Your Rich VR Heritage Issue #19: The longstanding and vital relationship between NC DVRS, its partners and NRA/NCRA
Good Morning VR Team with a Dream,
In light that our 2017 GREAT/NCRA/NCATP conference is being held this week, it is most appropriate to feature our exploration of what I consider an inseparably vital relationship to the well-being of the national rehabilitation program and the NC VR program, its network of partners and we the ministers of the mission. Following this review we should conclude that the National Rehabilitation Association and NCRA are both incredibly important resources and modalities to meet the needs. These grass roots organizations will only produce dividends based on what we invest through our individual and corporate engagement and support.
We will explore the record, mainly through our revered REACH publications, to present to you a reasonably concise overview of 62 years of consistent activity of the NCRA. There may be future presentations where items that were missed during this round will be highlighted. We certainly have plans to share additional photos and other proud moments, hopefully of more recent years so that the faithful can reflect upon and savor the ground we’ve gained all while investing in each other through building our relationships and celebrating our victories. These victories worth celebrating can be clients’ lives changed or personally gaining a new perspective on best practices or approaches that are needed for equipping clients for today’s global economy or independent living successes.
From the January-February Issue of 1968—the message and mission remains the same—we as a state and national program/system with partners such as training universities, rehabilitation centers, treatment centers, community rehabilitation programs, school systems, and other partners can optimize our impact through active engagement and supporting the grand mission we are part of. Coming together to train and focus on new trends and areas we need to address together is an essential component of that process. Engagement helps us all to capture the passion of our profession instead of standing as observers on the sidelines of our careers---and lives. If you wish to engage your profession fully and become a member of North Carolina’s chapter of the National Rehabilitation Association—follow the link: https://www.nationalrehab.org/
This was published at a time when membership fees were as follows, which, when adjusted for inflation, is likely in line with today’s membership costs:
The earliest record we have in the REACH publications pertaining to North Carolina’s support of the National Rehabilitation Association (which began in 1925) is found in the November-December 1953 issue, which is only the third issue published. North Carolina’s chapter had not yet been formed as you will see below, it was formed October-November of 1955. Highlighted in the topics discussed then are often very relevant to us now. Note the topic in the blue brackets—how inciteful and a testimony to the fact that this is something that will always be an area where we can improve, since the partners are always changing. It is a reminder that we must remain at the table of discussion and planning with our partners to achieve the full benefit of the “greater sum” from its partner “parts.”
Another point of observation is that NC DVRS’s early leaders attended the NRA conference where they became acutely aware that North Carolina was in great need of rehabilitation centers and NC DVRS had an important role over time in helping establish orthopedic clinics and regional rehabilitation centers, such as the one established in Fayetteville.
Not long after attending the NRA meeting, our then Director Charles Warren began to demonstrate strong leadership and became elected as NATIONAL president of the National Rehabilitation Association. This was a very proud moment for the Division as indicated in the Nov-Dec 1954 REACH:
The excitement apparently spread with in NC DVRS and shortly thereafter it gave birth to the establishment of the North Carolina chapter of NRA --NCRA—North Carolina Rehabilitation Association – Established October 1955 as per Nov-Dec 1955 REACH:
As indicated in the article above, Charles L. (C.L.) Haney stepped up to become NCRA’s first President and later first Executive Director. To help you get to know this fine leader, am including some biographical information from the Mar-Apr 1955 REACH issue:
From this Mar-April 1969 REACH, we see that he C.L. Haney was serving as NCRA Executive Director, which was a position separate from NCRA President:
In March of 1967, NCRA was experiencing one of its moments of strength when NC Governor Dan K. Moore became a member of NCRA in appreciation for his support for rehabilitation movement and for movement toward addressing architectural barriers within the state. This was celebrated in the March-April 1967 REACH issue below:
NCRA Executive Director C.L. Haney had a special address in the July-August 1968 REACH – NOTE THE NCRA MEMBERSHIP OF THAT ERA—924 Members--- that is something we can address together!
NCRA membership remains an important demonstration of commitment to engage and make VR services and career experience better. From the Jan-February 1957 REACH:
For this portion of this issue’s exploration of NCRA’s past, we fast forward to the 1971 NCRA conference where you see examples of learning, renewal, inspiration, exposure to larger and changing concepts (reframing), and fellow ministers of the mission re-igniting their collaborative relationships.
From 1971 NCRA Conference Nov-Dec 1971 REACH:
NOTE: Recognition of Harold Thoms -- no doubt affiliated with a key partner then and now --Thoms Rehabilitation Hospital (now CarePartners Health Services)
Note the NRA has subdivisions/interest groups comprised of specialty areas where individuals with similar interests can participate in collectively beneficial activities. One active example is RPEN, which is the Rehabilitation Program Evaluation Network. Our own Dr. Jeff Stevens, NC DVRS Chief of Planning and Evaluation, presently serves as the RPEN representative to the NRA board.
The NRA subdivision/interest group related to counselor concerns had an NCRA Chapter called NCRCA (NC Rehabilitation Counselor Association). Here were some of its activities from the final issue of REACH Nov-Dec 1972:
NOTE: Perry Crabtree ended his career in Staff Development Section (now PDT) in the mid-90’s. Ray Hartley ended his career with DVRS in the early 90’s.
Fast forwarding to the late 1970’s and early 80’s, we are including some photos that very few have seen until now. We are including them as there are several of our readership who may remember these individuals who have since retired. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did:
Some things have changed little—for the good—squeezing in roomies to save and having a good productive time and enjoying the moment!
I hope you have enjoyed this exploration of NRA/NCRA and its proud heritage and highlights of important points in its development and some fun reminiscent sharing of some photos of those who did support the mission during their tenure and have retired, passing the mantel on to those of us who elected to join the team. Will you help carry and strengthen NRA/NCRA to the levels of strength and support they and the Division needs to be superlatives in rehabilitation for those who rely on us? A sincere thanks for your consideration, partnership, and yes—friendship-- as we move forward in our mission!