CSUN Free Clinics, Workshops Strive to Enhance Life for Those with Prosthetics and Limb Loss

Photo by Luis Garcia

Participants at the 2017 event. On Saturday, March 9, the event will return with a day of workshops, support and training for the community.

More than 2 million people live with limb loss in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Hoping to support this community in Southern California, California State University, Northridge’s Department of Physical Therapy is hosting a free day of clinics and educational sessions on Saturday, March 9.

The biennial event, ECLIPSE (Exercise, Community Living in Prosthetics and Supporting Everyone), will be offered by CSUN’s College of Health and Human Development. The program will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in CSUN’s Redwood Hall activity center – room 160. Parking is available in lot F5 for $8.

Attendees in previous years have experienced a communal feeling of support, according to Victoria Graham, associate professor of physical therapy, who created the event in 2015.

“My dream was to make sure there are more resources for people with limb loss in Los Angeles,” Graham said. “I want people living with limb loss to live their best lives.”

ECLIPSE offers the community a chance to do more than just gain knowledge about prosthetics and limb loss by connecting with each other through workshops, exercise and lunch.

“I’m looking forward to the community members coming out,” added Luawana Parker, administrative support coordinator for the physical therapy department. “In previous years, it was so nice to see the attendees share their appreciation for this event.”

ECLIPSE operates as a wellness-based symposium for healthcare providers and community members to cover strategies that improve function in prosthetics. There will be free sessions with practicing physical therapists operating certified walking and running clinics, yoga, adaptive sports and stress management workshops. The workshops aim to help participants improve running, walking, balancing and safely managing curbs, stairs and ramps. There also will be an installation covering the benefits of working with occupational therapists, physical therapists and prosthetists.

This year’s keynote discussion will focus on overcoming crisis, led by Lou Figueroa, who coped with amputation after surviving a train accident when he was 27 years old. The keynote address will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. Immediately afterward, Kristy Powell, a registered occupational therapist and physical therapist, will discuss upper extremity prosthetics and rehabilitation. The running clinic at 12 p.m. will lead into a free lunch for all attendees. There will be workshops after lunch, and the day’s program will end with adapted yoga and meditation from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

There will be model prosthetics available at the event for attendees to try on and practice using, including a prototype from CSUN’s mechanical engineering research team, The Smart Prosthetics. The team of eight undergraduate students created the prototype aimed to improve prosthetics for upper limb loss amputees. Their goal was to design, build and test a customizable, affordable, lightweight, below-the-elbow prosthetic hand with better functionality, control and power consumption.

For more information and to register to attend the event, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/eclipse-at-csun-tickets-52674417601 or call (818) 677-2346.

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