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A Night to Remember

We are proud to have been a sponsor of the Hanging With Friends, A Night to Remember, which took place on May 16th.  This special Prom gave kids with disabilities an evening of fun, games, music, and ….a chance to Hang with Friends.
Families Helping Families Region 7 offers a place where families can go for help that is guided by parents of individuals with disabilities and individuals with disabilities themselves. Affiliated with the Statewide Family Resource Network, FHF’s mission is to assist and strengthen individuals and families through a parent driven, coordinated network of services. Caring for individuals with disabilities takes a wealth of support, knowledge and information. Connecting with others who have similar experiences gives families first hand information and encouragement.  For more information on this family directed resource center:


Snell’s Awarded the Consumer Commitment Award from the BBB

The BBB International Torch Awards program recognizes outstanding businesses and individuals. This year Snell’s Orthotics • Prosthetics was awarded the Consumer Commitment Award.

Consumer Leadership Award – Snell’s Orthotics • Prosthetics was presented this award for significantly advancing marketplace trust through consumer advocacy, protection or education, through a specific action or lifetime achievement.

The Arc Bridges the Gaps for People with Disabilities

Photo: From left Robert Wilson, Janet Parker-Executive Director The Arc Caddo-Bossier, Clint Snell.  Seated:  Mattie Wilson.

Since 1954 The Arc Caddo-Bossier has led the state in the implementation of innovative and effective programs that meet the ever-growing needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The Arc Caddo-Bossier Foundation’s Society is a group of people who know the value of The Arc’s programs and are helping ensure the future of these essential services in our community.

As Secretary of The Arc Caddo-Bossier Foundation, I attended the organization’s annual Appreciation Dinner on April 9, 2013. This is always an enjoyable event that I look forward to each year.   The evening is devoted to celebrating the people, companies and organizations that support the work of The Arc Caddo-Bossier Foundation.

What makes this dinner so special is that it gives all of us who support The Arc a chance to connect with each other, in a pressure free environment.  We have the opportunity to hear a first hand account from a beneficiary every year about how The Arc has made individuals’ lives better and how they, and we, have been enriched by the organization’s work with disabled people in our area.

The work The Arc does has a tremendous positive and practical impact on the quality of life of so many individuals, families and friends.

A few of the many ways they support those with developmental and intellectual disabilities include:

  •  Respite care
  •  Advocacy
  •  Employment services
  • Children ‘s services
  • Community living
  • Recreation and leisure 

This year, Mattie Wilson shared her story with us.  While each person’s situation is unique to that person and family, the constant is that The Arc was instrumental in enhancing their quality of life.

I encourage you to click on this link to read Mattie and Robert Wilson’s story.

Check out the story here.

Mattie and Robert Wilson’s Story as told the evening of April 9, 2013 at The Arc Caddo-Bossier Foundation Appreciation Dinner

In 1978, The Arc Caddo-Bossier developed the first respite service in Louisiana.  Today The Arc continues to offer both in-home and out-of-home respite services for families in our community who care for a child or adult with developmental disabilities at home.  Mattie Wilson discovered The Arc Caddo-Bossier’s services through a friend.

While living in Dallas, Mattie Wilson was traveling back to her hometown of Shreveport in the back seat of a vehicle with her children, and they were involved in a horrible accident.  Robert was a toddler, and her daughter was only 3 ½ years old.  Mattie does not remember much from that day, but she later learned the miracle of what happened next when her young daughter placed Robert by their mother and walked to get help.  She walked three miles before she was discovered by women passing by on the interstate.  They picked up the young girl who took them back to the scene of the accident which could not be seen from the road.  Mattie was in Baylor Hospital in a coma for two months.  After much hard work and therapy, Mattie developed the ability to use a wheelchair for mobility.

Two years later Mattie decided to move back to Shreveport.  As a single mother she would be near her family and long-time friends like JoAnn Gines who was a member of The Arc Caddo-Bossier Board of Directors.  JoAnn suggested that she contact The Arc for help, so Mattie called to find out what services were offered.

Robert who has developmental disabilities was 11 years old the first time he stayed in the Guest Home, The Arc Caddo-Bossier’s home for respite services.  All of The Arc employees are certified and trained, and after Mattie met with them, she felt that it would be a safe and enjoyable environment for Robert, and she was right.  Robert will soon be 30 years old, and he still visits the Guest Home.

The respite services at The Arc Caddo-Bossier have given Mattie the opportunity to continue to do things in her life that she would have not been able to do without their support and care for Robert.  She knows that when she leaves him at the Guest Home that Robert is in a safe place where people enjoy being with him and know how to care for him.  And Robert enjoys his time there.

