General

2019 TAOP Meeting -A New Beginning

TAOP 2019 - Exhibit Hall

The Texas Association of Orthotists & Prosthetists held their annual meeting at the Hilton San Antonio Hill Country, April 10th through the 13th, 2019.  There were about 100 attendees and over forty exhibitors.  The majority of practitioners were CP’s, CO’s, and CPO’s, and came from as far away as Florida.

The big story to come out of the meeting was the 50-1 vote to combine the TAOP and the TCAAOP.  Letter from the Presidents of both boards.  The new organization will be called the Texas Society of Orthotic and Prosthetic Professionals (TSOPP).  The Texas Chapter of the American Academy of Orthotists will vote in August to finalize the merger.

“The merger has a lot of forward momentum and will be great for orthotic and prosthetic practitioners in Texas, ” said Elizabeth Mansfield, TAOP Administrative Secretary.  “I can’t wait, I’m so excited.”

The content at this year’s conference was as well received as the results of the business meeting.  “We really had outstanding presentations this year, ” said Chad Wallace, TAOP President, “Alicia White, PT was our keynote speaker and she really did an outstanding job.”

Some quotes from the course evaluations:

  • “Very good presentation. Speaker was very knowledgeable regarding the topic presented.  Need more presentations like this.”
  • “Good informative presentation. More presentations of this quality the better.”
  • “This type of presentation is more appropriate than a manufacturer’s “sales” presentation.”
  • “Great introduction – would like to see a follow-up presentation in 2-3 years!!”
  • “Great stuff!!  More like this!”

The top presenters were:

  • Angie Cooper – Medicare Updates:  99.28% Evaluation Score
  • Dennis Janisse, CPed – Common Foot Problems – 98.55% Evaluation Score
  • Alicia White, PT – Improving Professional Relationships – 98.43% Evaluation Score

The exhibitors had a lot of good things to say about the event:

  • “Great show. This meeting is better than quite a few others I attend.”
  • “Nice job on the event, looking forward to the next one!”
  • “Perfect as usual.”
  • “Excellent food! Love the passbook.”

The food at the Hilton San Antonio Hill Country was outstanding and deserves mention.  Check out the deserts…

TAOP 2019 - Dessert Table

In all likelihood this was the final TAOP meeting.  But next year will be the first TSOPP meeting.  One chapter ends and another begins.  The combined knowledge, resources, and personalities of both the TAOP and the TCAAOP should make for a memorable conference.  See you next year, we are looking forward to it.

General

Over 30,000 CEUs

30000

Instructors for Clinical Education Concepts reached a huge milestone this month.  We have now provided over 30,000 hours of continuing education to about 14,000 individual therapists.

Orthotists and prosthetists are teaching Clinical Education Concept’s course material in over 30 different states.  And even though we are making significant strides in bridging the gap between O&P and the therapy community there is still so much work that needs to be done.

Physical therapists are lucky if they receive 3 credit hours of prosthetic training throughout their entire collegiate careers.  The therapy community is eager to learn about treating people with limb and functional loss.  Dermatological problems, gait issues, mobility, documentation…there is so much information to share.

Collaboration is important for people with limb loss to reach their full potential.  Providing in-services is a great way to share knowledge and position yourself as the subject-matter expert in your community.

General

GSOP in Alpharetta – Huge Success!

Exhibit Hall - Busy 2

Attendee Comments

  • This was the best GSOP so far!
  • Great meeting & Staff! Prepared and informed for all participants.
  • Great exhibit hall layout.  Love the Passbook!
  • Great spot! Would love to see future meetings at the Hotel Avalon!
  • Nice venue, nice rooms
  • Please select same venue again.
  • Alpharetta was a great location. Hotel was excellent.
  • Let’s do this again here at Avalon!
  • Perfect 😊

Top Presenters

  1. Susan Ruediger:  Overview of Charcot-Marie-Tooth.  98% Evaluation Average
  2. Laura Scott, PT, DPT:  Prosthetic Pain Options.  97% Evaluation Average
  3. Daniel Hickey:  Socket Design and Alignment Techniques.  96% Evaluation Average

Top Sponsors

  1.  SureStep:  Gold Sponsor
  2.  ALPS South:  Lunch and Golf Sponsor
  3. Freedom Innovations:  Break Sponsor
  4. Friddles Orthopedic Appliances:  Break Sponsor
  5. SPS:  Break Sponsor
  6. Bulldog Tools:  Badge Holders and Golf Sponsor
  7. Ossur:  Charging Station Sponsor
  8. Cascade Orthopedic Supply: Golf Towels

Golf Outing Winners

Golf - Winners

Kim Dell, Shane Grubs, Matthew Nelson, Jamie Seabold

General

Partnering with Therapists Becoming More Prevalent

collaborate

Betta Ferrendelli’s recent article in the O&P Edge, Partnering With Therapists: Improving Patient Access and Outcomes Through Collaboration, is a good look at why the relationship between O&P and the therapy community is so important.

Physical Therapists are lucky if they receive three credit hours of O&P training throughout their entire collegiate careers.  So who better to educate therapists about orthotics and prosthetics than orthotists and prosthetists?

Providing regular in-services to your therapists is a great way to strengthen relationships and showcase your expertise as a clinician.  Learn more about education-based marketing.

Marketing with Mansfield

Forest, Meet Trees! Why You Need to Market to Your EXISTING Customers.

SeeingForestI got a call from a salesperson friend of mine in O&P. They had an interesting anecdote they wanted to share. The company they work for had received an unsolicited testimonial regarding a component they sell and the happy customer/patient wanted to know if they’d be able to “be active, like the amputee guy I saw on TV?

The sales-friend was taken aback. The patient’s prosthetist is a well known and respected practitioner. Capable, compassionate and talented. The patient using their component was certainly physically able to be just as active as “TV guy.” Sales-friend’s first thought was “Why are they asking us and not their prosthetist?” Their second thought was “I better call Elizabeth and let her know!” (What a good friend!)

So here we are – getting ready to talk about why it’s so important to market to your existing customers. By market I mean, of course, let them know what services you provide, what products and services there are available, what your other patients are up to. It’s also important to solicit feedback regularly. I wonder if the patient who yearned to do more only realized that it was possible AFTER watching ‘TV guy” do his thing?!?!

Your current customers – referral sources, customers, patients, family and friends – are as close to a captive audience as you can possibly get. Whether they are physically visiting your office or if you are providing them with written or digital communications, they are most likely receptive and interested in information you can share with them. For any business to grow, it needs new customers but it also needs its existing customers to remain and to stay happy and satisfied.

If the yearning-to-do-more patient happened across information, word of mouth or marketing materials for another practitioner, one that they felt offered them something they weren’t able to get, even if it was as simple as encouragement to pursue their dreams, more than likely they’d be a lost customer. People like to feel like they belong! They like to feel like they are understood. Sharing testimonials from a wide range of patients with the rest of your patients is an excellent way of marketing to your existing customers.

I am a big fan of using short, sweet, “in their own words” types of testimonials in marketing materials. Facebook, websites, Instagram and EMAIL NEWSLETTERS are where you want to use these accolades. It’s content you don’t need to create yourself! It’s more authentic. What’s more effective? “We provide our patients with the highest quality orthotic and prosthetic devices.” Or “My prosthetist, J.P., worked with me every single day after school until I was confident enough with my running leg to try out for the track team.”

A lot of people in healthcare professions are in them because they really truly want to help people, to make their lives better. They are uncomfortable doing what they feel is bragging or boasting. “I’m just doing my job” when someone thanks them for changing their life for the better.

As my grandfather used to say when he wanted to change the subjet – “Let’s get off that kick!” You need to work harder at letting your existing customers know how you can make their lives, and the lives of their friends and relatives, even better. Take an active role in communicating your successes to your captive audience and have them help you grow your business. Let’s get ON that kick!

General, US ISPO

US ISPO Announcement – Interim Director and New Contact Info

George GondoThe United States Member Society of the International Society of Prosthetics & Orthotics (US ISPO) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that George Gondo has accepted the position of Interim Director of US ISPO. We are confident he will provide strong leadership during this time of transition following the departure of Dianne Farabi who announced her retirement from US ISPO last March.

George has over twenty years of leadership, development and management experience in non-profit and community based organizations, most recently with the Amputee Coalition. Board chair Elizabeth Mansfield said, “In choosing an interim director, the board started by identifying immediate priorities for the coming months, including building partnerships, improving communications, and operational efficiency. We feel that George is the right person to lead the organization while it addresses these and other important issues.”

George will partner with the US ISPO Board of Directors on organizational
and strategic planning, and oversee US ISPO’s relocation. Our commitment is
to maintain our high standards during the transition and continue to offer
the organization a promising future. Please join me in welcoming George
Gondo to US ISPO, and don’t hesitate to reach out to him with any questions
or concerns at 833-487-4776, usispo.director@gmail.com. You may also
contact Elizabeth Mansfield, Board Chair, US ISPO  at 844-347-0738, or
elizabeth@cecpo.com.

US ISPO has all new contact information, please update your files
accordingly.

US ISPO
143 Boardman-Canfield Road
Suite 303
Boardman, OH 44512
(833) 4 US ISPO
(833) 487-4776 phone/fax
director.usispo@gmail.com
www.usispo.org