In October, students in the Master of Prosthetics-Orthotics (MPO) program at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) coordinated and hosted two OPAF First Clinics as part of their second-year education. Students in the MPO program have led the introductory level recreation events for the physically challenged population in Dallas for seven consecutive years. The First Dance and First Volley Tennis clinics were held on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The events were made possible with grant funding from the Barr Amputee Assistance Fund and financial support from Spinal Tech, West Yarmouth, Massachusetts; ALPS South, St. Petersburg, Florida; and SPS, Alpharetta, Georgia.
First Dance was led by Kellen Weigand, a second year O&P student who has a dance background. Weigand introduced the tango, the box step, a Texas two-step, and more to a group of participants and fellow students and volunteers. Darren Kindred, First Volley’s director, led the tennis portion and was assisted by Cindy Benzon, an instructor with the United States Tennis Association Texas. Local clinicians participated in both events.
The three student leaders were Cristalei Polk, Aaron Greene, and Olivia Sheffer.
“As a student body, the UT Southwestern Prosthetics and Orthotics Master’s program was honored to host the Dallas 2019 First Clinics. We were very excited to reach out to our local prosthetic user population and help individuals learn how to, or continue to, participate in extracurricular activities in their community,” they said.