Healthcare Hero: Mary Beth Moore, CTRS
Welcome back to Healthcare Heroes! Meet Mary Beth Moore! A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), Mary Beth oversees the Therapeutic Recreation and Inclusive Support program at Columbus Recreation and Parks. As we know at FHF, camp experiences are an essential part of the healing process for children with serious illnesses and their families. Recreational therapy uses recreation and other interventions to meet the needs of people with illnesses and disabilities, that result in mental well-being, holistic recovery, and more.
Seeing the overlap in what a CTRS does and the adaptations we make at camp to ensure campers have a healing experience, we reached out to Mary Beth to get their thoughts on camp. Keep reading to learn more about what a CTRS does, and why inclusive programming is important for children with serious illnesses and disabilities.
For those who may not know, what is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist?
A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) is a qualified provider of Recreational Therapy Services. Certification indicates to the public and employers that the recreational therapist has pass the national certification exam and meets the requirements needed to practice recreational therapy.
Why are camping/recreation experiences like those at FHF and CRPD important for children, especially those with serious illnesses and/or disabilities?
Camping/Recreation experiences for children with serious illness and disabilities provided by trained Recreational professionals are extremely important as many of these youth are sedentary and would not have the opportunity to enjoy/participate in recreational activities and sports as their peers do. Youth with serious illness and/or disabilities can feel isolated and left out. It is important for children to have the opportunity to have fun and be successful in a safe and supportive environment.
"We have always prided ourselves on offering safe programming for all."
What does your role at Columbus Recreation and Parks as Therapeutic Recreation Manager encompass?
My role at Columbus Recreation and Parks (CRPD) as Therapeutic Recreation Manager is to oversee the entire Therapeutic Recreation and Inclusive Support program for CRPD. Our program consists of Summer Camps, Adaptive Sports, Quest afterschool program, School programming, transition programs, outreach, Veteran program, Inclusion Support, and various other grant supported programs. I supervise 3 other full time staff and 10-40 part time staff depending on the time of year. I am responsible for managing our TR budget. Twenty–six years ago, when I started with Columbus Recreation and Parks, my primary role was to assess the community, plan, and implement a Therapeutic Recreation Program. When I hired I was told, “we are not sure what you do, but go on out there and do it.” Best advice I could receive from my new employer.
Over the past year, how has your department adapted to offer safe programs during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Great question! We have always prided ourselves on offering safe programming for all. With COVID-19 we follow all the guidelines for cleaning, disinfecting, and programming set forth by the Columbus Health Department.
If someone is interested in learning more about the Therapeutic Recreation Program at Columbus Recreation and Parks, what should they do?
Please contact Mary Beth Moore, CTRS at 614-645-5648 or email