Thursday, January 22, 2015

Your Information Source



From navigating medical jargon to home modifications, we know that adjusting to limb loss can be daunting. Many times the individual and their family feel like they are thrown into a completely new world and feel lost and frustrated. Internet searches can provide conflicting and misinformation.  The staff in the Amputee Coalition's Resource Center stands ready to provide much needed answers and information, helping to guide individuals through the confusing and often overwhelming adjustment of living with limb loss. 

Our Resource Center staff is highly trained and knowledgeable in a wealth of limb loss related topics. All of the information we provide has been thoroughly vetted through our Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee, ensuring the accuracy behind what we convey.  From locating resources in your local community and nationally, to answering questions about recovery, we are here to help.  Contacting a Resource Specialist is as easy as calling our office during business hours at (888) 267-5669 or filling out our convenient online form

The most commonly requested information is available 24 hours a day on our website. Many of our fact sheets have been translated into Spanish and can be found here. We are delighted to have teamed up with AudioEye to provide print to speech website access for our visually impaired community.

In addition to the resources available on our website, the Amputee Coalition has authored numerous print resources. First Step is an information packed guide for adjusting to and living well with limb loss.  It can be ordered online using this link or requested through our Resource Center. The Spanish translated edition of First Step is now available and can be ordered here.  Our highly acclaimed Insurance Coverage & Reimbursement Guide provides assistance on how to become a successful self-advocate, information on private insurance and government programs, as well a detailed description of navigating through the insurance denial process.  Our award winning magazine inMotion is published 6x a year and provides contemporary information and unique perspectives from the limb loss community. 

The Amputee Coalition is committed to being the trusted resource for the limb loss community. We are here to help!




Friday, January 16, 2015

Application Time!

The Amputee Coalition is delighted to announce that applications for the Amputee Coalition 2015 Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp and the Christina Skoski, M.D. Scholarship are now available on our web site
 
Our traditional youth camp is open to all children between the ages of 10-17 who are living with limb loss.  Unlike other youth camps, we cover all expenses (including travel) for our campers through fundraising efforts. This year we have been able to add an extra day of camp allowing our campers more time to spend with their friends and to participate in more activities.
 
This year the youth camp will be hosted as it has been in previous years at Camp Joy in Clarksville, Ohio, and will be held from July 10-15. Applications are now being accepted for this life changing experience. The deadline for applying is March 20, but don't delay. You don't want to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity provided at no cost thanks to our many supporters!
 
The Christina Skoski, M.D. Scholarship is a $1,000 academic scholarship for one full-time undergraduate student who has a congenital limb difference or an amputation and who is enrolled in a higher education institution during the 2015-2016 year. The applicant and/or their parent/guardian must be a registered friend of the Amputee Coalition.  (It's easy and free to become a registered friend.  Just click here.
 
Applications for this academic scholarship are now being accepted.  Detailed information about the scholarship requirements and the application process are provided on our web site. All required materials must be postmarked no later than April 6, 2015, to be considered for this scholarship.
 
We are excited to bring these opportunities to our community. The Amputee Coalition 2015 Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp and the Christina Skoski, M.D. Scholarship are just two of the ways that we are working for and engaging our community. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Proud Year



2014 has been a year of growth for the Amputee Coalition. We are proud to highlight our organizational achievements from the past 12 months.

The Amputee Coalition has seen a 55% increase in the number of peer visits during 2014.  We have developed the Your New Journey material, a new patient information packet called, which includes the newest edition of First Step and inMotion magazine for our certified peer visitors to share during their visits. In order to reach the maximum number of new amputees, we have forged 10 new hospital partnerships during the past year.  All of our newly certified 151 certified peer visitors have a ongoing relationship with a hospital so that patients can receive prompt visits. 

Our support group network is continuing to grow. We now have over 300 registered support groups in our network, and that number is growing rapidly. You can learn more about adding your support group to our network by clicking here.

We hosted twelve Limb Loss Education Days (LLED) across the country in 2014. Our educational seminars, paired with and adaptive sport and recreation activity managed through OPAF's First Clinics, were well-received by the nearly five hundred attendees.  With the continuation of our LLED's and the upcoming National Conference, we look forward to providing more education and networking opportunities in the coming year. 

Our advocates have been busy working on insurance fairness legislation in twelve key states. We have also developed policy briefs on the Affordable Care Act and Social Security which were disseminated to members of Congress.  In order to empower the community, we published the Insurance Coverage and Reimbursement Guide: How to BeYour Own Advocate. This informative publication provides concise and detailed information about navigating through policy red tape.

