PVA joins healthcare professionals this month in Florida for the annual Healthcare Summit
By Robert L. Thomas Jr.
Throughout each year, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) hosts and co-sponsors numerous events to help us better serve our members, and August is no exception. This month, we’ll be hosting our 12th annual PVA Healthcare Summit + Expo in Orlando, Fla., Aug. 14–17.
I would like to welcome all of the spinal-cord injury and disease (SCI/D), multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) health care professionals from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as well as the rehabilitation center and clinic personnel from across the country who are taking the time to attend this important event.
PVA is dedicated to the health care needs of its members and the broader disabled community. The summit is a way to ensure the individuals who care for patients with SCI/D, MS and ALS get the continuing education credits they need to maintain their credentials, as well as learn new information that’s provided in these areas on which we’re focusing.
The educational credits are provided through the 60 plenary and breakout sessions, along with 24 poster presentations. Our research and education team works so hard to guarantee this event goes on without a hitch. Thank you to Cheryl Vines and all the other PVA staff who contributed to this year’s event.
In addition to the sessions, there will be a keynote address given by a world-renowned surgeon and researcher who uses biomarkers to predict the severity of spinal-cord injury. I’m a seasoned PVA Executive Committee member, and I can recall some of the keynote speakers’ presentations at our previous summit events. I can say with certainty that I always leave with my wheels turning, as I’m able to absorb and grasp so much from these presenters.
There will also be a discussion on the United States National ALS Registry, which I hope intrigues those working with our veterans. Since our national PVA Board of Directors voted last year to allow all veterans living with MS to be PVA members, we have been able to make great strides in the MS community, and I hope we can make the same impact with the ALS community, as well.
I’m also eager to attend the expo and breakout sessions, where I always see new technology and hear about groundbreaking research that’ll benefit me and my fellow veterans. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to see the upgrades to prosthetics, wheelchairs and so much more.
It’s quite an experience to witness how technology can change the disabled community. For those of you who are attending this year’s summit, I highly encourage you to make your way to the expo and check out all of the booths that are there.
In closing, I would like to extend a specific thank you to all of the PVA chapters that provided scholarships for their local VA clinicians to attend this year’s PVA Healthcare Summit + Expo. I know those individuals appreciate the assistance, and I certainly am grateful for their attendance and commitment.
I hope everyone has a safe and productive month ahead.