Amputee Coalition National Conference 2020

The Amputee Coalition has released the preliminary schedule for 2020 National Conference, and we’re pleased to find a number of familiar faces and themes on the slate. A good number of the sessions will be led by people who’ve appeared recently in Amplitude‘s pages. Several others cover subjects we’re keenly interested in and have written about both in print and here at the website.

The opening keynote is two weeks from tonight, at 5 p.m. Eastern time on August 19. Regular conference sessions start the next day (August 20) and run through August 22. Here’s the link to register (if you haven’t already), and here’s the full program of activities (preliminary only, and subject to change). We’ve circled a handful of sessions that we plan to log in for. If you end up virtually attending, here’s where you can virtually find us.

All times below are Eastern time.

Thursday, August 20

Get Fit With Yoga: A Body, Mind, and Spirit Workout
Marsha Danzig
On Demand

We referred to Marsha Danzig as the “dean” of amputee yoga earlier this year, and she’s done nothing since then to relinquish the title. She’s pre-recording three sessions exclusively for the conference, designed for practitioners of all skill levels. They’ll be available on demand throughout the conference, Thursday through Saturday. We plan on completing one session a day.

Navigating Life During the Pandemic
Speakers TBD
1 p.m.

They told us to prepare for the long haul when COVID-19 overtook our lives five months ago (Only five months?), and they weren’t kidding. We’ve altered a lot of habits in the intervening time, from hand-washing hacks to telehealth tips to stay-at-home workouts to sustainable support-group practices. We’ve also pondered how amputees and other people with disabilities have a unique perspective on the ways and means of adaptation. But there’s no telling how much longer the pandemic will last, and there’s still a lot to learn. We’ll be checking out this session for help in charting the way forward.

Friday, August 21

The Real Science Behind Muscle
Cosi Belloso
2:15 p.m.

Cosi Belloso has set aside a special place in her heart for amputees, and the feeling is mutual. Since redesigning her physical therapy practice to focus exclusively on limb loss, Belloso has helped thousands of amputees understand their bodies better, attain better fitness, and advocate for themselves more effectively. She also informs and entertains via her Facebook-based talk show. Belloso’s conference session will focus on core strength after limb loss.

Coming Back to Life
Dr. Chantrise Holliman
3:15 p.m.

The title of this conference session has terrifyingly literal significance: Holliman died multiple deaths two years ago during a massive heart attack. The experience left her partially paralyzed and missing her legs, but she came back to life with her most vital organs—heart, mind, and soul—fully intact. After watching Dr. C’s amazing TEDx Talk from a year ago, we’re definitely up for more of her wisdom.

Saturday, August 22

Newest Treatements for Neuroma and Phantom Pain
Brian Monroe, CPO
2:15 p.m.

Studies have found that 85 percent of amputees report difficulty with phantom pain and other forms of chronic pain . . . and that estimate actually seems low to us. We’ve been intrigued lately by new therapies involving peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS), but that’s only one promising mode of pain management for amputees. Monroe, an upper-amputee specialist for Hanger Clinics, will look at a range of other strategies for controlling pain, including targeted muscle reinnervation and pharmacology.

Setting Up Your Home for Success
Inger Brueckner, PT
Victoria Powell, RN
3:15 p.m.

While there’s no single “right” answer for how amputees should set up their homes, there are lots of wrong ones. This session will cover a range of home modifications that can improve safety and prevent injury, while reducing the odds of acquiring a secondary condition due to accommodations that don’t meet your needs. Amplitude‘s November-December issue will feature home design and adaptation, so we’ll make a point of sitting in on this session.