Amputee Coalition of America Awarded New Four-Year Grant

The Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) was recently awarded a new 4-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A cooperative agreement between the ACA and CDC has been ongoing since 1997 and has helped fund the National Limb Loss Information Center (NLLIC). The new grant will provide the ACA with an annual funding level of $1.65 million from 2007-2011.

According to the ACA’s Web site, the NLLIC “provides comprehensive resources for people with limb loss, as well as their families, friends, and the health care professionals involved in their lives.” Furthermore, the program provides answers and advice on topics such as technology and prosthetics, consumer rights, funding and agency resources, statistical and research information, insurance queries, peer support and more.

Peer support

Paddy Rossbach
Paddy Rossbach, ACA president and chief executive officer.

Paddy Rossbach, president and chief executive officer of the ACA, said peer support is one of the NLLIC’s most valuable offerings.

“Our National Peer Network is one of our most important programs. CDC funding helps us with training peer visitors, maintaining the database and matching peer visitors. It is a program that is being held up as a model peer visitor program. We have been approached by many organizations for them to use our model,” Rossbach told O&P Business News.

The National Peer Network, one of several program activities within the NLLIC, comprises 255 registered support groups and nearly 1,000 civilian and military certified peer visitors. Rossbach said this network was introduced into the military in 2003 – first at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., then Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and finally the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

“[The National Peer Network] is an extraordinary program that is growing by leaps and bounds. We are absolutely thrilled that we have been awarded this grant for another 4 years. Also, because the CDC also funds some states for public health programs, we are going to be working more closely with those states to try and get the word out on health promotion and prevention,” Rossbach said.

Educating patients with diabetes

In regard to prevention, she noted that the United States is currently facing an epidemic of sorts when it comes to diabetes. Rossbach said the disease is one of the leading causes of limb loss in the United States, warranting action on the ACA’s part and an opportunity for the NLLIC and the National Peer Network to do more to educate people on the various warning signs and possible complications associated with diabetes. Working closely with the CDC, the ACA has created a new publication addressing the issue, called SideStep, which Rossbach hopes will be widely distributed in diabetes clinics and beyond in the coming months.

Rossbach said that the financial help from the CDC has been instrumental in developing new programs, as well as improving and expanding existing programs.

“This grant is helping us do a lot of really good and really important work, which is why we are so excited about it. … We look forward to working with [the CDC] for another 4 years.”

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Andrew Kelly is the assistant editor for O&P Business News.

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