Raising Our Professional Standards
Charles A. Hennessy, C.O. & P. *
A Message from Charles A. Hennessy, President of OALMA
Our 1956 Assembly in San Francisco was an outstanding success and I'm sure that those who were fortunate enough to be able to attend, returned to their homes fired with new enthusiasm and new ideas. First, I wish to express my gratitude for the honor of being chosen to serve as your president for the coming year, and to assure all of my fellow members of the OALMA that I will do my utmost to uphold the precepts and further the aims and ideals of our organization.
I am convinced that one of the most important goals of our organization is that of raising our professional standards and. having done so, to achieve recognition as such from those professions with whom we come in daily contact. The most potent tool with which we have to work in order to reach this goal is education. I have received a letter from Mr. M. L. Sturtz of the D. R. Coon Co., which illustrates my meaning far better than I could ever say it:
"October 26, 1956,
Mr. Coon and I had been planning to attend the OALMA Convention at San Francisco this year, but due to unforeseen events that have taken place during this past month, it was impossible for either of us to be there.
I was particularly anxious to put in my appearance and personally express my full appreciation to all of the members of the UCLA faculty regarding the course in Prosthetic Education.
This new method of using the "quadrilateral type" of suction socket, also the method of fitting, adjustable limbs, and the alignment jig. is about as close to perfection, anatomic and mechanical, as I have seen in all of my 28 years in the limb industry. In the past we have had remarkable success with the trial and error method, but have constantly wished for a better way to serve the handicapped. They depended solely on us for rehabilitation, with confident expectation of miraculous results. Many were fitted satisfactorily and comfortably, but all manufacturers have had difficult cases that failed to respond to the most diligent efforts.
Now, however, we are assured of more satisfied wearers of prostheses through the scientific approach taught at UCLA and NYU. The plastic arm has been a boon to the arm amputee and we are certain that your new method will do much for the leg amputee. My training courses at both universities have convinced me that all prosthetists should avail themselves of the opportunity to learn the new methods which have been a wonderful revelation to me and the entire class of 1956." (signed) M. L. Sturtz.
There is an old saying that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks." I feel that I can speak with authority when I say that this is one old saying that simply "ain't" so. As an "old dog" I have learned quite a few new tricks with the wonderful help and cooperation of some of the best minds in our country in the fields of engineering, anatomy, medicine and related subjects. But the most important thing that I have learned is that we never know it all and there is always room for improvement. We have come a long way and we still have a long way to go. Our goal can be achieved in the not too distant future if we all keep in mind that our only reason for existence is to serve the handicapped.
Charles A. Hennessy