Arlene Gillis, program director for the J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics at SPC, has been featured in a series of articles and news reports about the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge.
The program works to improve the lives of wounded and injured veterans through challenges that are rehabilitative for participants and that further sciences related to their injuries and treatment. Earlier this year, Gillis and others traveled to Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, to get that information, according to an article in the Tampa Tribune. This challenge aimed to gather research on the effects of stress, extreme weather and altitude on prosthetics, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
For Gillis, it was her first mountain climb, the article reported. “Yes, I am nervous,” she said. “But I am leaving my family and the comforts of my home because these men gave so much for me.”
Data collected during the challenge will also aid a study Gillis is conducting with SPC, Florida State University and the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop adjustable sockets that better fit on residual limbs, according to an article in Stars and Stripes.
On Friday, Feb. 22, Gillis will be inducted into the 2013 class of Fellows by the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists during the organization’s annual meeting and symposium in Orlando. She, one of just 14 people in the country to receive the distinction this year, also is the winner of the Academy’s 2013 Outstanding Educator Award.