From the Editor: Meeting Highlights Blended Importance of Past, Present, and Future of O&P

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This issue went to press fast on the heels of the 32nd Annual Academy Meeting last month in Chicago, which provided me with a thought-provoking, energizing, and thorough introduction to the field of O&P. Several Academy events seemed to emphasize the blended import­ance of the past, present, and future of a field looking to its future, technically, clinically, administratively, and legislatively.

NUPOC Gala Trilogy

The Northwestern University Prosthetics Orthotics Center Feinberg School of Medicine Gala Trilogy Fundraising Dinner was an elegant and enlightening affair to raise money for the NUPOC program. The event also honored several distinguished former faculty members. Watch for details about the awards in our May issue.

O&P Career Awareness

The O&P Career Awareness Program, attended by more than 70 Chicago area high school students and hosted by Michael Brncick, MEd, CPO, administrative director of NUPOC, was part of the Academy's national recruitment and awareness campaign and provided students with a brief introduction to the profession, including a tour of the exhibit hall and a visit to NUPOC on the Northwestern University campus.

Government Relations Forum

The newly-formed Orthotic & Prosthetic Alliance convened at the Government Relations Forum to talk about its mission and bring attendees up to date on recent regulatory activities affecting the industry. See the Industry Review news release for more details.

Women of Prosthetics and Orthotics

The Government Relations Briefing was followed by an organizational meeting for a new group called Women of Prosthetics and Orthotics (WPO), founded by six young women from the School of Applied Physiology at Georgia Tech. More than 100 people attended the meeting, which was intended to assess interest in such a group and help determine its direction (see Industry Review for more on WPO).

I also had a chance to meet with several influential and colorful members of the O&P community throughout the week who provided me with a good picture of an industry and profession at a pivotal point in its history.

The issues ahead are many and varied, from parity and reimbursement to research and licensure. The particular events and groups listed here, and the dozens not mentioned, are laying the groundwork for cooperation and unity to reach the industry's goals and set its place in the future allied healthcare landscape.

How will the challenges be met?

Humanitarian Aid

If we use the humanitarian efforts of the industry as just one example of what O&P can accomplish when it comes together, then without a doubt, the professional goals of the industry are also in reach. Read the inspiring stories of some of the humanitarian projects around the world in this issue: "Physicians for Peace delivers Mission of Training to Nations in Need, New Yorker Makes the World a Better Place...", and "CIR Brings Prosthetic Services to Developing Nations."

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