The Amputee Coalition boasted three major accomplishments in 2022:
- The largest was a return to our annual conference, where we connected, engaged, and created synergy. Members got to come together in person after the pandemic interruption and reconnect with old friends and make new ones in Palm Desert, California.
- The second major accomplishment was the return of Youth Camp. Youth living with limb loss and limb difference had a fantastic time learning, creating new and growing old friendships, and having fun with caring adults.
- Finally, the Administration for Community Living, which provides vital funding for our organization, continues to partner with us and has full confidence in the Coalition mission and team.
New Strategic Initiatives
- We launched our new Youth Engagement Program, which provides amputee youth ages 10-17 opportunities through education and training, Youth Camp, life skills resources, mentorship, and workforce development.
- We commissioned a new study of limb loss and limb difference in partnership with Avalere Health, who will develop an analysis plan of the prevalence of LL/LD in the United States, with prevalence counts by specific characteristics and utilization habits of the community.
- We published the results of the largest survey to date of people living with limb loss and limb difference. The findings of this first-of-its-kind community needs survey will assist the Coalition with raising awareness and informing priorities for the quality of care.
- We established a program for regional ambassadors to serve as the voice of our advocates. Volunteer ambassadors serve two-year terms and will help us increase our responsiveness to community needs, and the first six will begin their terms in January.
- The new Ambassadors and Community Champions program allows us to expand the voice of the limb loss and limb difference community. These influencers, inquiring minds, networkers, and storytellers will reinvigorate the current community and increase the visibility of what we do.
- We found new ways to tell the powerful stories of community members. The #WeTHRIVE story campaign raises awareness of the resilience, strength, and courage of our community. The THRIVE blog is the go-to source of news and valuable information on limb loss and limb difference.
Prioritizing the Limb Loss Community
- Our inaugural Congressional Champions Awards honored four members of Congress who advocated on behalf of the limb loss and limb difference community: Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY), who were the primary sponsors of the Access to Assistive Technology and Devices for Americans Study Act.
- The Amputee Coalition endorsed eight letters to Congress and the Biden administration in support of the limb loss and limb difference community. Topics ranged from the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act to funding for the National Limb Loss Resource Center to bridging health equity gaps for people with disabilities and chronic conditions.
- We introduced online lead advocate training for our volunteers to learn about issues facing the limb loss and limb difference community, our policy priorities, and the skills to become effective advocates. The self-paced training can be completed in 90 minutes.
- The Amputee Coalition welcomed more than 700 people to the National Conference Aug. 10-13 in Palm Desert, California. With the theme “Growing Our Community to Shape the Future,” the conference had special focuses on health equity; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and youth engagement. The event spotlighted education and engagement across all our program areas: education, support, prevention, and advocacy.
- Youth Camp ran in conjunction with the National Conference. Campers ages 10-17 and their parents came together with counselors and leaders in training for the first time in three years. Campers engaged in enriching programs and peer support, and there were new opportunities for parents to participate in their own support sessions and in National Conference activities.
Growing Staff Capacity
Our staff greatly increased in size this year with the addition of these positions.
- Social media specialist: Responsible for researching and developing informed social media campaigns
- Senior executive assistant to the president and CEO: Supports the CEO, executive suite, and board of directors in operations of the Coalition
- Workforce development manager: Builds and implements training and resources to assist people who are new or returning to the workforce
- YEP outreach coordinator: Assists in the development and implementation of engagement programs and resources to facilitate a national network
- Digital media and graphic design specialist: Develops the design of digital and print products, from conception to completion
- Director of community engagement: Directs the administrative activities supporting all healthcare partners, peer support, and youth/family programs
- Communications manager: Manages internal and external communications processes and strategies
- Editor: Supports the writing, editing, and proofreading of inMotion magazine, the THRIVE blog, and other publications
- Events specialists: Responsible for managing timelines and producing event experiences that uplift the community
- Information and referral specialist: Responds to inquiries from limb loss and limb difference community
- Government relations specialist: Advances federal, state, and grassroots initiatives to educate policymakers and activists
- Healthcare partners and underserved communities manager: Responsible for creating and implementing hospital partnerships program and building community relationships
- Peer support programs specialist: Responsible for the implementation and execution of activities, including deliverables for peer support programs related to minority and underserved populations
- Chief programs officer: Provides the overall vision and direction for the enhancement of programs and partnerships
- Communications specialist: Supports a variety of communications strategies and activities and graphic design production for inMotion magazine
We look forward to another prosperous year in 2023!