ACPOC 2011: Professionals Helping Kids Be Kids

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By Eugene Banziger, CPO(c)

Venue to the 2002 Winter Olympics, Park City, Utah's mountain backdrop provided the setting for this year's Association of Children's Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics (ACPOC) 33rd annual meeting, held at the Canyons Resort from March 30-April 2. ACPOC was joined again this year by the Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Association (ORA), making this the second annual combined meeting of these two organizations. Jacques L. D'Astous, MD, FRCS(c), and R. Scott Hosie, CPO, hosted the event with and on behalf of Shriners Hospitals for Children, Salt Lake City.

Under the guidance of program committee chair Janet Walker, MD, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Lexington, Kentucky, the educational program spanned the fields of orthopedics, orthotics, prosthetics, physical therapy, and rehabilitation, including upper and lower-limb topics, cerebral palsy, spinal deformities and injuries, and neuromuscular disorders. Exhibitors provided technical workshops, while invited speakers led scientific workshops and presented challenging cases and creative solutions.

From left: ACPOC President Janet Marshall, CPO, LPO; New Investigator Research Award winner Melissa Malkush, CP; and board member David Rotter, CPO.

ACPOC President Janet Marshall, CPO, LPO, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Tampa, Florida, opened the Thursday morning session by welcoming attendees and moderating the awards and lecture presentations. This year, first place in the New Investigator Research Awards, sponsored by Otto Bock HealthCare, Duderstadt, Germany, went to Melissa Malkush, CP, Ortho-Pro Biomechanics Group, West Hempsted, New York, for a study she undertook to discover why children diagnosed with cerebral palsy stopped wearing their lower-limb orthoses. ORA presented its Vernon L. Nickel Award to Grant Richardson Lohse, MD, who lectured on "Risky Situations: Reducing Falls on the Orthopaedic Ward." Topping out the morning was John H. Bowker, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Miami/Jackson Health System, Florida, the 2011 Hector Kay speaker. His lecture, "The Interwoven Histories of Amputation Surgeries and Prosthetics: the Rig-Veda to the Age of Bionics," praised the cutting-edge that serves to forward O&P and orthopedic surgery.

Robert Gailey Jr., PhD, PT.

The Friday afternoon highlight was ACPOC's Presidential guest speaker, Robert Gailey Jr., PhD, PT, assistant professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Florida. In his presentation titled, "Empowering the Generation of Transformation," Gailey spoke about the need for generational knowledge transfer, specifically, the older generation of amputees mentoring the younger, and the role that sports and physical activities can play in young lives.

Providing a respite from the intense educational offerings and the opportunity to network and re-establish acquaintances was the much anticipated Friday Night Social. This year attendees were treated to a sunset gondola ride to the top of the mountain, followed by dinner at the resort.

ACPOC's 34th annual meeting will cross country borders as the event moves north to the heart of Banff National Park, Banff , Alberta, Canada, April 11-14, 2012.