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October, 2006 AST Newsletter
Central Pennsylvania News

Please visit our WEB Site (see above), kept updated by AST Director & WEB Master John Williamson.

AST Meetings, HealthSouth, Mechanicsburg: Wednesday, November 15, 6:30 PM:

AST Board Meeting: 5 PM, AST Board Meeting before the AST Meeting

AST Regular Meeting: 6:30 PM, AGENDA: (Bring with you to Meetings):

I. Opening, Introductions, Reports, etc: ………..…………..Richard Nickle, AST President

AST Election results: Re-elected were: Richard Nickle, President, and Board Members: Gary Reinhold, and Tom O'Neil.

II. Update on HB 2718 Prosthetic Parity Bill:...Georgia Foltz & Don Hossler, both CO-VPs

III. WALKING: Chad Kettler, PT, of HealthSouth, will present a program that will allow you to: Watch yourself on video walk, turn, and have your gait observed, with suggestions on how you may improve your walking with an artificial limb.
October's AST MEETING: Our AST Meeting on Wednesday, October 18, had two excellent speakers, each speaking about two topics important to all limb loss persons:

1. Our first speaker, brought to us by AST Board Member, Peter Calcagno, was Andrew Lipman, of the State Department of Occupational Vocation Rehabilitation - OVR.

What is OVR: OVR is the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, a State Agency that provides services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, start, and maintain employment. Vocational Rehabilitation provides opportunities for people with disabilities to become productive and independent in their communities. Statewide there are 15 District Offices staffed with trained, professional Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors which serve Pennsylvania in all 67 counties.

OVR services include: Diagnostic Services: Medical, psychological, and audiological examinations and tests used to better understand your disability and your needs for specific types of services. AST members would be served by either the York office (717-771-4407) or Harrisburg office (717-787-7500) depending on where you live.

Morgan reviews HB 2718 strategy for AST President, Dick Nickle.

2. Our second speaker was Morgan Sheets, National Advocacy Director for the ACA - Amputee Coalition of America, and a specialist on Parity Law. Morgan brought us all up-to-date with where we are in our efforts to support HB 2718, and its eventual passage into State Law.

Morgan's presentation at the AST Meeting the evening before the PA House of Representative's Health & Human Services Committee Hearings was perfect timing. On the following page see a report on the Hearings, which Morgan prepared us for:

A Spectator's view of the House of Representative's Health & Humans Services Committee Hearing for HB 2718 on Thursday, October 19, 2006 in Harrisburg…Don Hossler, AST CO-VP:

PHOTO: John Williamson, AST
L-R: Sean Brame, amputee; Michael Brame (Sean's father); Rep. Todd Eachus; Janelle Lynch; Rep. Fred McIlhattan; Rep. Bernie O'Neil, who introduced HB 2718; Rep. Nick Kotik, Co-sponsored HB 2718.

Special thanks to Nick Antonini, Aide to State Rep. Bernie O'Neil, and his son David Antonini, RBK, both really got the ball rolling with Rep. Bernie O'Neill [Who introduced HB 2718 in the House of Representatives.]. Thanks also to Morgan Sheets of the ACA - Amputee Coalition of America, who used her expertise further developing the issue that culminated in the Hearing at the Capitol on October 19. All of us, AST members, amputees, care givers, professionals that care for and serve amputees, still have a lot more to do to get Prosthetic Parity in Pennsylvania

Four of the six speakers were AST members: Georgia Foltz, AST CO-VP; Gary Moore, AST Chapter Leader in Berks County; fifth-grader Sean Brame, a quad amputee; and his father Michael Brame.

Vice Chair-person, State Rep. Fred McIlhattan, indicated he felt possibly six more hearings would be scheduled after the House recess, suggesting HB 2718 may not be signed into law until the end of 2007.
The original author of the bill, Rep. Bernie O'Neil, felt it might be ready for the governor's signature as early as June of 2007. At any rate, the speakers were excellent, and the House members present were very sensitive to the testimony:

The first to testify, Sean, and his Dad, did an outstanding job of explaining the events of the past eighteen months, and the support received from their family, friends, and others, leading to Sean's recovery. Michael also discussed Sean's superb handling of difficult situations and his ability to maintain a never-give-up attitude. Sean and his Dad also demonstrated for the Committee the hardware that comes with being an amputee, which fascinating them.

Georgia spoke of how we pay for insurance that takes care of prostrate, breast, drug & alcohol and mental health services that not all of us use , so why not universal prosthetic coverage? Georgia described the help that spouses and significant others play in the life of an amputee.

Garry pointed out that an amputee has to be selective in what type of job they choose, a great job may have bad insurance coverage. It became clear that people need to examine their insurance policy, as you never know when illness or trauma will cause limb loss.

Dr. John Rush of Hanger spoke of the more then 130,000 amputations that occur each year in America and the added cost for parity coverage is minimal, as low as .03 cents per member per month. Dr. Rush also spoke about the PA Statewide survey that HANGER O&P compiled, demonstrating that this need for PARITY is a serious for prosthetics and prosthetic care.

Morgan Sheets, National Advocacy Director for the ACA, presented a powerful image of insurers who have restrictions that impede an amputee's ability to contribute to our society. Morgan also discussed the Parity progress in other states to successfully deal with the tidal wave that is coming all across the nation.

