Growth and Achievements of the Association
Robert C. Gruman, C.P. *
This has been a year of growth and accomplishment for the American Orthotics and Prosthetics Association. Since many of the readers of the Journal are not members of the Association, I'd like to take my column this month to give them a brief report on the Association's activities.
Educational Programs—The Association's activities in the United States and Canada are carried on through eleven geographical regions. Each of these conducts a technical session in the spring of the year. Over 1200 prosthetists and orthotists registered for these meetings. The meetings have several benefits: In addition to the technical programs and demonstrations there is opportunity for informal discussion of problem cases with colleagues. Suppliers are on hand to report on new products and components.
The Association is continuing its cooperation with the three universities now offering courses in this field: Northwestern University, Chicago; New York University; and the University of Calfornia, Los Angeles. In the year ahead we will be actively pursuing cooperative plans with Cerritos Junior College at Norwalk, California, with our AOPA Region IX serving as liaison. Similar programs are being studied with the City Junior College in Chicago, headed by Dr. Chester Pachuchi. Here we will benefit from the advice of Dr. Jack Armold.
The preliminary work has been done on two manuals to be used for training technicians. Mr. Basil Peters is chairman of the Prosthetics Manual Committee; Mr. Charles Rosenquist is chairman of the Orthotics Manual Committee.
National Assembly—Details of the program of the National Assembly will be given elsewhere in this issue. These professional and technical reunions of orthotists and prosthetists have been growing in importance in recent years. Over 500 attended last year's meeting at New Orleans including representatives from the Dominion of Canada and several Latin American nations. As in previous years the Association will once more offer members of the medical profession a complimentary registration to the technical sessions.
Publications—This Journal is only one of several publications of the Association although it is the oldest and largest with a circulation of 4000. Copies go all over the civilized world. The Association is preparing a comprehensive index for the Journal which will go back to Volume I published in 1946.
"What Everyone Should Know About Orthotics and Orthotists" is the latest publication of the Association. It was inspired by the success of a similar bulletin issued by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Over 8000 copies have been distributed. A companion booklet devoted to Prosthetics and Prosthetists is scheduled for the coming year.
Other publications of the Association include Hygienic Problems of the Amputee and Maintenace and Care of the Prosthesis.
The Almanac is the monthly news bulletin edited for the management of member establishments. Since it appears monthly it serves as a valuable means of communication.
Conference of Prosthetists—This has been established by AOPA to work with the Committee on Prosthetic-Orthotic Education of the National Research Council on various projects. Currently the Conference is developing a standardized report form to be used by prosthetic facilities in recording the cases they handle. This form is being developed to assist the Clinical Study Project of the Committee on Prosthetics-Orthotics Education. However, it should be useful in prosthetic establishments throughout the world.
Research: Research in Orthotics and Prosthetics is of fundamental importance to our field. Our own Committee on Advances in Prosthetics and Orthotics (CAPO) is an expression of this interest. Mr. Fred Eschen is chairman of this committee which works closely with the VA Prosthetics Center in New York City and with the Committee on Prosthetics Research Development of the National Research Council.
Business Management—The Association has continued to cooperate with the Northwestern University School of Business in the development of business aids for orthotic and prosthetic facilities. These aids are intended to promote the efficiency of prosthetic and orthotic establishments, thus promoting improved efficiency in the care of the handicapped.
Information Center—The AOPA Headquarters and Committees function as an information center on prosthetic and orthotic care. In this endeavor, they work closely with the Committee on Prosthetics Research and Development of the National Research Council, with the U.S. Veterans Administration, with the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration and other agencies, both public and private.
Although the Association is the organization of orthotic and prosthetic establishments, it endeavors to cooperate with all who are genuinely concerned with the rehabilitation of the orthopedically handicapped. The Association is grateful for the continued cooperation of the medical profession, and the various agencies in this country and abroad which share its concern with the amputee and the brace wearer.
Robert C. Gruman, President