The Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) announced three additions to the
board of directors, Tami Stanley, Helen D. Cuyler and Mona Patel.
Stanley, an Orem, Utah resident, was a key activist in passing insurance
parity legislation that was signed into law by Utah’s Governor last month.
“Tami Stanley brings a wealth of knowledge to the Amputee
Coalition’s board,” Kendra Calhoun, president & chief executive
officer, stated in a news release. “We are honored that she will join us
and share her successful 4–year effort in getting insurance parity
legislation through the Utah legislature. As an amputee, and a medical
professional, she sees the challenges faced by those with limb loss face every
day. Utah became the 19th State to implement prosthetic parity law, and much of
the credit goes to Tami. Having watched her efforts in Utah, she is a hard
worker and we know she is dedicated to making a difference for those with limb
Having lost her leg as a result of complications from a softball game
accident, Stanley feels it is important to speak with as a voice for amputees
who feel they may not have one.
“I am honored to be elected as a member of the Amputee
Coalition’s board. In addition to bringing my experience as an advocate
and an amputee, I hope to help move forward passage of insurance parity
legislation in all 50 states. It is also important to have this passed on the
federal level. This legislation is critical for amputees to be able to lead
productive and active lives,” Stanley said.
The second addition to the board, Cuyler has been an active member in
the ACAfor a number of years. She is a retired educator from the Orange County
Public School system and an Orlando, Fla. resident.
“Helen brings to us her vast experience as a professional
educator, coordinator of various programs and trainer,” Calhoun said.
“She will be a great asset to our board as we expand our educational
programming, peer visitor and caregiver support programs. Helen’s
compassion and desire to serve others is tireless. We look forward to her
energy and enthusiasm as a board member.”
Having served as a teacher, ESE Coordinator and facilitator, Cuyler
retired from the school system in 2009 after 38 years. Her roles and
responsibilities as a professional educator included serving at the school
district office as a facilitator of training for administrators, teachers,
paraprofessionals and parental involvement coordinator. At the school level,
her roles included classroom teacher, dean of students, staffing coordinator,
instructional coach and placement specialist.
“As I have done for many years, I hope to move forward the
organization’s mission and vision for the future. Drawing on my experience
as an amputee and an educator, I offer my contributions in training, planning
and curriculum development. I hope to facilitate efforts to reach out to
minorities and the underprivileged,” Cuyler said.
Cuyler became a below-knee amputee in 1972 as a result of a motorcycle
accident. According to the ACA, there are currently 2 million amputees in the
United States, and an additional 185,000 people lose a limb each year. These
amputations are due primarily to diabetes and vascular disease as well as
traumatic accidents and congenital factors.
Patel, a San Antonio, Texas resident and activist, has been active in
the ACA for many years, and she is currently an ACA-certified peer visitor.
“We are happy to have Mona Patel as an active member of our
board,” Calhoun said. “Her contributions will be invaluable to us as
we move forward with state and federal parity laws. She has been a tireless
advocate for amputee rights, education and support. As an amputee, she is
knowledgeable about state and federal issues that affect the limb loss
community. As a social worker, she brings a wealth of experience and compassion
to our organization.”
While a student in 1990, Patel was crossing a college campus when a
drunk driver struck her. The accident resulted in the amputation of her right
leg below the knee. Determined to help other amputees, Patel has since been an
avid advocate for amputees in a variety of legislative and educational efforts.
In 2009, she successfully led advocacy efforts in the passage of the Texas
Prosthetic and Orthotic Insurance Parity Bill. She has been the group leader
for the local amputee support group for 13 years and has served on ACA’s
committees and other groups, including the Volunteer Task Force. Currently, she
is a certified peer visitor, and she is taking on a new role as lead advocate
for her state in the Amputee Advocacy Network.