Ability in the Community
Our commitment to better health and wellness doesn’t end with our patients. Since 2004, we’ve been committed to serving our community through local partnerships, charitable support, and education.
See how we’ve made a difference in our community.
Ability, ROMP, Local Students Honor MLK on Disassembly Day
At Ability, we know there is a lot going on, and it can feel like a polarizing time for many of us. That’s just one of the reasons why yesterday was such a special demonstration of how we are able to come together as a team and give back to those in need!
It was an honor seeing so many students spend their day off from school honoring MLK day by giving back to their community! ROMP Global, Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics, and USciences teamed up to disassemble donated prostheses to help those in need.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know this disassembly event is something ROMP and Ability do frequently, but this may have been one of the most special yet. Reggie Showers, an inspiring amputee, joined the volunteers to take apart the devices so that components could be donated to ROMP to use for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to obtain the prostheses they need.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
These volunteers took those words to heart and worked for others yesterday. And they even enjoyed it! We’re feeling pretty cool at Ability being featured in so many Insta Stories!
Check us out on channel 10 news! https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Philly-Region-Honors-MLK-Through-Day-of-Service_Philadelphia-504662212.html
Marlies Beerli Cabell, CPO Accepts Leading Women Award
Recently, Ability’s own Marlies Cabell, CPO learned she had been named one of Leading Women’s 40 under 40, by the Daily Record, Baltimore, MD. This achievement identifies and honors women who are 40 years old or younger for their accomplishments thus far in their careers. The recipients are chosen based on professional experience, community involvement, and their inspiration to those around them.
Marlies was nominated by her husband Eric after she mentioned to him there was a Leadership Award that exemplifies career achievement. Marlies is modest, but she did feel she had accomplished some exciting things such as her recent certification in the Wood Cheneau Rigo (WCR) bracing technology for scoliosis; she is the 8th orthotist certified in the country. She also is the co-inventor of the Cabell-O weighted ankle foot orthosis (AFO) that Ability and Johns Hopkins Office of Technology Transfer are supporting for US patent application.
Eric agreed that Marlies certainly qualified for the honor. At work, she is building centers of excellence for conservative scoliosis treatment in every Ability Office and transferring her skills to her fellow Orthotists who are in training to join Marlies as WCR certified practitioners. When at home, she and her husband (in addition to parenting three of their own children) work as a team to foster to adopt. Fostering in itself is a commitment to inspire change, and this year Governor Hogan recognized Marlies and her husband as Foster Family of the year!
Community involvement and commitment to inspire change is one and the same for Marlies; as a Resource Parent/Foster Parent of teens in her county, she and her husband have had to rework their parenting styles to nurture the teen placed with them. “I took on all the academic realm for every teen,” she says. “I had to jump into the school system to hand out my information and meet the teachers. I sat next to each teen to have them re-work every wrong answer on a test to figure out what step they were missing. Once they were able to witness their qualifying efforts lead to the good grades, then the incentives achieved made them feel good about themselves and thus the view on academics changed from ‘the teacher hates me,’ or ‘I’ve always failed’ into loving the letter grade and receiving the certificate of honor roll! Therefore, a commitment to inspire change in my own county in Maryland is a daily parent responsibility.”
Achieving success in business and in her personal life, Marlies has trouble identifying just one thing for which she is most proud. She says, “there is no one thing that stands out to me because I am a CPO from 8am-6:30pm, and a mom of 8 from 6:30-8am the next morning. Both responsibilities exemplify being named as one of Leading Women’s 40 under 40. What’s next for Marlies? Thinking “outside the box” and building the Cabell-O weighted AFO that is awaiting patent approval. She has her sights on working with acute stroke patients to see about improving proprioceptive feedback for daily walking and improvement. In the New Year, she also plans to support the Wood Cheneau Rigo Center of Excellence for Conservative Scoliosis treatment and get more Ability P&O clinicians through tot certification so that every Ability office is open to each diagnosed patient that wants to use the most effective custom scoliosis thoracic lumbar sacral orthosis (TLSO) available on the market.
When asked what her advice would be for other women, regardless of their age, Marlies said, “I would tell any woman to continue to achieve their career and life goals! I would have to precede all statements of my success with ‘all thanks goes to my stay-at-home-husband. I would have to say that my success relies on my talented husband Eric, who is my teammate through all time!”
At Ability, we are proud and honored to have Marlies on our team. This award recognizes what we’ve known all along; she is inspiring change and chasing her dreams. Congratulations, Marlies!
