The 2008 annual Hanger Education Fair was held from January 28 through February 2 at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino Resort located in Sparks, Nev.
About 1,000 attendees turned out for the 6-day event. This nearly 15% increase in attendance included practitioners, support staff and patients. Additionally, 350 vendor attendees were on hand for the fair.
The opening reception paid tribute to the following six American heroes:
Jose Lema, a law enforcement agent and member of the Orlando International Airport SWAT team, lost his left leg, below the knee, to a semiautomatic rifle while making an arrest in 2007.
John Rogers, a fireman in Apopka, Fla., lost his left arm fighting a house fire in July 2007. Rogers is the first amputee in the southeast United States to be fitted with the bionic I-Limb hand.
Army Staff Sgt. Heath Calhoun, squad leader with the 101st Airborne Division, sustained injuries that resulted in the amputation of both legs above the knees when his convoy was attacked while he was serving in Mosul, Iraq. Calhoun is currently training in Colorado for the U.S. Paralympic team.
Marine Staff Sgt. John Jones enlisted in the Marines when he was 18 years old in Oklahoma City and completed two tours in Iraq. He lost both of his legs below the knee in 2005, while serving in Al Qaim, Iraq. Jones works at the Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center, teaching wounded service members how to fire weapons again.
Sgt. First Class Mike McNaughton enlisted in the Army at 18 and served in Bosnia and Kuwait before resigning in 2000 for a civilian job. After September 11, he decided to rejoin the military, becoming a member of the Louisiana National Guard in December 2001. Four months later, he was sent to Afghanistan where he worked with a team that cleared land mines. While serving with this team, McNaughton lost his right leg above the knee when a mine exploded next to him. McNaughton was awarded the Bronze Star for his effort with this team.
Army Staff Sgt. Roland Paquette joined the military and became a medical sergeant on a special forces team in Afghanistan. Paquette treated hundreds of soldiers and thousands of local residents for everything from the common cold to gunshot wounds. In 2004, he lost both legs, above the knee, when an explosion went off under the vehicle in which he was riding.
For the next few days, attendees turned their focus to a variety of education sessions and product workshops, led by representatives and from Hanger P&O, including: “Upper Extremity Prosthetics: The Future is Finally Here” with industry leaders from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), and Animated Prosthetics Inc.; “Early Amputation Protection Techniques” with representatives from Saint Louis Vascular Clinic; “Orthotic Grand Rounds” with industry leaders from RIC and Animated Prosthetics Inc.; and “Prosthetics Symposium” with representatives from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, University of Connecticut Hospital, and Hospital of Central Connecticut.
Ted Thranhardt received the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of more than 50 years dedicated to the advancement of orthotics and prosthetics.
The award was presented by Rick Taylor and Ivan R. Sabel at the chairman’s dinner. The following is an excerpt from the award presentation:
“He is one of only two persons who have ever served as president of all three major O&P organizations: the Academy, the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics, and AOPA.
During his long career, he volunteered for the Easter Seals, the Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental Access at Georgia Tech, the Carter Foundation’s Global 2000 initiative, and a research project in Kenya. Beyond volunteering his time, he made a generous financial contribution to the renovation of the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center library.
A practitioner, an entrepreneur, a clinical leader, a business strategist, an educator, and an extremely generous benefactor. We are proud to have benefited from his guidance, innovation, and dedication for so many years.”