By Marty Carlson, CPO
The 3rd biennial Orthotics-Prosthetics Uniting Frontiers Conference was held May 23th through 27th, 2009 at the Intercontinental Playa Bonita Resort in Panama. I had the honor of presenting information relating to ankle-foot biomechanics and Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. Other presenters included people throughout the Americas and several European Countries. The Uniting Frontiers conference is a multi-disciplinary event held under the auspices of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO). Many Latin American countries have ISPO national member societies. That has created an organizational structure for cooperation among all the professionals (orthotists, prosthetists, therapists, nurses, physicians, surgeons, etc.) surrounding the provision of the orthotic and prosthetic services in that region.
I have been involved in many orthotics & prosthetics (O&P) educational conferences and practical workshops in the region since 1981. In my estimation, the quality of the O&P education, services and leadership in that region has progressed at an accelerating rate. The Latin American middle class is growing and along with it, the expectations of high quality O&P services. ISPO members in the region are working hard to make world class services available to them. That philanthropic part of the Western hemisphere is also home to some extraordinary home-grown, local, privately funded organization dedicated to providing high quality rehabilitation services to people in all economic circumstances. The vitality of these organizations and professionals is astounding. They are moving fast!
Marty Carlson, CPO, is the Founder and Chief Designer at Tamarack™ Habilitation Technologies, Minneapolis, MN.