New Latin American O&P Federation Formed

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By Juan Carlos Camacho Gómez
Juan Carlos Camacho Gomez
Juan Carlos Camacho Gomez

A historic meeting of Latin American orthotic and prosthetic organizations was held February 28-March 2 in San Salvador, El Salvador.

The meeting included presidents and representatives of prosthetic and orthotic societies as well as members of the Latin American Committee for Education in Orthotics and Prosthetics (CLEOP- Comité Latinoamericano de Educación en Ortesis y Prótesis) . Attending the conference were the following organizations:

  • Asociación Brasileña de Ortopedia Técnica (ABOTEC), represented by Jairo Blumenthal, president;
  • Asociación de Protesistas y Ortesistas Universitarios de Argentina (APOUA), represented by Enrique Omar Galban, president;
  • Asociación Profesional de Protesistas y Ortesistas Ortopedicos Bonaerense (APPOOB), represented by Enrique Oscar Leotta, president;
  • Asociación Profesionales Protesista Ortesista Ortopedicos (APPOO), represented by Nazareno Rubén Kuyumilian, president;
  • Federación Española de Ortesistas y Protesistas (FEDOP), represented by Pedro Alonso, secretary general-technical;
  • Sociedad Mexicana de Ortesistas y Protesistas A.C. (SMOPAC), represented by Dario Caballero Sandoval, president;
  • Asociación de Tecnicos Ortesistas y Protesistas de Venezuela (ATOPOV) represented by Abelardo Oballos, president;
  • Asociación Colombiana de Protesistas y Ortesistas (ASOCOPRO). A representative was unable to attend, but this organization gave its unconditional support to decisions made at this event.

Also from CLEOP were Miguel Gómez of Colombia and Juan Carlos Camacho Gómez of Mexico. Markus Golman of Argentina participated as well.

On Thursday, Feb. 28, each organization gave a presentation with information on its history, number of members, requirements for membership election procedures and length of terms for its executive board. The associations also described the social status and government focus relative to the O&P field and its professional associations in their respective countries.

During the morning on Friday, March 1, the participants in the First Ibero-American Conference of Orthotic and Prosthetic Societies visited the facilities of the University Don Bosco, in San Salvador, El Salvador, where they were completing a Meeting of Schools of Orthotists and Prosthetists, organized by the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO).

In the afternoon, the activities of the meeting of societies resumed with a lecture by Heinz Trebbin, project coordinator for Technical Orthopedics for Central America, with the theme, "Learning at a Distance," a project for developing uniform standards for orthotic and prosthetic practitioners.

The participating associations immediately proposed initiatives for a similar course of action for all the Ibero-American O&P organizations:

  • Form an Ibero-American Federation of Orthotists and Prosthetists (Federación Iberoamericano de Ortesistas y Protesistas);
  • Provide an academic format for orthotic and prosthetic practitioners;
  • Legislate in each country in order to establish legal standards within the profession;
  • Establish cooperation among O&P organizations, universities, and governmental authorities to improve and elevate the orthotic/prosthetic profession.

At the end of the day, voting was held to elect the executive committee for the Federación Iberoamericana de Ortesistas y Protesistas. The following persons were elected:

Juan Carlos Camacho Gómez, Mexico, president; Mario Cañamares, Spain, vice president; Ernesto Oscar Leotta, Argentina, secretary; and Rodolfo Gutierrez, Mexico, treasurer.

Saturday, March 2, began with the presence of Sepp Heim, ISPO president, and John Hughes, ISPO director of education, who were informed of the advances and agreements reached during the first Ibero-American Conference of Orthotics and Prosthetics. Mr. Heim and Mr. Hughes gave their support to these.

At the close of the meeting, the agreements of cooperation between the participating organizations were signed, culminating in the signing of the document establishing the Federación Iberoamericano de Ortesistas y Protesistas.

CLEOP changed its name to CIEPO (Ibero-American Education Orthotics and Prosthetics Committee). Chairman is Miguel Gómez is chairman.

For more information, contact Juan Carlos Camacho Gómez, FIOP president, e-mail: ortopedia@acnet.net website: http://ags.acnet.net/fiop