Amputee Coalition 2022 National Conference in Desert Palm, CA - August 10-13.

2022 National Conference Program

8:15 am – 9:15 am

#ALM – Amputee Lives Matter in Corporate America
Harleen Chhabra

Sinatra 1 – 3

As an amputee, a mother and a corporate leader, I invite you to discuss a case for action to make our needs heard in a practical way in a typical workplace. Whether you are a seasoned corporate worker or planning to begin your career, I will explore answers to three questions that most amputees working in a typical American corporation will have to deal with:

  1. How to introduce your disability?
  2. How to become an active advocate so impractical policies don’t hinder your career?
  3. How to react when people behave as people sometimes do?

Join me on a journey as I take you through personal stories of career ups and downs, navigating the labyrinth of company professionals, policies and politics.


8:15 am – 9:15 am

Choosing the Right Terminal Device for You
Amy Todd, OT
Kelly Dunbar, OT

Sinatra 4 – 6

Kelly and a patient model will help attendees learn about the different types of myoelectric terminal devices. People who attend this course will understand the functional differences between each option and be more informed when deciding on the right terminal device.


8:15 am – 9:15 am

How to discover and develop personal resiliency
Kevin Carroll, MS, CP, FAAOP(D)
Leslie Green, MA,MA,MA,MSW,Ed.S

Sinatra 9 – 11

  • Attendees will discover how to adapt quicker, and thrive as an individual with limb loss or limb difference.
  • Attendees will unlock the energy, insight and personal transformation that will enable them to experience well-being under better circumstances.
  • Attendees will develop resiliency skills

8:15 am – 9:15 am

Advancements in Orthotic bracing for the limb loss community
Wendy Remington, CEO

Sinatra 12 – 14

Chris will explain how orthotic bracing options can provide support for the unaffected limb and contribute to independent mobility.


9:30 am – 10:30 am

Guiding & Amplifying the Limb Difference Community with Art, Advocacy, and Mental Health
Christina B. Kenney, NCC LPC

Sinatra 1 – 3

The audience will view an excerpt of the documentary Limb Loss? Their Loss!: The Untold Stories of the Limb Difference Community. Attendees will explore how limb difference members can navigate through psychosocial and identity models, and explore education & advocacy through community partnerships. 


9:30 am – 10:30 am

Favorite Tips/Tricks and Finds
Denise Hoffman, RN

Sinatra 4 – 6

An interactive session where you are the presenters sharing your favorite tips/tricks, hacks,  finds, and things you’ve learned as an amputee that would be helpful to share with others.  This session is for those wanting to learn, as well as those wanting to share, anything that was a game changer for living your best life as a person with LLLD.  Do you have an innovative way of showering/bathing, driving, or any other activity? Have you found an assistive device or product that changed your life? Do you have a great way to clean those tough stains on your foot shell?  Do you wear flip-flops, and have an innovative way to keep them on?  These are just some examples to get your ideas flowing!


9:30 am – 10:30 am

Superhero Masterclass
Dr. Lincoln Johnson

Sinatra 9 – 11

Superhero Masterclass is based on Joseph Campbell’s a Hero’s Journey and inspires others to find their super strength through looking at adversity and past trauma to discover an origin story and see the good that could be done as they rise from depression, guilt, shame and understanding differences as heroic and tenacious.


9:30 am – 10:30 am

Disability as the Forgotten Minority in American Corporate Culture
Luka Erceg, JD, LLM, MBA, CTP, CIRA, CPFA

Sinatra 12 – 14

Despite wokeness for minorities, persons with disabilities (PWDs) face significant barriers to their participation in Corporate America. The U.S. Constitution provides for significant pro-disability federal legislation, but disability discrimination protections afforded by the 14th Amendment are dramatically inadequate when compared to protections provided other protected minority groups.

Even with laws such as the ADA, employment of PWDs is stubbornly low with 4 of 5 disabled persons being unemployed. The lack of real protections allows states and companies to discriminate against PWDs, as there is neither a legal nor cultural imperative. We will consider the NASDAQ’s patent exclusion of PWDs in corporate board diversity, and the SBA’s requirement that PWDs prove discrimination to participate in its programs.

Tour inequities in law and culture experienced by a recently disabled PWD in his attempts to re-enter the U.S. economy, takeaway recommendations for legislators to improve access to our nation’s economy for PWDs.


10:45 am – 11:45 am

Size Shouldn’t Matter – Bringing Awareness of the Struggles for Finger Amputees
Jeff Soelberg

Sinatra 1 – 3

What do you use your fingers for? Are they just cosmetic items that you go to the Beauty salon every couple of weeks to have painted? According to most insurance companies, fingers are cosmetic items that don’t need prosthetics. I will educate you about the prosthetics that are on the market today. Pro and cons! You will learn how to go about getting a prosthetic and the fact that not all are the same and you might even need two. Most doctors are not up to date with the technological changes to digit prosthetics in the last 5 years! Discuss how society’s view of size hurts most finger amputees.


