From The Editor

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By Miki Fairley

As our feature article on physiatry shows, involving the entire rehabilitation team in patient care can optimize outcomes.

The Association of Children's Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics (ACPOC), an organization that focuses on the team approach for the benefit of children, meets May 14-17 in St. Pete Beach, Florida. ACPOC's purpose is to support clinical teams through education, clinical research, and annual meetings. Its threefold mission is 1) to promote multidisciplinary team development and collaboration, 2) to support research in children's orthotic-prosthetic care, and 3) to disseminate information among and about children's clinics.

The seeds of ACPOC were planted in 1946 when Carleton Dean, MD, met with Charles H. Frantz, MD, and George T. Aitken, MD, to organize the Juvenile Amputee Program in Michigan. The program aimed not only to fit the best device available for each patient, but to train the child in its use--an idea that was not commonplace then.

The team approach pioneered in military hospitals worked well for adult amputees. It became apparent that this approach would also benefit children with limb loss. Meetings and developments in child amputee care continued, and by 1970 the Subcommittee on Child Prosthetic Problems was charged with enlarging its activities to include children's orthotics and mobility aids. By 1979, the general format for the association was established and accepted, and ACPOC continues as a major source of information and interaction on child prosthetic and orthotic care--a boon to youngsters dealing with disability.

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