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Pittsburgh Branch Tops 500 Mark for OT Professionals In Training

MobilityWorks performs in-service seminars and training fr new OT/PTs
OT students from Chatham University at our Pittsburgh store location.

Arming Future Occupational Therapists with Knowledge to Solve Mobility Needs

For more than 4 years, the Pittsburgh team has been providing training for graduate students in occupational therapy from local universities. The university of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University have been regular participants in the one day seminars designed to help the OT’s perform clinical diagnosis, and to help them determine what kind of driving equipment would be indicated to assure that the patient can drive safely. 

Today it was the students from Chatham University that were back at the branch office for hands on training and product demonstrations. GM Lance Alexander was joined by former driving evaluator turned Certified Mobility Consultant (CMC) Clint Rabold, as well as Dr. Peter Weagraff, in presenting to the group. Pittsburgh CDRS and former ADED President Amy Lane coordinates these events between the schools and MobilityWorks, and she is the one who develops the case studies and course content for the day. 

OT/PT trainig seminars on mobility wheelchair adaptive products
Learning about alternative driving solutions such as "The Conquest" motorcycle are part of the program.

With the 38 students in attendance on June 12th, the Pittsburgh branch has now topped the 500 mark for young OT professionals who received training at the Pittsburgh facility, before going out into clinics and patient homes to begin their very promising, and long careers.

“These therapists will be face to face with patients every day who need the products and services we offer,” said Alexander. “We certainly want to arm them with the knowledge that they need to know what is available and where it can be obtained in an effort to better solve client / patient needs.”

“It’s a win-win-win,” added Dr. Weagraff. “Hopefully with our potential clients winning the most, but also a win for the OT grad students and for MobilityWorks. And frankly, these events are just plain fun to do!”

April is National Limb Loss Awareness Month – 500 Limbs Lost Per Day

Limb loss can happen to young children as well as adults
Limb loss due to medical conditions or accidents affect people of all ages. This young lady was at a Shriner's Hospital for rehabilitation with her prosthetic legs.

It’s estimated that more than 500 Americans lose a limb each day. More than two million Americans are currently living with a limb loss. Amazing statistics that many of us are shocked to hear. Perhaps it’s because prosthetic limbs have come such a long way that it can be hard to tell whether some is missing a limb or not. People with limb loss are around us every day, more than we realize, living full and active lives. I even know of a few police officers who have only one leg, marines who were injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. And they can outrun most any bad guy in a chase! Many of our clients using wheelchair vans and/or hand controls use a prosthetic.

The Amputee Coalition is at the heart of a movement to educate the public about limb loss, especially in April, when they celebrate National Limb Loss Awareness Month. Their mission: to bring awareness about the risk factors and preventative steps that people can take to avoid losing limbs.

There are many causes of limb loss, such as auto accidents or construction injuries. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton lost her arm to a shark! But many amputations that occur in the USA are preventable, due to medical conditions such as diabetes and peripheral vascular disease. The Amputee Coalition website has an informative listing they call “25 Ways to Avoid Limb Loss” with brief description identifying each. Go to their Limb Loss link here.

In addition to awareness, the Amputee Coalition offers scholarship programs, a marketplace for products, community forums for people with different interests and much more. They also have a comprehensive online library of resources, articles and publications called the National Limb Loss Information Center (NLLIC). You to also make donations online to help their cause. Go to www.amputee-coalition.org  learn more about this terrific organization.

National Mobility Awareness Month in May Includes 3 New Wheelchair Vans Going to Essay Contest Winners

NMEDA National Mobility Awareness Month
Three vans will be given away in May as part of the National Mobility Awareness Month campaign.

First Ever National Mobility Awareness Month Coming in May – Local Hero Nominees Being Sought for Van Giveaways 

MobilityWorks is proud to announce its participation in the first ever National Mobility Awareness Month this coming May. And as part of the celebration, the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association and its partners are giving away three wheelchair accessible vans to local hero essay contest winners.  Mobility dealers, groups and organizations are encouraged to nominate deserving individuals by submitting a 1 to 3-minute video and 400 word essay and photos about the nominee. They will be accepting nomination starting March 18th all the way up to May 13th. However, the sooner you get the nominations in the better because visitors to the MobilityAwarenessMonth.com website will have a chance to vote for their favorites. Voting will begin April 1st and ends May 13th.

What is a local hero? They can be anyone in your community including persons with disabilities, a caregiver, veteran or anyone who has helped others to overcome their mobility challenges. If you have someone that you are nominating, please let us know so that we can help to “get out the vote” for a particular hero. 

The winners of the three wheelchair vans will be announced by NMEDA toward the end of May on national television. We look forward to bringing more awareness to the general public and with creating a buzz about the many different options that people now have to live  productive lives with the help of our vans, scooter lifts and driving aid products. Additional information and nominee submission links can be found at www.MobilityAwarenessMonth.com.

