Hanger Education Fair

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By Andrea Spridgen

Exclusive live coverage by The O&P EDGE

Carroll and Molina

Kevin Carroll, with Molina, presents during one of the educational sessions.

Asar

Asar addresses the attendees during the opening ceremony.

Partnerships and Patient Focus

The 2013 Hanger Education Fair and National Meeting, held February 4-8 in Las Vegas, Nevada, carried a message of partnerships and patient focus as Rick Taylor, president and chief operating officer (COO) of Hanger Clinic, Austin, Texas, and Kenneth Wilson, president and COO of Hanger subsidiary SPS, headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, kicked off the opening ceremony. Wilson set the tone for the education fair and subsequent meetings, stressing three key principles to guide the meeting: enhancing the brand, establishing connections, and remembering that "none of us is as strong as all of us."

Patient care and the patients themselves were celebrated throughout the rest of the opening ceremony as Hanger Clinic patients who had participated as athletes or torchbearers in the London 2012 Paralympic Games commented on their experiences. Speakers included British Royal Marine Mark Ormrod, Bradley Johnson, Maya Nakanishi, David Prince, Kari Miller, Jeremy Campbell, Laurens Molina, and Katy Sullivan. A common refrain among these athletes was that they felt like they had made personal connections with the Hanger practitioners who had treated them. Comparing her experience at Hanger to her experience in military amputee clinics, Miller said, "I just wanted to get up and walk. And at Hanger [they] treated me like a person."

Shurr accepts award

Attendees and exhibitors converse about product offerings in the exhibit hall.

Shurr accepts award

Johnson shares his Hanger story as Prince and Nakanishi look on. All photographs courtesy of Hanger.

Hanger President and CEO Vinit Asar concluded the opening ceremony by thanking Hanger patients and urging participants to take advantage of the opportunities for communication, education, and motivation during the remaining events.

The annual event drew more than 1,500 people, including about 800 clinicians and nearly 120 exhibitors with about 330 representatives. The educational sessions offered a variety of subjects across 136 accredited courses. Some of the most well-attended sessions included "MPKs, the Standard of Care," "Hanger Pediatric Orthotics Program," "Adapting to Change," "MP Feet, the Standard of Care," "Orthotic Grand Rounds," "Prosthetic Grand Rounds," and "2013 Coding and Compliance Updates."

In addition to the educational sessions, attendees enjoyed a Viva Las Vegas-themed exhibitor appreciation reception, which featured a photo booth, non-betting gaming tables where participants could learn to play casino games, a goodie-bag candy wall, music, and other games. At the reception, Wilson also announced that SPS is re-envisioning its relationship with manufacturers. He said, "In an effort to do our part to help the O&P industry thrive in these new and developing conditions, we at SPS are working to identify ways to drive the greatest value at the highest level of quality and efficacy for our patients, our customers, and those who partner with us. This means we will be working closer with our manufacturing vendors, and as such, we will no longer refer to this key group simply as 'vendors.' They are now our 'supply chain partners,' and their full participation in collaboration with us will lead to greater value for all involved."

The next Hanger Education Fair and National Meeting will be held February 3-7, 2014, at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas.