How we give back
Education and advocacy are the focus of many of our volunteer efforts and activities. It is important to us to highlight awareness of the needs and concerns of persons living with amputation to the public, healthcare community, insurance industry and government.
Perhaps the most rewarding work we do is for the direct benefit of our individual patients. Navigating the world of insurance and government programs that fund prosthetic care is daunting and confusing for most people. If you have suffered a health set-back, this becomes even more difficult. The staff of the Eastern Prosthetic Clinic, although under no obligation to do so, help patients access the benefits they are entitled to so that treatment is possible. This is a time consuming and challenging effort. We like the challenge and pride ourselves in fighting and empowering the patient to fight for what is right and just.
Beyond our doors, our education and advocacy efforts reach far and wide.
These efforts include:
- Speaking engagements at the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) national conferences in Montreal, QC and Huntsville, ON (2010 ans 2011).
- The creation of Alignment magazine, a publication of the Canadian Association for Prosthetics and Orthotics. Kirsten Simonsen founded this magazine to provide education and insight within the profession as well as Canadian physiatrists.
- Kirsten was the volunteer project manager for a national project which identified, catalogued and presented the comprehensive nature of prosthetic and orthotic treatment in Canada.
- Internationally, Kirsten has gone to Haiti as a visiting prosthetist with Healing Hands for Haiti, and has participated in the early organization of education to create prosthetists and orthotists in Haiti, for Haiti. For years patients of the Eastern Prosthetic Clinic have assisted in this activity by donating their old prostheses so that parts could be harvested and used to treat the less fortunate.
- In the summer of 2006 (Kelowna) and 2010 (Quebec City) members of our staff traveled to the CAPO (Canadian Association for Prosthetics and Orthotics) national conference to volunteer with administrative management of the conference. In 2000, Kirsten was the Scientific Chair of the CAPO conference held in St. John’s, NF. Preparing for and participating in these events gives our staff the valuable opportunity to represent the Eastern Prosthetic Clinic and its patients nationally, as well as liaise with other Prosthetists and clinics across the country.