December 2020 Editor's Note

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By Andrea Spridgen

Relationships are atthe heart of successful O&P care, and for most practices those relationships extend beyond the individual patients to the communities in which they provide care. As we find ourselves in the throes of a pandemic and on the heels of an extremely contentious election cycle, maintaining strong relationships within our communities has become more important and more challenging than ever. In spite of that, we have seen how those within the O&P profession have used their creativity and compassion to support patients and the profession. In this issue we share how clinics are connecting with their communities and what may be in store for O&P after the dust of the election has settled.

Many practices have rich traditions of philanthropy and volunteerism within their communities, which includes hosting events. But current conditions are preventing them from their usual participation in these activities. "O&P Community Involvement Thrives Despite Pandemic" discusses how several clinics have gotten creative to reach their communities, support patients, and foster connections. Solutions include contactless assembly of care kits, Zoom happy hours with clients, and extending remote repair services to patients who normally receive care at clinics that had to temporarily close due to COVID-19.

"Understanding Community Development" helps put O&P care into the larger societal context. While O&P is a small segment of healthcare, it is interconnected with the larger social, political, and civic systems that impact patients' lives. Understanding this connection gives clinicians the ability to provide more expansive care that encompasses knowledge of the community resources, such as financial, transportation, or health programs, to support positive patient outcomes.

While election results are not yet final in some races, "Close Election Leaves Murky O&P and Healthcare Policy Agenda" provides some insight as to what is next for healthcare policy and its impact on the O&P
profession.

In closing, I'd like to thank you all for being part of our EDGE community. Wishing you peace and health this season.

Happy reading.