10:45 am – 11:45 am

The Future of Online Resources in Amputee and Limb Difference Communities
Mason Endres
Aaron Holm

Sinatra 4 – 6

In this discussion, community leaders come together to dive into the ever-evolving digital landscape and how the amputee and limb difference community can foster even stronger communities by marrying online and offline efforts. We are all stronger together, and when we break through the noise of traditional social media, we are unstoppable. Join this group of experts and organizers to dive into digital tactics that support all of the different demographics in their journey of finding like-minded folks to help each other reach goals and share experiences.


10:45 am – 11:45 am

The Importance of Authentic Communication in a Virtual Community
Leslie Green, MA, MA, MA, MSW, Ed.S
Kevin Carroll, MS, CP, FAAOP(D)

Sinatra 9 – 11

Attendees will identify how authentic communication and participation in virtual communities can enhance their level of relationships within the amputee community. Attendees will be encouraged to discuss the barriers and benefits of engaging in authentic communication and participation in virtual communities. Attendees will leave the conference equipped with the knowledge and skill set to engage in authentic communication and enhance their experience within virtual amputee communities.


10:45 am – 11:45 am

Yoga for All
Eileen Garney

Sinatra 12 – 14

Yoga for All will begin by providing participants with a basic background of Yoga along with its history, philosophies, and styles of practice. Emphasis will be placed on the fluid definition of Yoga and how practicing Yoga and mindfulness can be incorporated into daily living habits and little amounts of time. Presentation will include the many benefits for both emotional and physical health.


2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Introduction to California AgrAbility
California AgrAbility

Sinatra 1 – 3

Provide education on California AgrAbility services that support people living with limb loss to help them continue their work in agriculture successfully, increasing their quality of life, and enhancing mental and physical health and wellbeing.


2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Largest Survey of People with Limb Loss and Limb Difference: Results from the Amputee Coalition 2021 Community Survey
Joe Lynch, Senior Research Scientist, Avalere Health

Sinatra 4 – 6

Joe Lynch of Avalere Health will share the results of the 2021-22 Amputee Coalition Community Survey at the 2022 National Conference. This is the first survey of its kind to address the community’s physical and mental health priorities, as well as challenges often faced when accessing care. The results of the study sets an important baseline for understanding the priorities of LL/LD community, and will help inform priorities that will improve the quality of care that PwLL/LD receive.


2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Limb Care United- Bridging the Divide Between Patients and Community Organizations through Technology
Laduan Smedley, CPO
Carla Reyna

Sinatra 9 – 11

Limb Care Foundation and Unite Us are partnering together to address the unmet social care needs of individuals with limb loss and limb differences through technology. Limb Care Foundation is a California-based non-profit organization, with a global reach, whose mission is to promote multidisciplinary approaches to limb salvage, function, and patient quality of life through relevant & meaningful education, advocacy, and outreach. Programs and services that pertain to amputees include prosthetic component recycling, grants for prosthetic supplies, mentoring opportunities, and much more. Unite Us, is a nationwide technology company, that allows providers across all industries (non-profits, health, city, government, schools, etc.) to send and receive secure electronic referrals, track the progress and outcomes of referrals made, and gain insights into community-level and health equity data, on one shared technological ecosystem. The biggest challenges for the limb loss and limb difference community are centered on access, care, and coverage. Limb Care Foundation and Unite Us partnership aims to address these challenges by “growing our community” and offering a paradigm shift in how individuals access and receive care while tracking the health and social care journey of individuals with limb loss and limb differences.


2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

The Urgent Need for Action to Address Antimicrobial Resistance

Emily Wheeler, Director, Infectious Disease Policy, BIO (moderator)
Diane Shader Smith (panelist)
Katy Grainger: Board of Directors Member, Sepsis Alliance

Sinatra 12 – 14

Superbugs are bacteria or fungi that are resistant to antibiotics and other treatments, a process that’s often referred to as antimicrobial resistance or AMR. From common surgeries to organ transplants, superbugs are on track to undermine decades of medical advances. Globally, drug-resistant bacterial infections killed over 1.2 million people and played a part in 4.95 million deaths in 2019, and superbugs are expected to kill more than 10 million people annually by 2050.

Although clinicians, health policy professionals, governments, industry and the public have recognized the rise of AMR as a growing threat, significant challenges remain in bringing innovative new options to patients. Attend this session to hear a panel of experts discuss the power of the patient voice to improve healthcare outcomes, the challenges for innovation in the antimicrobial sector, and the role of various stakeholders to help address this global public health crisis.


