Asian Pacific Heritage Occupational Therapy Association

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News/ Events

News featuring and/or relevant to occupational therapy practitioners of Asian origin

Luis Arabit Awarded 2020- Distinguished Lectureship 

Sep. 18th, 2020

APHOTA awards one “Distinguished Lectureship" no more frequently than yearly to a member in good standing who has demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership, academics, or clinical achievement in the initiation, development, or perpetuation of occupational therapy or healthcare in general.  This year, APHOTA is proud to announce that it will be conferring the 2020- Distinguished Lectureship Award upon Dr. Luis de Leon Arabit, OTD, OTR/L, BCN, BCPR, C/NDT, PAM, FAOTA. Click here to view previous recipients. 


This year’s lecture will be delivered via a webinar hosted by the association on a date and time to be announced soon.


The title of the lecture is “Advocacy, Diversity and Inclusion in Occupational Therapy: An Evolutionary Process”.


Through his lecture, Dr. Luis de Leon Arabit will share occupational therapy’s role in advocacy, diversity and inclusion. While these concepts have become the hallmarks of the profession throughout the world, serving the occupational needs of people, populations, and communities it continues to be a process in evolution. This honored lecture will underscore his knowledge, experiences, and insights in how we can continue to nurture, empower, and further enhance each and every occupational therapy practitioner & students' capacity to promote and strengthen the profession's role in advocacy, diversity and inclusion.  This process ensures the continued successful trajectory of the profession. His discussion on diversity in the profession will not only touch on the multicultural perspective but also on how diversity prospers and expands the profession and the public’s understanding of occupation as a means and an end. His perceptions on inclusion will focus on how we can further “open doors” widely for our clients in our work as practitioners.



More about Dr. Luis Arabit:

Dr. Arabit currently serves as an assistant professor of occupational therapy at San Jose State University. He also serves as the Region V Director of the American Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee (AOTPAC), co-chair of AOTPAC Ambassadors, and board member and Philippine Cultural Liaison of APHOTA. Dr. Arabit earned his doctoral degree in occupational therapy from the University of Saint Augustine in Saint Augustine, FL; his MS degree in Rehabilitation Sciences from Texas Tech University in Lubbock TX in 2005; and his BS degree in occupational therapy from the University of the Philippines in Manila in 1988. He is an accomplished occupational therapist with 30 years of experience in clinical practice and administration/management. Dr. Arabit was the immediate past Supervisor of Occupational Therapy and Leadership Coordinator of Pediatric Rehab and The Cleft Palate Program at Adventist Health White Memorial in Los Angeles, CA. He is Board Certified in Neurorehabilitation & Physical Rehabilitation and holds certifications in NDT, PNF & the Affolter Concept. Dr. Arabit was the Vice-President of the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC), a former Chair of the OTAC Advocacy & Government Affairs Committee and a former Chair of the Los Angeles Occupational Therapy Leadership Forum. He was the recipient of the 2016 Janice Matsusuyu Outstanding Service award and the 2013 Luella Grangaard Political Action award from OTAC.  Dr. Arabit is a published author, writer and speaker at state, national and international OT conferences on topics related to occupational therapy and rehabilitation.


Dr. Luis Arabit has the special distinction of being awarded the Fellow of the American OT Association, the OTAC’s Foundation Award and APHOTA’s Distinguished Lectureship, all in the same year- 2020!

APHOTA Board Member Appointed to OTAC Committee

Sep. 27th, 2020

Chana Hiranaka, Ph.D., OTR/L has been appointed as co-chair of the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The Committee is charged with identifying areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion for OTAC members and the profession. They will evaluate current systems and structures within OTAC for their diversity, and recommend strategies to promote inclusion within the OT workforce.


Dr. Hiranaka is co-founder, co-chair and Japanese Cultural Liaison of the Asian/ Pacific Heritage OT Association.



APHOTA's Leadership Team's Position Statement on Hate Crimes Against Asians/ Asian-Americans

Feb. 19th, 2021

Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared almost a year ago, several incidents of hate crimes against Asians and/or Asian Americans have been reported in the US and other countries. Recently, a Thai man was attacked and killed in San Francisco, a Vietnamese woman was assaulted and robbed, and a Filipino man was attacked with a box cutter on a subway in New York City. Although, these incidents are being investigated to confirm that they were racially motivated, it is common knowledge that there has been increased persecution and crimes against Asian Americans attributable to a racist rhetoric relating the coronavirus pandemic.


Racism is recognized as a public health concern that impacts both mental and physical health. The world is gripped by a once-in-a-century pandemic caused by a virus that incriminates all races, ages, genders and nationalities. Acts of racism against any community adds unduly to the crisis we are already in.


Occupational therapy (OT) practitioners are at the frontlines of fighting this pandemic, and rehabilitating individuals back to productive and meaningful lives. As OT practitioners, we dedicate ourselves to help individuals live and perform to their utmost potential. We recognize that systemic racism impedes human productivity and health. The American OT Association’s position paper on Occupational Therapy’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion “affirms the right of every individual to access and fully participate in society.”


The Asian-Pacific Heritage OT Association (APHOTA) condemns all acts of hate against Asians and Asian Americans. In addition, we also confirm our continued resolve against racism in all forms and formats against any community or section of society anywhere in the world.