Dear Amputee Coalition Community,
The new year often marks a time for new beginnings. Every year, people set goals and look at ways to grow and improve, and I hope you all are excited for what 2022 can bring. This New Year will also bring a new chapter in my life as I say farewell to the Amputee Coalition for a new Executive Director role. For 13.5 years, I’ve had the pleasure of working at the Coalition in various roles, most recently as the Chief Policy & Programs Officer, leading our programs and services and growing support for our community.
In my time with the Coalition, I’ve had the opportunity to see incredible growth. Together, we have increased revenue for the National Limb Loss Resource Center (NLLRC) by over 400% to allow us to serve more people with limb loss and limb difference. We also grew by more than 700% the number of materials and resources disseminated to people living with limb loss and limb difference and have developed new resources. We developed and expanded partnerships with O&P organizations and launched the hospital partnership program to connect patients with resources in clinical settings.
During my tenure, the Coalition initiated the Lead Advocate Program and conducted six annual Hill Days/Advocacy Forums and conducted countless advocacy trainings. With your engagement, we’ve developed hundreds of advocates across the country. We partnered with state advocates to pass 11 state laws (bringing the total to 20) requiring coverage for prosthetic and orthotic devices with private insurers, and we increased research funding for prosthetic and orthotic device outcomes.
We successfully introduced federal legislation to enhance access to prosthetic and orthotic coverage and advocated for the inclusion of prosthetic devices in the essential health benefits of the Affordable Care Act under the ‘rehabilitative and habilitation services and devices’ requirement. We worked with thousands of you to stop a Medicare Local Coverage Determination in 2015 that would have significantly limited access to prosthetic care.
Our national sponsorships and donations have also grown substantially over the years allowing the Coalition to do more for the community, and I can’t thank our sponsors and supporters enough. Additionally, our National Conference attendance increased by over 30% to our largest ever in-person event with over 1,300 attendees in 2019, prior to the pandemic.
As I reflect on my time with the Amputee Coalition, I am grateful to have shared these moments of success over the years with you. Because of your commitment and support, the Coalition continues to strengthen its impact for people living with limb loss and limb difference. So, I thank you for the opportunity to serve with you and be a part of this amazing community.
All the growth we’ve experienced hasn’t been without challenges. Its been a result of vision, time, determination, consistency, patience, and working together. All these skills I’ll take with me and are the skills that remain essential to allow our community to continue to build together.
The Coalition stands strong, and the leadership and staff remain dedicated to serving and supporting the community more than ever before. As we look ahead to a post-COVID world, our community is effectively overcoming unprecedented challenges. Our national advocacy efforts will continue to move federal policy that will enhance support for our community. Our programs, resources and support will continue to grow stronger with your support and as we develop more partnerships. Our communications will take the stories and experiences of our dynamic community members to the next level.
It is the personal stories and experiences that have been shared, the friendships, and the strong sense of community and desire to help others that make the Amputee Coalition unique, and what I will continue to cherish.
Thanks for all you’ve done—and all you will do, and I wish you the best moving forward,