapists need to evaluate the growth of the profession and make recommendations to the interim committee supporting their ideas and projected outcomes.”
Ideas and recommendations can be sent to Kelley Sloan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kelley will share these emails with the interim committee when they meet this summer.