Plan to attend the next hearing, probably in early 2007, and a Prosthetic Parity Rally to be announced later in a future AST Newsletter, and possibly by the media. We need everyone's support with letters to officials, the media, phone calls and visits to legislators. These efforts will require more of you and your time, you will be needed in 2007, so enjoy the Holidays and be refreshed for an exciting legislative journey in 2007.

AST hopes to establish carpools to ensure everyone that wants to attend a hearing and/or the rally can do so. Please attend the next AST meeting and keep your eyes on our newsletters. The Hearing Rooms are just steps from the Capitol rotunda, with accessible bathrooms just steps away. Persons with mobility issues may be dropped off behind the Capitol at the Fountain (colored pink in October for breast cancer awareness) with only a thirty yard walk up a ramp, with no steps, to an elevator, and up one floor to the level of the Rotunda. See you at the next hearing.


AST Lancaster Chapter Members attend the Joni & Friends - Through the Roof Conference - Lancaster, PA - Sept. 30, 2006. Welcome to Joni and Friends. Joni Eareckson Tada founded the ministry in 1979 to communicate the gospel and equip Christ-honoring churches worldwide to evangelize and disciple people affected by disabilities. Jim Yohn, AST-LC Leader stated: "It is tough to put in a few words what this conference was all about." For pictures and more information, log onto: www.joniandfriends.org

Directions to Capitol: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/help/driving_directions.cfm

More about OVR: The Hiram G. Andrews Center in Johnstown provides vocational training and comprehensive rehabilitation services to people from across the state. OVR's Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services provides services to the Blind and visually impaired designed to increase their independence and
OVR provides a wide range of services to eligible applicants. Some services can help you overcome or lessen your disability; others can directly help you prepare for a career. The services you receive will be arranged to meet your individual needs. Not everyone will need every service.

OVR services include: Diagnostic Services: Medical, psychological, and audiological examinations and tests used to better understand your disability and your needs for specific types of services.

Vocational Evaluation: Aptitude, interest, general ability, academic exams, work tolerance, and "hands-on" job experience used to understand your vocational potential.

Counseling: Vocational counseling will help you to better understand your potential, to rely on your abilities, to set realistic vocational goals, to change them when necessary, to develop successful work habits, and to begin a satisfying career. Counseling is available throughout your rehabilitation program.

Training: Education to prepare you for a job including, but not limited to, basic academic, vocational/technical, college, on-the-job training, independent living skills, and personal and work adjustment training.

Restoration Services: Medical services and equipment such as physical and occupational therapy, wheelchairs, and automobile hand controls can be provided to enable you to pursue and achieve employment.

Placement Assistance: Counseling, job-seeking programs, job clubs, and job development used to increase your ability to get a job. You will receive ideas, practice, and advise on finding job leads, filling out applications, getting interviews for a job , and on how to interview. Your counselor may also give you job leads or contact employers about available tax credits and hiring incentives. The more contacts with employers you make, the better your chances are of finding a job. For more details, go to our Services for Job Seekers page.

Assistive Technology: Assistive technology includes a wide range of devices and services that can empower persons with disabilities to maximize employment, independence and integration into society. OVR can assist an individual with a disability in effectively selecting and acquiring appropriate assistive technology. OVR can arrange for a consultant to evaluate your situation and to make appropriate recommendations.


Lancaster News

Amputee Support Team of Lancaster, PA

Meeting Agendas:
  • October 26, 2006 – Network & Nibbles – Bring a snack to share and share your story too. Share several of
    your challenges and how you solved the problem or celebrate an accomplishment. What are some new goals
    you have set, How can we help? This is an opportunity to network with other amputees. We will also be in
    the 3rd floor Conference Center, our new home for the next year.
  • November 30, 2006 – We are trying to get a special musical program to come and entertain us.
  • December 28, 2006 – We would like to meet and celebrate both the end of 2006, the beginning of 2007 and to especially
    show our gratitude to our caregivers. So bring some of your favorite cookies from the holidays and we’ll provide
    the drinks.

Lancaster General Health Campus
3rd Floor, Conference Center
2100 Harrisburg Pike
Lancaster, PA 17604
Free parking is available in the lots adjacent to the main entrance.
Detailed directions available at the following web link:

For more information:
Jim Yohn jjyohn@dejazzd.com
717 665-0139
717 283-6664 (mobile phone)

The Amputee Support Team of Lancaster, PA has been
formed to serve individuals in the Lancaster County and
surrounding areas. The purpose of this group is to
provide support and education to people living with the
loss of a limb.

The AMPUTEE SUPPORT TEAM (AST) of Lancaster is a
registered non-profit amputee support group (501(c)(3))
within PA.. Jim Yohn and Dwight McKay, amputees
themselves, lead this Lancaster support organization.

The mission of this support group will be to provide the following resources to amputees,
spouses, family members, doctors, therapists and other caregivers :
• Peer support
• Peer visits to new amputees from ACA trained and certified peer counselors
• Fun, social and informative meetings
• We have been meeting for the last several months and have grown from 18 to 35 individuals
• Come join one of our meeting and meet new friends and there are always Refreshments
• Meetings are held the last Thursday of the month (see below) from 6:30—8:30
www.amputeesupportteam.com www.amputee-coalition.org


Amputee Support Team website sponsored by:

717 367-1277
800 838-3357



The Amputee Support Team proudly supports
The Amputee Coalition of America


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