Notes from US ISPO: PacRim 2014

Pacific Rim (PacRim) 2014, a Pacific Forum for Physical Rehabilitation, sponsored by the U.S. Member Society of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (US ISPO) in cooperation with The O&P EDGE, took place Sunday, January 26, through Wednesday, January 29, at the Marriott Waikoloa, Hawaii. The speakers included physicians, nurses, physical therapists, engineers, and O&P practitioners. Attendees came from Europe, Asia, Africa, the United States, and Canada.

Bengt Söderberg, CPO

Söderberg gives his keynote address, "Is There Any Future in P&O, and How Can We Influence That?" Photographs courtesy of Terry Supan.

Bengt Söderberg, CPO (Sweden), president of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO), gave the Rodney Pang, CPO, Keynote Presentation. Söderberg pointed out the trends showing an ever-increasing need for P&O-related services due to the aging population and the improving economic conditions in corners of the world that historically could not afford such services.

The latest, and quite encouraging, data on hip disarticulation rehabilitation success was presented by Karen Andrews, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Mehrsheed Sinaki, MD, MS, a frequent PacRim presenter, also of the Rochester Mayo Clinic, brought everyone up to date on yoga and osteoporosis with her presentation. Ed LeMaire, PhD, associate professor/research/clinical, Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation, Ontario Canada, was unable to attend in person, so he presented via Skype. His presentation was an update of his 2012 World Congress keynote presentation, "Intelligent Biomechanical Machines." Terry Supan, CPO, FAAOP, PacRim program chairperson and US ISPO board member, presented a comprehensive overview of prosthetic ankles and feet in his "Historical Review and Comparison of Prosthetic Ankle Functions," and groundbreaking technology in feet and sockets was presented by industry innovators Van Phillips and Carl Caspers, CPO.

Bengt Söderberg, CPO

Rodney Pang, CPO, owner of Honolulu Orthopedic Supply, and his wife, Marvie, enjoy the festivities. Pang and his colleagues conceptualized and started PacRim.

Here is an interesting PacRim fact: The first biennial Pac- Rim conference was held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Maui, Hawaii, in April 1986. Among the attendees was a young man attempting to get started in the O&P field named Van Phillips. Phillips, who happened to be visiting Maui, introduced the Flex-Foot® to the profession for the first time at that conference.

In addition to the clinical and technical presentations, Pac- Rim hosted a separate Business Boot Camp for the first time. Speakers covered business-related topics from the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC) facility accreditation, to residency best practices, to paperless solutions.

Prior to the start of the conference, attendees had the chance to enjoy a golf outing, complete with views of whales breaching off the coast. On Sunday evening, the exhibitors hosted a reception on the patio with views of a snow-covered Mauna Kea. The festivities concluded with an aloha dinner on Tuesday night that featured live ukulele music and a Hawaiian-inspired menu.

"There was a lot of excitement about the content at this meeting," said Dianne Farabi, US ISPO executive director. "Everyone appreciated the relaxed learning environment and the interactions among all the attendees were wonderful to observe. Now there is already buzz about the next PacRim conference-Kauai anyone?."

-Elizabeth Mansfield, US ISPO vice chair