Innovation, Leadership, and Passion -- A Tribute to Lori Garone As She Steps Down From Her Many Roles Within AHA, Inc.

Where does one start, to enumerate all the many and varied educational and board positions  Lori has held in AHA, Inc. over so many years. Lori has served on the AHA Board of Directors at two different times, the first time when AHA became independent and in the past few years. Lori has been Chairperson of the Education Committee both times that she has been on the board and has served on the board’s Executive Committee as Vice President. When AHA was still a section of NARHA, Lori was AHA’s Region 2 representative and has served on the Ethics and Advocacy and International Education Committees. Lori is a Hippotherapy Clinical Certified Specialist and a recipient of the 2013 AHA, Inc.  Barbara Glasow International Therapist of the Year Award. 

Lori became coordinating faculty for AHA in 2000. She has taught Level I and Level II courses, The Neuro Connection Course, The Horse Handling Course and developed and taught the Business Course, being able to teach the specialty Neuro course and the Horse specific courses showcases the breadth of Lori’s therapist and equine knowledge.

Lori has presented Muscles In Motion at a PATH Region 2 conference and at the last AHA conference in Kentucky her presentation was on Critical Thinking/Critical Reasoning, both presentations, that in the future, are slated to become part of the list of approved AHA courses. Lori has taught Treatment Principles Part A in South Korea and Greece and along with Lesley Lautenschlager the Treatment Principles Part B course in Greece, which has the distinction of being the first TP Part B course to be offered internationally. Lori has been an excellent Ambassador for AHA, having presented on terminology at the last HETI conference in Ireland and initiating an informal discussion group of therapists at the HETI conference giving these therapists the opportunity to network and to talk more in-depth about the challenges of incorporating hippotherapy into their therapy practices.

All of Lori’s contributions to the education of therapists, course development, and time served on the Board of Directors are jobs she has successfully fulfilled, but they tell you nothing about the person who has filled these positions. Lori and I have worked together at two different facilities, Lori and I are stylistically very different therapists, but Lori’s mentoring and fine-tuning of my handling skills have made me become a more complete therapist. We have taught Treatment Principles Part A and Treatment Principles  Part B, The Neuro Connection course, and The Horse Handling Course together, I have always learned something new each time we’ve taught together. I can still hear her correcting me that we “don’t have riders, we have patients” and we “don’t do half seat or 2 pt., we do graded sit to stand or we are working on mid-range control.”

Lori is one of the hardest workers I have worked with, hundreds of hours and late nights have been spent developing and refining the Neuro course and thankfully doing all of the formatting and finding pictures for that course and the Critical Thinking/Critical Reasoning pilot, as successful as Lori has been in improving my therapist skills; she has not been successful in improving my computer skills.

It is Lori’s passion for therapy, her love of horses, and her desire to educate that stand out to me. Lori’s passion and uncompromising professional standards can be daunting to some, but I’d follow her down whatever path she takes; she always ends up at the right place.

Thank you, Lori, for all that you have contributed to make those of us who know you better therapists and AHA a stronger and more professional organization.

Bonnie Cunningham, MA, PT, HPCS 
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