- Amputee Coalition of America Meets in Atlanta
- ABC Files Trademark Infringement Complaint Against the BOC
Amputee Coalition of America Meets in Atlanta
The Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) hosted 819 amputees, their family and caregivers at its annual conference and exposition June 15-17 at the Atlanta Renaissance Waverly Hotel in Atlanta. The meeting provided education, peer support and information on the latest in technology and services for people with limb loss. According to Stephanie Guthrie, development and public awareness associate for the ACA, attendees ranged in age from 8 to 90 years old, with more than 300 people attending for the first time.
The ACA’s educational events focused on emotional support, fitness and healthful living for amputees and those at risk for amputation, including those with diabetes or vascular disease. Al Mead, the keynote speaker for the opening ceremonies, spoke about how he rose above the challenges presented to him after losing his leg as a child. Mead went on to become a Paralympic athlete and world-record holder in the long jump. He is currently an associate pastor at New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga., and was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. He told attendees to focus on the big picture with their lives because what you see is what you get.
“The biggest price you pay is staying the same,” he said. “If you think big, you will grow – it is all in a state of mind.”
Jeffrey Cain, MD, a member of the board of directors for the ACA, Morgan Sheets, the campaign director of the ACA’s Action Plan for People with Limb Loss (APPLL), and Jeremiah Pérez, an advocacy specialist for APPLL, updated attendees on the program’s recent accomplishments and talked about different ways patients can get involved in their states’ parity efforts.
Kelley Campbell, MN, ARNP, Christina Skoki, MD, and Douglas Smith, MD, ACA medical director, provided attendees with helpful information about daily pain management, including the latest treatments and alternative option in pain care.
Steve Mydanick from the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality told attendees what is being done to meet amputees needs in the airline, cruise and hotel industries and where to go to get the best information in travel planning. Robert Gailey, PhD, PT, presented his interactive clinic on mobility education.
The ACA recognized their 2007 award winners at a special lunch on June 16. The 2007 Ernest M. Burgess Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dudley Childress, PhD, director emeritus of the Prosthetics Research Laboratory and Rehabilitation Engineering Research Program and professor emeritus of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, and biomedical engineering department at Northwestern University. The award acknowledged his motivation, spirit and dedication to improving the lives of people with limb loss. The award is named after Ernest Martin Burgess, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and former professor who died in 2000. During World War II, Burgess, then an Army surgeon, was inspired to develop better amputation techniques and prosthetic devices. He also established the Prosthetics Research Study in Seattle, in 1964, through funding from the U.S. Veterans Administration. Burgess later dedicated his life to providing mobility to lower limb amputees all over the world by founding the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation.
Anthony T. Barr posthumously received the Professional of the Year Award. This award is given each year to a professional whose work has had a great impact on the health and lifestyle of amputees. Barr, who died in March, was the president of the Barr Foundation. Through his efforts, the Barr Foundation has provided prosthetic care through donated services and prostheses, and has assisted in international humanitarian work. Eva Hughes accepted the award on his behalf.
Advocate of the Year Award was presented to Dennis O’Donnell for his hard work with the parity efforts in New Jersey. William Samuels received the Volunteer of the Year Award for his work with Out on a Limb – Memphis Area Limb Loss Support. This award is given each year to a person who has given an outstanding contribution of time and talent to the amputee community. Through Samuels’ work, the organization provides information and support to people dealing with the loss of a limb.
Sean Brame received the Role Model of the Year Award. This award is given each year to a person who exemplifies living life to the fullest with a disability. A quadrilateral amputee following an ankle injury, Brame is an active amputee. The 9-year-old is actively involved in Pennsylvania’s parity bill along with the Central Pennsylvania Amputee Support Team. The Shining Star 2007 Award was presented to Marshall Young.
Other special events included the dinner and dance party and the first ACA dance contest. The Achilles Track Club, in partnership with the ACA, hosted the Achilles Hope and Possibility 5K Run/Walk. Members of the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and other athletes attended.
The ACA will hold their next meeting at the Atlanta Renaissance Waverly Hotel, June 19-23, 2008.
– Kristine Houck, ELS, Managing Editor
A note from the editors:
To facilitate bringing news to readers rapidly, for meeting wrap-up articles, O&P Business News departs from its editorial policy and typically does not send these items out for source corrections.
ABC Files Trademark Infringement Complaint Against the BOC
The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Inc. (ABC) has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court against the Board for Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification (BOC) for trademark infringement. According to the complaint, the BOCped certification program, started in September 2006, threatens to confuse the public and dilute the value of ABC’s certified pedorthist program and the CPed credential.
ABC said in its press release that the Board for Certification in Pedorthics Inc. (BCP) created their certified pedorthist program in 1973, and “this designation has served as the preeminent credential for pedorthic professionals recognized by both patients and the health care community.”
According to ABC, prior to BCP’s integration into ABC in December 2006, the BCP delivered a cease and desist letter to BOC alerting it that its use of the BOCped credential was an infringement of the registered trademark CPed. The release continues that the BOC declared it was discontinuing its use of the BOCped name. Following the integration of BCP into ABC, the BOC reversed its action and continues to use the certification title.
“We have reached out to the BOC and discussed with them their infringement of our trademarked CPed credential. We were assured they would discontinue the confusing title. However, BOC has not taken the necessary steps to demonstrate good faith compliance with our numerous cease and desist letters,” said ABC president Stephen B. Fletcher, CPO, in the press release.
According to the BOC’s written statement provided to O&P Business News, the “BOC has opened its certification process to all practicing, trained, educated, licensed or certified pedorthists and have invited them to join the BOC family in its certification credentialing. BOC has set forth a ‘cross-over’ program and has developed pathways in which a BOC certification can be obtained with a high degree of integrity.”
“Prior to the merge of BCP and ABC, the BOC was actively pursuing and developing a program to credential pedorthists and had several communications with those in positions to present the needs of this group of professionals. It was inquired of BOC what the BOC organization could offer certified pedorthists and BOC rallied to be inclusive and developed a pathway by which all pedorthists could acquire additional credentials, if so desired, which could enhance the career path for practitioners in an array of opportunities. This has been implemented and was represented at the PFA meeting last fall.”
The BOC statement continued that “BOC pedorthists is in no way an attempt to confuse the public and dilute the value of the profession of pedorthics. BOC is widely recognized by the public at large, the medical profession, state licensing agencies and CMS. BOC is certifying pedorthists and in doing so, as with orthotists and prosthetists, its name is a value to the profession. BOC is recognized by its high standards and professionalism in its credentialing, both certification of practitioners and accreditation of facilities.”
ABC provided an additional written statement to O&P Business News.
“We look forward to a just resolution of this issue that protects the standing of the certified pedortist designation.” said Catherine A. Carter, ABC executive director.