Jennifer Hinton Has Been Selected to Lead the American Therapeutic Recreation Association

Jennifer Hinton, professor and program director of Western Carolina University’s recreational therapy program, was recently named president-elect of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association. She will serve one year as president-elect, followed by one year as president and one year as past-president.

“I believe strongly in the vision and mission of ATRA,” Dr. Hinton said. “I, too, envision a world where all people have access to recreational therapy and endeavor to empower recreational therapists. I want to bolster the profession that I love and this is a clear way for me to use my abilities to do so.”

The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is the only national membership organization representing the interests and needs of therapeutic recreation specialists, also known as recreational therapists. Recreational therapists are healthcare providers who plan, direct, deliver, and evaluate recreation-based interventions for individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions. They provide research-informed interventions that are based on client assessments and targeted client outcomes.

ATRA was incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1984 as a nonprofit, grassroots organization in response to a growing concern about the dramatic changes in the healthcare industry. As a result of this response, ATRA has grown from a membership of 60 individuals in June 1984 to more than 2,200 today.

Dr. Hinton has been serving as chair of ATRA’s Quality Internships subcommittee. Past leadership positions include member-at-large for the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education and chair of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification Board of Directors.

Dr. Hinton is a graduate of Kent State University in Ohio. She earned a master’s degree in outdoor therapeutic recreation at Indiana University and a Ph.D. in recreation therapy from Clemson University in South Carolina.

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