3:45 pm – 4:45 pm

Join the Movement: How amputees in the US can give mobility around the world
Henry Iseman
Anna Szczepanek
Mijamin Strong

Sinatra 1 – 3

Penta’s nonprofit mission to collect & repurpose used prosthetics for amputees in need. 2) The need for mobility-assistive equipment in low- and middle-income countries & how US waste can fill that need. 3) How to make an impact & change lives by donating P&O components to Penta or volunteering.


3:45 pm – 4:45 pm

Move Your Body and Change Your Mind
Inger Brueckner, PT

Sinatra 4 – 6

This movement session is founded on the idea that by engaging both the sensory feedback system and the mind’s processing power, you can more quickly improve the way you move. By increasing the information harnessed, you can improve the precision of your navigation. This is achieved by drawing attention to the body, increasing proprioception feedback and using visualization (both anatomical and imaginary) much in the way Olympic athletes do. The brain is the most powerful tool we have to change our perception of our bodies and movement, but is often not engaged to its maximum potential.


3:45 pm – 4:45 pm

Advancements in Hip Disartic PX Designs
Carlos Sambrano, CP, BOCP, RPT

Sinatra 9 – 11

With new advancements in hip disarticulation/hemi pelvectomy components and innovative socket designs and technology patients are able to lead a more productive lifestyle. It was the norm to have a heavy, uncomfortable and un-cosmetic hip/hemi socket but now with new materials, flexible sockets and carbon fiber the patient can walk with comfort. The socket design covers more surface area to reduce pressures in sensitive areas and increase stability. Now we can utilize ultra-lite materials in combination with flexible urethanes making the socket more comfortable, more hygienic and lightweight. New hip/hemi State of the Art components which include hydraulic hip joints, microprocessor knees and adjustable feet giving energy efficient function, comfort and stability to the patient.


3:45 pm – 4:45 pm

Disabled Veterans Advocacy – VA Structural Review and Claims Related Processes and Experiences
Ron Quade

Sinatra 12 – 14

Attendees interested in the world of U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, its inner workings and the process of claims and USDVA Appeals are encouraged to consider this hour interaction. Included will be information about whole body ratings and effects of loss of limb, the approach of an advocate and interesting information about our approach to VA laws, rules and regulations. Thank you for considering attending this session.


5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Survivor Support Advocacy: The Next Level of Peer Mentorship
L. Bradley Schwartz

Sinatra 1 – 3

Many amputees already use their limb loss experiences to support others who are just beginning to adapt. We share stories, lifestyle tips,
emotional tools, and resources with survivors of all types of traumatic injuries and diseases. Survivor Support Advocacy is a way for peer
mentors to use their knowledge to support patients who are struggling to manage a medical event or health issue. It’s also a great opportunity
to get paid for providing that help. Peer mentors and support group members are uniquely qualified to quickly become Survivor Support
Advocates because they already have much of the training and skills needed.
This presentation will introduce attendees to Survivor Support Advocacy and demonstrate how easy and gratifying it can be for amputees to take
their peer mentorship to the next level by joining the Independent Patient Advocacy movement.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The life-changing benefits of adaptive sports
Thomas Wilson

Sinatra 4 – 6

As an amputee and high-performance athlete with the National Ability Center, Thomas Wilson has deep knowledge and personal experience with adaptive sports and outdoor recreation, and the life-changing benefits it can provide to those with limb loss. He can speak to the incredible power it has on strengthening one’s mind and overall well-being. Wilson will share how being a competitive athlete has altered his life by allowing him to master his craft, boost his self-confidence and be a fierce competitor in 10 Paralympic World Cups across the globe. Snowboarding and surfing have become an outlet for Wilson to express himself freely, relieve stress and channel his energy into educating the public on all the things that are possible for adaptive athletes when you use an “I can” mindset.


5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Advancements in Pediatric Prosthetics
Jillian Okimoto

Sinatra 9 – 11

Jillian will explain the latest pediatric prosthetic technology and provide you with communication strategies to ensure that your child’s prosthesis functions and fits properly. Attendees will learn how to help their child empower their own human potential.


5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Access, Affordability and Quality: A Patient-Focused Blueprint for Real Health Equity
Jennifer Dexter

Sinatra 12 – 14

The National Health Council (NHC) and our members organizations including the Amputee Coalition have historically engaged in health equity advocacy. The COVID-19 pandemic and the national dialogue on equity that emerged in 2020 strengthened our resolve to focus on a more coordinated, mission-focused approach to our health equity work.

Our collective work confirmed where equity gaps exist in the health sector. Through engagement with leaders in the health and other sectors, we found consensus on defining the problem and areas of prioritization, reflected in the recommendations of our report, Access, Affordability and Quality: A Patient-Focused Blueprint for Real Health Equity.

This session will provide an overview of the consensus policy recommendations to advance health equity and engage attendees on actions they can take to help advance these recommendations.