OPAF Launches McKeever’s First Ride

OPAF Launches McKeever’s First Ride

McKeever’s First Ride, OPAF’s newest First Clinic, was launched as part of the 2009 Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) Conference in Atlanta. Chastain Horse Park, a premier North American Handicapped Rider Association barn, was the host location for the inaugural event. Participants from the ACA conference, as well as representatives from local O&P shops, manufacturers, suppliers and practitioners from across the country were in attendance.

The afternoon included many different aspects of equine therapy. The master of ceremonies was Ed Dabney, internationally acclaimed horse trainer and clinician. Dabney taught the attendees that being in the company of horses can help people of all ages heal in multiple ways.

There are many benefits of having contact with horses, whether from the ground or in the saddle. Attendees discovered for themselves that horses are good listeners who offer unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness. Those who attended McKeever’s First Ride seeking the opportunity to enjoy horses and celebrate adaptive riding for fun, fellowship and fitness, discovered those benefits.

Nashville, Tenn. recording artist, Templeton Thompson and husband Sam Gay were the musical guests. Templeton serves as the national spokesperson for Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association.

McKeever’s First Ride was the vision of Deenie McKeever, to honor the legacy of her father, Dan McKeever, CP, and to extend his efforts of championing the needs of amputees. McKeever was also instrumental in beginning the Horses for Heroes program which provides our armed services’ wounded warriors the chance for therapeutic contact with horses.

“You don’t have to be galloping across the plains to enjoy a horse.” McKeever said.

McKeever’s First Ride participants McKeever’s First Ride participants

McKeever’s First Ride participants McKeever’s First Ride participants
McKeever’s First Ride participants learned the benefits of having contact with horses and different aspects of equine therapy.
Images reprinted with permission of Deenie McKeever.

Gimson Joins Orthocare Innovations’ Corporate Board of Advisors

Orthocare Innovations announced the addition of Bill Gimson to its corporate board of advisors. According to the press release, Gimson currently serves as executive director of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. In this capacity, Gimson is charged with investing $3 billion to establish Texas as a world-class leader in cancer research and prevention through collaboration, innovation and commercialization.

Previously, Gimson served for 35 years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. At CDC, his senior management roles included director of the office of financial management and more recently, as the agency’s chief operating officer.

Gimson, who holds an MBA from Duke University, led many of CDC’s most significant and high profile initiatives. These included the development of an almost four-million square foot capital improvement plan totaling $1.6 billion dollars, improvement of agency security and continuity of operations following 9/11 and preparation for a national outbreak of pandemic influenza. During the first half of 2008, Gimson served on the ground in Iraq leading a health unit for a Department of State Provincial Reconstruction Team in Tikrit.

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