Saturday, November 17, 2007

Quick trip to Chicago

As of this weekend, I have been to Chicago twice in the last two years (previous visit).  The previous visit was give a presentation to the Barr Foundation Board of Directors.


What is the Barr Foundation you ask?  I will give a short answer here, but provide a more detailed description in the future.

The Barr Foundation has a three-fold mission:

1. Provide financial assistance to amputees in need to provide prosthetic components.

       (those who have no financial mean, not to help with insurance deductible)

2. Provide assistance in third-world countries with donated components.

3. Promote the Ertl procedure of lower limb amputation


For the last three years I have been very instrumental in the promotion of the Ertl procedure, via both being the webmaster of and talking to as many people as I can about it.


This visit wasn't primarily to give a presentation to the Board.  It was actually attend as a "Director nominee".  After the meeting was called to order and previous meeting minutes reviewed/approved, the first order of business was to review the nominees and vote on their membership status.  My nomination was approved by a unanimous vote (as was all the others who voted in).


Another item of distinction of the evening's meeting was when the foundation operation method was modified to utilize committees to move forward.  Previously, before Tony Barr passed away, the president of the foundation was very active in all aspects of the mission.  It was really his full time job.  However, all of the directors have their own full time job, with foundation work being an additional responsibility in their life.  As such, we have split the functional areas (Executive, Financial Assistance, International Missions & Ertl promotion/education) to be governed by small committees, with them reporting back to the Directors as a whole.  While non-foundation members are allowed on the committees, the primary rule is that at least 50% of the committee members must by BF Directors.


I have been asked to be the chairman of the Ertl Education committee.  Another one of the new Directors, Dr Jan Ertl has agreed to be on the committee as well.  I already know of one non-director wishing to be on the committee and I have an idea of another I am going to ask to join us.  When all is squared away with the committee, it will probably look like a grade-school kid leading three Phd students around.  Reasoning is that the committee will most likely be comprised of two orthopedic surgeons, one internationally known CP (certified prosthetist) and me.


That's all for now, but I have a feeling there will be several posts in the future about the Barr Foundation in general, with detailed posts about Ertl activities.  

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