Allen Orthotics & Prosthetics, Inc., Midland, Tex.
Kim Doolan appreciates the opportunity to be a voice of the consumer that her work with ABC and the Amputee Coalition affords since she, herself, is an amputee. Although currently on the Facility Accreditation Committee, she began as a public member on the ABC Board of Directors during the period when the ABC facility accreditation program was enhanced. She characterizes that change as moving from “safety standards and bricks and mortar” to a focus on patient care and practitioner qualifications. That’s one of many small victories in her quest to enable amputees to lead productive lives.
It’s also about “not losing more ground” for people who need orthoses and prostheses. Whether it’s at the family-owned patient care facility where she works or within the community doing volunteer activities, Kim lends her voice to those with limb loss and limb difference, to those who are thriving and those who may not be doing as well.
One way she does this is through the Amputee Coalition and the West Texas Amputee Support Group, where she is a certified peer visitor, a position that requires a full-day of training. These volunteers, all of whom have been amputees for at least one year, conduct visits with a wide range of individuals with limb loss. Depending on the circumstances, Kim might be spending time with a new amputee, someone who is thinking about amputation, or even an amputee in isolated parts of Texas who have never before seen someone “like them”.
Recently Kim visited with a woman who had undergone an upper limb amputation yet was eager to return to her nursing career. As part of her support group work, Kim connected this woman with two other nurse amputees so that the woman could begin to reimagine her career.
It’s important to Kim that amputees have a voice and feel empowered to be successful. Through work and through volunteering, she is making that happen.