<img class="" style="float: right;" src="https:\/\/opedge.com\/Content\/OldArticles\/images\/2003-07_10\/Acpoc-Vend-copy.jpg" width="281" height="193" hspace="4" vspace="4" \/>\r\n\r\nVisualize this: over 200 healthcare professionals representing a variety of rehabilitation-related disciplines--orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists, physical and occupational therapists, orthotists, and prosthetists--comingtogether to discuss both formally and informally the latest developments in team rehab. Most of these professionals know one another, some for many years, which leads them into lively presentations, debates, conversations, and friendly banter.\r\n\r\nTheir focus: caring for children with musculoskeletal and neurodevelopmental conditions.\r\n\r\nThis was the setting for the 2003 Annual Meeting of the\r\nAssociation of Children's Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics May 14-17,\r\nSt. Pete Beach, Florida. Attending were a total of 207 scientific\r\nattendees, ten accompanying persons, and 53 exhibit representatives\r\n(many of whom attended sessions) from 34 companies. One\r\northotist\/prosthetist traveled all the way from Nepal. Gyanendra\r\nShrestha, managing director of Orthopedica, an orthopedic\r\nassociation in Nepal, attended with his daughter, Shritu Shrestha,\r\nand his niece, Rashmi Shrestha, a nurse who lives in San Francisco,\r\nCalifornia. Hosts were Kenneth J. Guidera, MD, Janet G. Marshall,\r\nCPO, and Sandra B. Smith, PT, all of Shriners Hospital, Tampa,\r\nFlorida.\r\n\r\nDuring the business meeting, the association voted to hold its\r\n2005 annual meeting in conjunction with the American Academy of\r\nOrthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) in Orlando, Florida, if\r\nfinancially feasible. Next year's meeting is scheduled for March\r\n24-27 in Banff, Alberta, Canada.\r\n<h1>Program Highlights<\/h1>\r\n<img style="float: right;" src="https:\/\/opedge.com\/Content\/OldArticles\/images\/2003-07_10\/Dukat-Sandy.jpg" hspace="4" vspace="4" \/>\r\n\r\nA loving, supportive, athletic family, plus her own indomitable spirit, has made Sandra "Sandy" Dukat a champion. Born with a limb difference leading to amputation of her right foot, Sandy went on to become a member of the US Disabled Swimming Team, participating in the World Championships in New Zealand in 1998, and the US Disabled Ski Team competing in the 2002\r\nParalympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. She took home two bronze medals from the Paralympics, but especially remembers her family, friends, and coworkers cheering her on.\r\n\r\nAlthough Sandy didn't know any other disabled youngsters until she was 14, her family and community gave her a strong sense of belonging and equality. Not until she went to college did she\r\nexperience teasing and being made to feel different and "disabled." "It made me realize that society often defines what is disability,'" she said. Sandy now works to help disabled youngsters achieve their potential and to educate the public about disability. After her inspiring speech and video, the audience rose to give her a standing ovation.\r\n<h1>Here are just a few highlights of the many informative\r\nsessions:<\/h1>\r\nWhat can parents do to ensure care for their disabled child\r\nafter their death? This has become a pressing issue for many\r\nfamilies, since more children with severe disabilities are living\r\ninto adulthood. Tracy-Ann Adams, director of family services for\r\n"Disabled and Alone" Life Services for the Handicapped Inc., a\r\nnonprofit organization in New York City, gave a warm and practical\r\npresentation on how families can provide financially and in\r\npersonal caregiving for disabled loved ones. "Our goal is to help\r\nfamilies see the need for a plan--and to make the plan," she\r\nsaid.\r\n\r\nMary Novotny, RN, founder of the Amputee Coalition of America\r\n(ACA), and oandp.com have teamed up to establish a new nonprofit\r\norganization, the Digital Resource Foundation. Novotny and Paul\r\nPrusakowski, CPO, of oandp.com discussed the new foundation's goals\r\nand initial projects, including free access to a virtual library of\r\northotic- and prosthetic-related material for professionals,\r\nconsumers, students, researchers, and others.\r\n\r\nHugh Watts, MD, showed a video of twin girls with spinal fusion\r\nmuscular atrophy riding ingenious home-made carts enabling them to\r\ngo freely over practically every terrain. The video showed the\r\ngirls, who live in Alaska, riding among various farm animals,\r\nincluding horses, and enjoying a variety of activities.\r\n\r\nAnother video demonstrated a wheelchair with a seat that a\r\nthree-year-old quadrimelic youngster lowers, raises, and controls\r\nby himself, enabling him to independently climb in and out of the\r\ndevice. It was highly enjoyable watching this lively child have fun\r\nexploring his environment.