New “Push Girls” Reality Show Features Four Hollywood Friends in Wheelchairs

Producers of the hit series “Little People, Big World” are working on a new reality show featuring four women in wheelchairs. Sexy, compelling, inspiring and ambitious are just a few of the words being used to describe the show. Aptly named Push Girls, it is scheduled to debut in April on the Sundance channel. The 14-episode, ½ hour series is being marketed as both a documentary and drama reality show. The cast includes Auti Angel, Mia Schaikewitz, Angela Rockwood and Tiphany Adams, all beautiful women of different backgrounds (now all close friends) who live with paralysis in the Hollywood area.

Push Girls reality show
“The common denominator with us is our wheelchairs... but it's not about the wheelchair. It's about our spirit, and how we just live life to the fullest.” — Angela Rockwood

The show documents the everyday challenges each women face, both physically and mentally. According to Sundance press, relationships are not off-limits — as details about the girls dating, able-bodied boyfriends and a failed marriage will also be shared with the world.

The Push Girls Cast

Auti Angel was in a severe auto accident in 1992 that resulted in a spinal cord injury. She was a dancer before being paralyzed and has since continued her passion for dancing. In 2003 she became one of the founding members of the Colours ‘n Motion Dance Crew (aka Team Colours*), known for their many appearances at Abilities Expos and other disability awareness event around the country.

Mia Schaikewitz is a former competitive swimmer who suffered a rare brain hemorrhage as a 15 year old teenager. She went on to graduate from the University of Florida before moving out to California. Mia joined Auti Angel as a Colours’ in Motion dancer in 2008. Mia is now 32 years old.

Angela Rockwood was an aspiring actress and engaged to actor Dustin Nguyen (21 Jump Street) when she was involved in a tragic car accident that left her a quadriplegic. She has continued her acting career and is now an ambassador for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. You may recognize Angela from her role in the 2001 hit movie The Fast and the Furious.

Tiphany Adams was a senior in high school when she and her friends were hit by a drunk driver. She was the lone survivor, but not until after the EMT’s had already declared her dead at the scene. Requiring a significant amount of work to stop internal bleeding and to rebuild her shattered bones, she is truly a miracle. She has been a voice against drunk driving, including an appearance on the Dr. Phil show. Tiphany was also featured on the cover of New Mobility Magazine in December 2010. Tiphany wrote on her web site the following: “I feel it is my God given purpose to become the story told that after tragedy lies hope and promise of brighter days.”

Whatever your feelings about the show and any unwarranted comparisons to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (on Wheels), one thing is clear: these are confident, spirited women who overcame their physical challenges and live life to the fullest. Long before the show was conceived, they were role models to countless young women who also found themselves in a wheelchair wondering whether life can still be meaningful. The Push Girls answer is yes. MobilityWorks wishes them and the show the very best.

Before they were stars... 'Push Girls' Mia Schaikewitz (center) and Auti Angel (right) on the Conquest Motorcycle.

*sponsored by Colours Wheelchair. Photo courtesy of The Sundance Channel

In-Service Training for Wheelchair Transport and Paramedic Ambulance Company

wheelchair transportation training session
Regional Service Manager Trevorr Jurgensen speaks to the Life Care drivers.

MobilityWorks was honored to participate this past weekend at an in-service training session with Life Care Ambulance Inc. in Elyria, Ohio.

Led by Regional Service Manager Trevorr Jurgensen, our Akron service staff spent this past Sunday at the Life Care training facility with their entire driver staff. This type of training event provides for driver education on wheelchair safety-related products and to make recommendations on correct usage of all their adaptive equipment. Also on the agenda was to discuss day-to-day checks and maintenance, strap operation and overall safety issues. It was received very well by the Life Care staff and the question and answer session was great dialog.

wheelchair lift inspection and service
Akron service staff perform safety inspections on vehicle wheelchair lifts and tie-down straps.

During this time, the team also performed vehicle, strap and lift inspections on 23 of their ambulette units. They performed simple maintenance, adjustments and lubrications to some slightly heavier repairs and were able to identify additional service and repair needs.

Our hats are off to the Akron service team and the drivers at Life Care to take the time on a Sunday to attend this in-service session. It is through this type of work that we develop a stronger working relationship with our Commercial clients who serve the disabled community and their local hospitals.

Our thanks to MobilityWorks’ Trevorr Jurgensen, Todd Slates, Joe Postlehwait, Tim Neal, Phil Pitcock and Rommie Carpenter  – who gave up their Sunday to assist with this educational event. 

About Life Care Ambulance, Inc.

ambulette vans are for non-emergency wheelchair transport
Vehicles in the Life Care fleet being lined up for inspection.

Life Care has trained paramedics on staff and many different types of vehicles needed to respond to emergency incidents, as well as provide for non-emergency transportation in the Cleveland/Lorain metro area. Their fleet includes 22 ambulances and 25 wheelchair vans (provided by MobilityWorks Commercial Division), in addition to other specialty vehicles. They are the primary 911 provider for an area that covers 100 sq. miles, including four cities and two townships. They also provide for paramedic services at high school sporting events and bike patrols for special events.

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