LAS VEGAS — The Hanger Education Fair & National Meeting opened here today with the theme of “Courage, Commitment, Care.”
Athlete, actor and Hanger Amputee Empowerment Partner (AEP) coordinator Katy Sullivan spoke at the opening ceremonies about the “courage to face the impossible, commitment to find new answers and care to empower future generations.” She noted the Boston bombings, and the “hundreds of heroes, first responders, medical experts and compassionate rehabilitation professionals who heard the cries for help, and answered, ‘I’m here.’ With courage they sprung into action, with commitment they provided support, and with care, they helped those fallen back onto their feet.”
She pointed out several Hanger clinicians, employees and others who provided critical support and information to the survivors and their families, friends and physicians. Sullivan also spoke of others who supported the efforts of Boston Strong and welcomed to the stage Mike Benning, business development associate and Boston Strong peer visitor coordinator; Krisita Burket, media relations program manager, Hanger Inc.; Kevin Carroll, MS, CP, FAAOP, MS, CP, FAAOP, vice president of prosthetics, Hanger Clinic; Cameron Clapp, AEP peer visitor; Brian Heckathorn, CPO, Hanger area clinic manager; Dennis Huysman, Hanger regional vice president; and Chad Thompson, senior business development manager and AEP Northeast trainer and peer visitor.
Two Boston bombing survivors spoke briefly about their experiences. One survivor, Steve Wolfenden, received prosthetic care from Heckathorn at Boston Medical Center.
“I identified with him. He seemed to treat me as person, not just a leg that needed to be fixed,” he said.
Survivor Marc Fucarile described the prosthetic care he received and the response to the tragedy.
“A couple of people did something bad, but a whole world of people did something good,” he said.
Kenneth W. Wilson, president and chief operating officer of Hanger’s orthotic and prosthetic distribution business unit, Southern Prosthetic Supply (SPS), concluded the opening ceremonies and introduced two new Hanger websites that will launch later this year – a redesigned Hanger.com, and the new Hanger Clinic.com.
“These new and improved websites will provide engaging content, expanded functionality for our many unique audiences and business partners,” he said.