In Memory of Siegfried W. Paul

In Memory of Siegfried W. Paul

Siegfried W. Paul, CPO, (E), an internationally known practitioner, died last summer in Kingsport, Tenn. Paul, at the peak of a productive career, was forced to retire in 1979 due to disabling chronic health issues.

At the time of his retirement he was director of orthotics and prosthetics at the Newington Children’s Hospital in Connecticut.

Trained in Germany, Paul came to the United States in 1958, first working with Fillauer in Chattanooga, Tenn. He attended both Northwestern and NYU, and was on the staff at The Institute for the Crippled and Disabled in New York City, in teaching capacity for their pioneering training program. While there, he became acquainted with many of the lifelong colleagues and friends with whom he worked with at the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics and the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (Academy).

One of the original founders of the Academy, he later served at president of that organization and also vice president of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics, acting as director of their scientific program. He was active in the New England chapter of the Academy as well.

Paul was instrumental in the early development of plastic orthoses and was especially known for his clinical and orthotic work with scoliosis patients. He lectured both nationally and internationally and was a frequent contributor to various medical journals.

Following his retirement, Paul was singled out for special honors at an American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association meeting in 1991.

He enjoyed writing and authored Some Wounds Never Heal, Through the Eyes of a Child. This work included the memories of growing up in wartime Germany.

Remembering a St. Louis Legend, Charlie Taggart

Charlie Taggart
Charlie Taggart

You can’t really have a conversation about O&P in St. Louis without someone recalling a story about Charlie Taggart, CO, LO. Taggart worked in the field of orthotics for the last 51 years and has left his mark on orthotists and prosthetists too numerous to mention.

For the last 26 years Taggart worked as an owner, orthotist and the director of central fabrication for the Orthotic & Prosthetic Lab, Inc. in St. Louis. Taggart was a true original. Never one to mince words, you always knew where you stood with him. A product of U.S. Army training, Taggart ran his central fabrication facility like a precision military operation. A tough, no nonsense boss, Taggart was fiercely loyal to the employees that earned his respect and did their jobs well. If one of his people was in trouble, they went to him and he would find a way to help.

At age 72, Taggart was still working more than a 40-hour week side-by-side with his technicians doing what he loved the best. He always used a hands-on approach when it came to running the central fabrication facility. When his lab was busy with all the bandsaws, drill press and air tools going, Taggart used to stop and listen for a second and call it his “music” and tell everyone listening it was the sweetest sound he ever heard. Taggart’s business strategy was always simple. Taggart used to laugh and say he had forgotten more about orthotics than most modern day practitioners would ever learn.

Most people who had the opportunity to talk with Taggart for any length of time came away with the impression that he was probably right. Most of the practitioners that make up the various O&P companies in St. Louis worked and were trained by Taggart at some point in time. They have what they affectionately call Taggartisms. This is a list of sayings by Taggart, quoted and re-quoted in the best tradition of the man himself. Originally from Mississippi, he had a saying for just about every occasion.

Highlights of his long list of accomplishments include; introducing thermoplastic orthotics to St. Louis, starting the PO systems at St. Louis hospitals, developing the first residency program in St. Louis and inventing a variety of new braces and innovative manufacturing techniques.

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