In addition to translating all of our patient education materials, our Resource Center has directly responded to more than 2100 requests for information. We have added numerous resources to our website and continue to work on updating our database. 

In June we hosted our largest youth camp to date with over 130 campers and counselors in attendance. Our campers came from 32 states and Germany. To learn more about our youth camp, click here.

Our booming Facebook page received the APEX Award in the Spring of 2014. This fall the Amputee Coalition received the Organizational Spirit Award from the Kessler Rehabilitation Institute to recognize our commitment to the care and the empowerment of the limb loss community.

We are proud of our accomplishments in 2014 and plan on using these successes as a springboard for 2015. Thank you for your continued interest and support.  We look forward to the work that lies ahead in the coming months.
         

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year Resolutions? We Can Help!

It is difficult to believe that 2015 is just a few days away. The start of a new calendar is often accompanied by an optimism to make lifestyle changes. The indulgence of the holidays becomes a memory as many resolve to become more active, slimmer and healthier. The Amputee Coalition wants to help make those resolutions a reality.
 
We are excited to launch our first healthier living e-newsletter series aimed at helping our readers stick to those resolutions. This complimentary series of e-newsletters will provide concrete information about diet and exercise specifically geared for the limb loss community.  These e-newsletters are a collaborate effort between the Amputee Coalition and the Centers for Disease Control to address the unique needs and issues of those with limb loss. 
 
Each week a concise and informative e-newsletter will be sent focusing on a specific topic related to healthier living.  The themes include:
  1. Introduction to Healthy Meals and Staying Active
  2. Adding Exercise to Your Daily Routine
  3. All About Nutrition Labels
  4. Ways to Eat Healthier
  5. Staying Motivated
 You can sign up for this free e-newsletter series here through December 30. While there is no charge for these e-newsletters, we do ask that participants complete a brief survey at the conclusion of the series.  We invite you to join us in making 2015 healthier through simple lifestyle adjustments.
 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Travel Tips

Traveling with a prosthetic can be a daunting experience, especially for the novice traveler. However, a little preparation and some knowledge can make the experience of getting to your holiday destination easier and less stressful.
 
For those who are traveling by air this holiday season, be aware that TSA has increased their security screening procedures. It is recommended that the passengers requiring extra screening, including those living with limb loss and utilizing assistive devices, arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before departure to accommodate for additional screening time should it be deemed necessary. During the holiday rush, it may be prudent to allow even more time to navigate the congested lines. Keep in mind that TSA procedures vary according to the screening technology available at each airport, but a comprehensive list of general expectations when going through the security process can be found here.
 
Many airports now utilize full body scanners. Being cleared through the use of this device makes additional screening, including the pat down, unnecessary. Know that your prosthesis and hands will still be swabbed for explosives. Should you refuse the full body scanner, or if the airport does not utilize this technology, the traveler can expect a pat down and swab screening.  You have the right to request a private screening, but know that this may add time to the screening process. The agent may take a piece of cloth and rub both the prosthetic and your hands for explosive residue.  At no time should you be requested to remove your prosthesis during the screening process.  Issues or questions about TSA screenings should be directed to the agency through this link.
 
For those who are traveling by rail this season, rest assured that Amtrak provides an array of accommodations for passengers with disabilities.  Information concerning the accessibility of their trains and stations can be obtained by contacting a reservation representative at 800/USA-RAIL (800/872-7245) or by visiting their Web site at www.amtrak.com. It is recommended that accommodation requests be submitted at least 24 hours prior to travel.
 
If you are traveling by bus, we recommend contacting the carrier to discuss specific accommodations. Each bus line offers different accessibility options, and it is best to contact them about your individual needs at least 48 hours before you depart.
 
Packing some simple amenities can make staying away from home more comfortable and accessible. You might want to consider bringing a suction cup grab bar and folding shower stool. Although most hotels provide a shower chair upon request, the requests are honored on a first come/ first serve basis and there is often no guarantee that one will be available when you check in. Being prepared with an additional liner and sleeve (if appropriate) will help stave off a panic should something malfunction while on vacation. Should you have a prosthetic malfunction on vacation, a list of Prosthetic facilities can be found on our website.  A little planning on the front end of your holiday trip could help stave off frustration.
 
Whether you are staying home or traveling this season, we would like to wish you a Happy Holidays!