The day-long event, sponsored by the Amputee Coalition, attracted about 130 attendees to the campus’ Physical Therapy Department.
About 130 community members attended a free Limb Loss Education Day on Saturday, March 2, 2019, which was sponsored by the Amputee Coalition and PCOM Georgia’s Physical Therapy Department. The coalition is a donor-supported non-profit based in Manassas, Virginia.
Physical therapist and Professor Carol Miller, PT, PhD, GCS, who works as the director of curriculum and instruction for physical therapy at PCOM Georgia and serves on the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board for the Amputee Coalition, said, “We were so excited to host this conference at PCOM Georgia, especially as the mission of the Amputee Coalition and PCOM both emphasize whole person health.”
Dr. Miller explained, “The goal of the Amputee Coalition is to focus on quality of life, not just the amputation, but the whole individual and to help people in the limb loss community return to their highest level of quality of life.” She added, “Promoting health and wellness is what it’s all about for me as a physical therapist.”
As part of the day’s events, Dr. Miller addressed “Mental Well-being: Living Life to the Fullest” and joined three other physical therapists to stage a mobility clinic which focused on improving health through exercise.
Other topics covered included an introduction to the coalition’s resource center and peer visitor program, living well with limb loss/difference, caregiving and adaptive sports. In addition to the presenters, exhibitors were on hand to share resources, products and services.
Dr. Miller thanked the 15 physical therapy students who helped with the workshop along with physical therapy faculty members including Associate Professor Jennifer Wiley, PT, DPT, director of clinical education, and Professor Jeanne Welch, PT, DPT, NCS. “They represented PCOM and our program so well.” And she offered her appreciation to all of the support staff members at PCOM Georgia who ensured the day-long program ran smoothly.
According to Nathalie Atkins, the coalition’s events manager, the purpose of Limb Loss Education Days is to provide the community with educational sessions, advocacy and adaptive activities in a supportive environment where people can come together to share experiences and get questions answered. In addition, she said, the education days are held to provide community members with an opportunity to build their local network.
Atkins explained that the Amputee Coalition is dedicated to ensuring that no one faces limb loss alone. She said the coalition “works to provide people with limb loss and limb difference, their families and caregivers the resources they need to recover, readjust and live life fully.” She added that the coalition’s network includes more than 350 support groups and more than 1,000 certified peer visitors across the country. The coalition reaches thousands of people every month through the National Limb Loss Resource Center, peer support matching, advocacy and communication.
“Health is multidimensional and encompasses many domains—physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual. That’s why I wanted the Limb Loss Education Day here because that’s what PCOM embraces too,” Dr. Miller said.
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine which has a storied history as a premier osteopathic medical school. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500.
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