Our mission: To provide a forum where amputees, their families and others affected by limb loss can find support, education and camaraderie to cope with amputation and further; to advocate for amputee social issues and community needs.
More than two million people are living with limb loss in the US today and there are about 500 amputations every day. Another 28 million at risk for amputation. There are still thousands more who are born with limb differences.
Founded in the fall of 2011, COPAA started as the result of a vision of Keith Cornell, President and Owner of Cornell Orthotics and Prosthetics. He wanted to provide his patients with a place to come together to find support, share coping strategies and to interact socially. He saw a need for this in his own patients and knew that this need existed outside of his practice as well. Posie Mansfield, a new above knee amputee herself, took on the role of helping to see his vision become a reality. The COP Amputee Support Group was launched with just three people sitting around a table sharing their stories. After the meeting it was clear that we had a very important role to play in offering amputees this kind of a forum. In 2012 we reorganized and our name changed to the COP Amputee Association, Inc., or COPAA, to better reflect our broader mission of reaching out and serving the entire limb loss/limb difference community beyond the doors of Cornell.
Today, with over 75 members and two sites, we are thriving. Posie serves as our President and Co-Founder and is the site leader at our Beverly site at Care One at Essex Park . Our second site is at Whittier Rehab Hospital in Bradford, MA, and that group is led by Amanda Blanchette, DPT along with Katie Roberts , MOT,OTR/L, RN .
We gather the second Wednesday of every month from 6pm to 8pm. We usually have speakers who present information and discuss issues relevant to being an amputee. There are plenty of opportunities for members to share and develop friendships.
We promote independence and as such we serve as an education and resource center, providing information about the many services and organizations available to assist amputees to face life’s daily challenges. Such services include job retraining, home and vehicle modification, discussing insurance issues and providing information on the various grant opportunities available to obtain adaptive equipment and advanced prostheses.
We support and encourage our members to participate in the many adaptive sports and recreational activities offered by such outstanding organizations as Spaulding Rehab Hospital, New England Disabled Sports and Eastern Adaptive Sports. Some of these activities include kayaking, cycling, skiing, golf, tennis, waterskiing, sled hockey, archery and horseback riding. We believe that by engaging in adaptive activities, we can learn how to overcome everyday challenges better while improving our self -confidence and our independence. Overall health has shown to improve through physical activity, which is yet another benefit.
We offer many opportunities for our members to interact socially through seasonal gatherings and other special events. We hold an Annual Summer BBQ, a Holiday Party as well as other events for our members and their families to attend.
Several of our members are Certified Peer Visitors through the Amputee Coalition of America, our national affiliate. We respond to requests for visits from new amputees as well as family members. All Certified Peer Visitors are seasoned amputees who have gone through an intensive training course.
We are a 501 C-3 non profit organization. We are all volunteer run. We operate solely on contributions from the general public. We are the only area organization that is providing this service. We are constantly seeking ways to better support our members. Fund raising has become a priority in helping to accomplish this. All donations are fully tax deductible.