The best part of the closing brunch at the PVA National Convention was when our dear Chapter friend Joanie Lynch received the Harry A. Schweikert, Jr. Disability in Awareness Award. Joanie has been a recreational therapist in the Boston VA Healthcare system for over 30 years, and she was given this award by PVA in recognition of her many successes in promoting a positive awareness of the needs and contributions of disabled individuals. In the letter nominating Joanie for this prestigious award, the following was said about her: “While everything that Joanie has done for paralyzed veterans throughout her professional career is impressive, it is important to note that all this flows from who she is as a person. On the wall in her office Joanie has this quotation displayed:

‘A physical therapist will give you the strength to get out of bed, an occupational therapist will teach you how to get out of bed, but a recreational therapist will give you a reason to get out of bed.’

Joanie is the exact manifestation of the reality of this quotation. She has consistently exemplified the values of selfless service, integrity, dedication, hard-work, and compassion. Countless inpatients at the VA have said that she has improved their quality of life and given them a reason to get out of bed in the morning.” We are so proud of Joanie for this well-deserved recognition and award, and we look forward to working with her at the VA for many years to come!

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