|ACPOC’s close proximity to Clearwater Marine Aquarium provided the perfect opportunity for a special presentation about Winter the dolphin. Joe Malo, (left) director of education at the aquarium presented Winter’s story, and Dan Strzempka, CPO, (right) Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, talked about “Winter’s Prosthetic Tale: How It Was Made,” with the assistance of his resident, Michael Carroll.|
The Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics (ACPOC) family grew this year. For the first time, ACPOC held its annual meeting jointly with members of the Orthopedic Rehabilitation Association (ORA). Sunshine, white-sand beaches, and picture-perfect sunsets welcomed both groups from June 2–5 in Clearwater, Florida. Shriners Hospitals for Children, Tampa, served as the local host of this year’s event.
The educational program catered to orthopedic surgeons and O&P professionals alike. Among the challenging case studies and creative solutions presented were a number of special presentations, including “New Trends in the Field of Pediatric Orthopedics,” by Kenneth Guidera, MD, chief of staff, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and “Amputation, Prosthetics, and Rehabilitation in Children,” by René Baumgartner, MD, emeritus professor of orthopaedic surgery, department of prosthetics, orthotics, and related surgery, University of Münster, Germany.
Janet Marshall, CPO, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Tampa, said that gaining ORA’s perspective provided ACPOC members with a fuller picture of their patients’ needs because, while ORA has a mission that is similar to ACPOC’s, they “carry it into adulthood. The transition from pediatrics to adult care in the same patient populations of spina bifida and cerebral palsy was a major focus for symposia,” Marshall said.
“The open discussion on challenges…for these populations found a willing audience,” she continued. “All of them question what will happen when ‘our kids reach adult age….’ The ACPOC/ORA annual meeting may not have found definitive answers, but it did accomplish bringing together professionals who are actively pursuing solutions to aid in the quality of life for all people with disabilities.”
Marshall noted several symposia topics that were particularly well received. Major Joseph Aldrete, MD, musculoskeletal oncologist, Brook Army Medical Center (BAMC), San Antonio, Texas, presented, “The Combat Amputee: Acute Rehabilitation, Return to Duty, and Transition to Civilian Life/Wartime Pediatric Amputees: The Humanitarian Effort,” which highlighted the impact that amputation has in the home and the workplace. A symposium on obesity and the child with disabilities provided an in-depth discussion about “the international phenomenon complicating already challenging situations,” Marshall said.
Next year, ACPOC will trade sea shells for ski poles, as the Annual Meeting moves to The Canyons Resort, Park City, Utah, March 30–April 2, 2011.