MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Prosthetists, orthotists and members of the O&P community gathered for the International African American Prosthetic and Orthotic Coalition Annual Meeting, here.
Jack Steele, CO, FAAOP, International African American Prosthetic and Orthotic Coalition (IAAPOC) president, gave the opening remarks.
He emphasized the importance of fellowship and networking in the field of O&P, and encouraged participants to take advantage of the organization’s educational opportunities.
IAAPOC offers the Sam B. Henson scholarship, an annual fund that pays tribute to the organization’s founding members and offers students an opportunity to pursue O&P education.
“All of the funds that we raise here … go strictly to the scholarship fund,” Steele said. “We do not want the money to just sit in our office; that is not what fundraising is about. It is about helping students get through schooling and helping them to become active members of the community.”
A golf tournament is held each year at the meeting to raise scholarship funding, and Steele said the organization is looking to add more fundraisers in the future. The goal is to provide at least five scholarships per year, he said.
The IAAPOC Lifetime Achievement award was also presented at the meeting. Otis Petties Sr. received the award for his dedication to volunteering and serving in the amputee community.
Petties served as an O&P business owner in Memphis, Tenn., before retiring and mentoring fellow colleagues and apprentices.
Source: Carter SM, O&P News
The meeting ended with Steele reiterating his message of fellowship. “Use the members of this organization, the vendors and the people that come out and support us,” he said.
“If you run into a problem, just know there is someone that will help you. When you work hard and utilize the resources…you can go from the bottom to the top and be anything in between.”
The site of the IAAPOC meeting varies each year, according to Steele. It is typically held in April or May. – by Shawn M. Carter
Steele, J. Opening Session and Awards. Presented at: International African American Prosthetic and Orthotic Coalition Annual Meeting; May 19-21, 2016; Memphis, Tenn.
Disclosure: Steele reports no relevant financial disclosures.