LAS VEGAS — The Hanger Education Fair and National Meeting opened with comments from Vinit K. Asar, president and chief executive officer of Hanger, Inc., who thanked the clinicians and staff in attendance, as well as testimonials from patients who thanked the company.
“Every single one of you in this room plays a part in the success of our patients,” Asar said. “Whether you are a clinician, whether you are technician, whether you are an office administrator, an accountant, whether you are in [information technology] IT or human resources, [or are] our supply chain partners, every one of you plays an important role in our patients’ success. At the center of it all, what drives us, is our patients.”
During the opening ceremony, Yvonne Llanes described how she found the resolve to take her first steps out of a wheelchair more than 9 years following a car accident that led to transfemoral amputation of both her legs. Following the accident, she sank into a deep depression, she said.
“It was not until January 2015 that my social worker, Mona Patel from the Hanger Clinic in San Antonio, told me about a boot camp for double above-knee amputees, which took place in Oklahoma City,” Llanes said. “At that same time, my dad had been put on hospice and I told him about the boot camp. He told me, ‘Please promise me that you will go.’”
She attended the boot camp and met Kevin Carroll, MS, CP, FAAOP (D), vice president of prosthetics at the Las Vegas Hanger Clinic. She also met other double transfemoral amputees, some of whom were walking without assisted devices.
“I told myself, ‘I want to be like them. I want to do what they are doing.’ I knew it was going to take hard work,” she said.
On June 20, 2015, the day her father died, Llanes left her wheelchair.
“I decided that enough was enough,” she said. “I was going to get up, and get on with my life. Now, that is what my goal is. My goal is [to] get better.” – by Jason Laday
Opening ceremony. The Hanger Education Fair and National Meeting. Jan. 30-Feb. 3, 2017; Las Vegas.
Disclosures: Asar reports he is president and chief executive officer of Hanger, Inc. Llanes reports no relevant financial disclosures.