Monday, March 31, 2003

AAHomecare names new RATC director
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - AAHomecare announced in March that Sharon Hildenbrandt has been hired as the new executive director of the Rehab and Assistive Technology Council (RATC). The position was formerly held by Mary-Lacey Reuter, who left to take a special assistant position with the FDA. AAHomecare also plans to name a new director of communications within the up coming weeks.
USM’s website offers electronic newsletter
FLORISSANT, Mo. - United Seating and Mobility launched its web site, , in February. The new site offers a listing of the seating and mobility provider’s services, consumer tips on maintenance of wheelchairs and seating systems, as well as links to assistive technology resources. In addition, the site also invites viewers to sign up for USM E-News, an electronic newsletter that gives regular updates on manage care, health care legislation and regulations, and assistive technology.
Former NFL player speaks out for mobility
TULSA, Okla. - The Wheelchair Foundation, the world’s leading distributor of free wheelchairs to the disabled, announced last month that former Congressman and Seattle Seahawk wide receiver Steve Largent will be joining the non-profit organization as a spokesman and fundraiser. Largent’s role will be to spearhead The Wheelchair Foundation’s fund raising activities in corporate America and in the faith community, helping to raise $150 million to support the organization’s global effort to provide mobility, hope and independence to those in need.

“There were many offers out there to do many different things,” Largent said, “but this was a decision of the heart. I see it as an extension of my role in Congress, to help people and to provide tangible solutions to real problems.” Largent will head The Wheelchair Foundation’s office in Tulsa.

The Wheelchair Foundation was started in 2000 by former Seattle Seahawks owner, Kenneth Behring, with the goal of distributing 1 million wheelchairs in the next five years to those in need around the world. To date the organization has delivered over 100,000 chairs in over 100 countries like China, Mexico and Angola.

“It’s been an honor to serve on the advisory board of The Wheelchair Foundation since its inception. After my unsuccessful bid for governor in Oklahoma, Mr. Behring approached me about joining the staff of the Foundation. I share Mr. Behring’s passion for the disabled and often discarded, as well as his goal to distribute 1 million new wheelchairs around the world in the next five years.”

The estimated worldwide need for wheelchairs in developing and Third World countries is over 100 million. Experts predict that need to grow by 22% over the next 10 years. “The need is staggering, but I’m fully committed to making a difference,” Largent said.