UPitt’s Schmeler ‘rebuilds’ rehab track

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ATLANTA--The recent switch from SADMERC to PDAC takes a popular session by medical director Dr. Doran Edwards off the agenda for Medtrade’s Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology track, but attendees need not fear.

This year, the track will kick off with what organizers believe will be a must-see panel discussion on Tuesday titled “The Future of Rehab and Assistive Technology: Opportunities and Lingering Threats,” featuring U.S. Rehab’s Jerry Keiderling, Quantum Rehab’s Cody Verrett, National Seating & Mobility’s Hymie Pogir and others.

“We’ll be talking about funding cuts and new policies for covering complex and power mobility,” said Mark Schmeler of the University of Pittsburgh, who’s overseeing the track. “We’ve come a long way and we need to identify places where we can develop as much credibility as we can.”

Additionally, Schmeler, who replaces NRRTS in overseeing the track, brings along some new presenters.

This year’s track features fewer sessions (six vs. last year’s 16), but it’s “not fundamentally different,” Schmeler said

“There are fewer topics than in the past, and that’s because we’re rebuilding the rehab track,” he said. “There’s been a loss of focus on rehab and more focus on HME, and (Medtrade) wanted to try to keep rehab alive.”

Medtrade officials declined to offer a reason for NRRTS’s departure or the reduction in the number of sessions.

“If anything, the (rehab track has) been enhanced by the rehab general session,” said Show Director Kevin Gaffney. “With the addition of (Schmeler), we now have the ability to tap into his knowledge of the field and his ability to select pertinent topics and speakers.”