Arturo Vázquez Vela, CPO, FAAOP, passed away on April 18 in Mexico City, Mexico.
In 1977, Vázquez Vela became the first Mexican citizen to receive the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC) certification in orthotics; he received his ABC certification in prosthetics in 2001.
In 1993, he and his brother Eduardo Vázquez Vela Sánchez, MD, an orthopedist, founded the Centro para la Rehabilitacion Integral de Minusvalidos del Aparato Locomotor (CRIMAL), Queretaro, Mexico, a nonprofit rehabilitation clinic that provides prostheses to those who may not be able to afford them otherwise. In 2001, to create a certification process within Mexico, Vázquez Vela and several colleagues began development of the Mexican Bar for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics (Barra Mexicana para la Certificacion en Ortesis y Prostesis (BAMCOP)).
He continued to serve as the technical director at CRIMAL as well as serving patients at his practice, Órtesis y Prótesis Vázquez Vela (Vázquez Vela Orthotics and Prosthetics), Mexico City, until his death.
“Arturo was one of the most compassionate and generous practitioners I’ve had the pleasure of knowing,” said Joel Kempfer, CP, in an OANDP-L listserv posting. “He was extremely proud of his profession and worked tirelessly to elevate its stature in Mexico. He almost single-handedly developed, wrote, and administered the BAMCOP certification for Mexican practitioners. He served as instructor and mentor to countless Mexican practitioners, and provided independence through his talents to thousands of Mexican amputees…. Arturo touched many lives here in the United States and of course in his beloved Mexico. He will be deeply missed.”
Funeral arrangements are pending in Mexico City.