Asheville Ability Office Hikes for ROMP
ROMP Global is raising $100,000 through January 21, 2019 through 30+ climbs happening in the next few months! That goal will help 100 amputees get access to prosthetic care to which they wouldn’t otherwise have access.
Our Ability Asheville office and friends got together to hike Mt. Mitchell. This gorgeous hike boasts the highest peak east of the Mississippi River with an elevation of 6,684 ft!
Check out ROMP and their mission at www.rompglobal.org to learn more and donate.
Ability Staff Members Attend Policy Forum April 2018
Jeff Brandt, CEO and Founder of Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics, along with Stephanie Greene, Esquire & Ability’s Chief Compliance Officer (pictured from right to left on either side of Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland)) attended the 2018 AOPA Policy Forum in March. Brandt, who now sits on the AOPA board, was pleased to attend an event that presented opportunities for O&P stakeholders to meet with Congressional representatives to improve patient care and advance other legislative objectives. Not pictured but no less important was Jeff Quelet, CPO & Clinical Management Officer for Ability.
Recently, AOPA celebrated a legislative win, and the policy forum is all about access and integrity-first. Brandt says, “All the provisions/bills we spent the day lobbying for, either increase access to higher level of care for patients or works to enhance or protect the intregity of the programs that provide these O&P benefits.” Members and guests alike were eager to visit DC lawmakers to continue to push forward. In total 96 O&P professionals and patients participated in an astounding 500 appointments with legislators! The topic on all their minds was the Medicare O&P Improvement Act.
This bill, presented first in May of 2017 by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced S. 1191/H.R. 2599, the Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Improvement Act of 2017 in the 115th Congress (2017-18). The bill aims to separate O&P from durable medical equipment, and allow Orthotists’ and Prosthetists’ notes to be part of the medical record and more.
Policy Forum attendees also requested support for additional funding for O&P research and education, expressed the importance of Veterans’ Choice (The Veterans Choice Program allows you to get your VA related health care from civilian doctors in your community. The program was designed to address VA’s delays in providing medical care, giving veterans faster access to healthcare, and took the opportunity to share other issues facing their patients and their businesses.
On the first day of the Policy Forum, attendees heard from Congressional members Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI). Both shared their views on healthcare, as well as any advice they had on advancing the O&P agenda. Those in attendance also heard from a panel of experts including AOPA staff, lobbyists, board members and more who all aided in ensuring everyone felt confident in their “asks” from lawmakers. On the second day attendees heard from Senator Ben Cardin and finalized their talking points and “asks”, and headed to Capitol Hill.
The forum, held in March, was an excellent time to continue building momentum for the amputee community, as April is Limb Loss Awareness month! Find out how you can start a conversation here.
AOPA staff will be following up with legislative staff to keep the ball moving forward. See more photos at AOPA’s Flickr site.
Ability Sponsors WellSpan Gettysburg Golf
Ability sponsored the annual WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital Benefit Golf Tournament for the 12th year. Proceeds from the 2017 tournament supported the Prescription for Caring program in Adams County, which is designed to meet the needs of people who can’t afford the cost of their prescription medication. This year, Ability was fortunate to be able to gain support from manufactures and other agencies to become Corporate Sponsors.
Jeff Brandt, CPO, Testifies at Hearing for VA Specialized Services
Jeff Brandt, CPO, Ability’s founder and CEO was asked by the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) to provide expert testimony as the owner/operator of a practice that serves veterans in the VA hospital system. Because of Jeff’s testimony, AOPA was invited to submit recommendations that would include outcomes-based methods for how the VA might better coordinate care for veterans who receive prosthetic and orthotic care.
Cycle to the Sea
Jacob Townsend, CPO at our Asheville, North Carolina patient care center, and Jeff Quelet, CPO, our clinical management officer, completed the 180-mile Cycle to the Sea Myrtle Beach ride between April 6-8, 2017. This event raised funds and awareness for the Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program (ASAP) at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Carolinas Rehabilitation. Celebrating the 17th anniversary of Cycle to the Sea, riders on handcycles, tandem bikes, and road bikes finished an amazing ride. Ability has been a proud supporter of Cycle to the Sea for years and will continue to remain a committed sponsor.
Ability’s First Adaptive Yoga Clinic
Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics was proud to sponsor a free Adaptive Yoga & Mobility Clinic that was open to all patients and the public. We walked attendees through simple training exercises designed to improve balance, promote equal weight bearing through lower limbs, and develop core strength. A 45-minute yoga session followed, incorporating the essential elements for balance. And at the end, attendees left with an understanding of how each muscle functions, helping them build confidence and mobility with each step.