Shaw's Prosthetics Plus, Owensboro, KY
Volunteers find their path to ABC in many ways. For Leigh Anne Ball, it was a help wanted ad.
That small ad in ABC’s quarterly newsletter led to a spot first on the Mastectomy Practice Analysis Task Force and then on the Post-Mastectomy Exam Committee which reviews the exam for relevance and accuracy. Over the course of 18 months, the volunteers strengthened the exam, creating the question bank on which the test is now based.
From personal experience as a mastectomy fitter, Leigh Anne knows that the importance of ensuring a germane exam for this audience cannot be understated. “Working with breast cancer patients is unique in that you see them throughout the spectrum of care. You see them at their most vulnerable time and at their most joyful time,” said Leigh Anne. “We have to play a patient advocate role, a clinical role and we are also, in some ways, like their counselors.”
Leigh Anne echoes what other volunteers say about the benefits of volunteering. She cites the long-term friendships she made with people across the country in every aspect of the profession – boutique owners, those at large companies and those who also focus on orthotics and prosthetics, not just mastectomy.
“If given the opportunity, everyone should volunteer for some kind of ABC committee to see what practice is like in other places,” she says. “To look at all aspects of the profession is a great thing.”
Jim Wynne, CPO, FAAOP, ABC’s board president says, “Leigh Anne approaches volunteering with the same passion that she approaches her work. It is a long-term commitment for her, and our exam process will be better for her participation with it.”
Jim has the benefit of knowing that Leigh Anne is in it from start to finish. She says it best: “I would do it again in a heartbeat.”