“The Respite Services at The Arc Caddo-Bossier have allowed me to live independently and not give up on life.  I am able to go and still do things I want to do in life, but know that my child is being well cared for.  I am at ease – at peace.” – Mattie Wilson, April 2013

Celebrating Heroes


Healthcare Heroes: Rebekah van Gessel, Chris Snell, Ashley Snell, Clint Snell, Carlos Garcia, Norma Garcia, Clyde Massey, Karla Spero.

Again this year, members of our staff attended and thoroughly enjoyed the LSU Health Sciences Foundation’s An Evening for Heroes.  As a company, Snell’s O&P was also proud to be a Valiant level sponsor of this very worthwhile endeavor.

The Foundation recognizes and honors health care professionals each year, from 911 operators and EMS responders to nurses, physicians and therapists who helped save lives in trauma and emergency situations. This year’s event featured a new mother’s survival story and a young burn victim who found his voice after a devastating fire. In addition, military heroes were honored from Barksdale Air Force Base.

Each year that we attend An Evening for Heroes, we are all inspired by the stories of the professionals who were involved in life saving care, as well as by the patients who survive and thrive after a life-altering situation.

LSU Health is the largest employer in Shreveport and contributes an impressive one billion dollars annually into our local economy. Support from our community is essential to attracting and retaining world-class physicians who are there when we need them.  This event provides a way to connect to the teaching, the healing and the discovery that go on right here in Ark-LA-Tex.

Snell’s Continues to Support Budding Practitioners

You may remember Rebekah Van Gessel from her appearance on Your Hometown Show last year.  She and resident Trevor Johnson were interviewed about requirements, education and training for young people coming into the O&P field.

We feel that the enthusiasm, “built in” technological savvy, energy and vitality of this new generation is contagious and refreshing.  So, we thought we would share an update on Rebekah’s progress, in her own words, so that visitors to our site can share in the passion she and others like her are bringing to today’s P&O:

“I just got back from Prosthetics school at Northwestern University Prosthetics Orthotics Center (NUPOC) in Chicago, which was five months online and three months on site learning in Chicago.  I graduated from NUPOC in orthotics on March 30, 2012 and prosthetics on March 30, 2013. I will be starting an 18 month dual orthotic and prosthetic residency very soon at Snell’s through NCOPE (National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education).

I am from Alexandria, now living in Bossier and working at Snell’s Line Ave office.

NUPOC’s O&P program was a great advanced program to be accepted into, which offers the student the ability to work full time while taking online classes the first 5 months. The on site portion provided hands on experience in the fabrication lab and with clients with amputations.

The best part about living in Chicago is the bond that is created with your classmates during the short three months you are there.  We became a family and still talk almost every day. The field of O&P is so small, we can’t help but become family, because no one else understands our experiences.

(Also, I will never forget the view out of my bedroom looking out on Lake Michigan, it is forever imprinted in my brain)!

Now, that I am graduated, I have been very busy in Prosthetics, Orthotics, & Cranial Remolding. Clyde (Massey) has been showing me the ropes out at Willis Knighton South Hospital during Dr. Ghali’s pediatric clinics every other week, twice a week.

I love getting to see the little babies and learn the process of corrective helmets.

I have also been traveling to the Monroe office with Russell (Bellamy) on Thursdays for more prosthetic experience.

As you can see I’ve jumped in, feet first, ready to learn and grow. I am so excited to get back into my routine here at Snells and I couldn’t be more thankful for all of their support and confidence in me.

Everyone here has become my family. I am so excited for the future.  I am loving being busy at work, it makes me feel important.  After the 18 month dual residency I get to sit for my ABC boards for certification.

C-Leg Roadshow

C-Leg Road Show Stops in Alexandria

On March 26, 2013, Otto Bock rolled in to our Alexandria office to demonstrate the C-Leg, a workhorse of the “bionic” style lower extremity prostheses. The C-Leg features micro-processor technology, which is wirelessly programmed for the patient’s particular gait and activity level. The C-Leg also is noted for its safety features which help prevent falls. Falling is a major factor in injuries and re-hospitalizations among above knee amputees with more traditional types of prostheses.

Among the patients that attended to see and experience the technology first hand was Tiffany Lester, a young woman who was a recent bi-lateral amputee.

According to Tommy Griffin, CP, and manager of the Alexandria location: “Tiffany has a below knee amputation on one side and above knee on the other. She had only been acclimating to her prostheses for a couple of weeks when she came to the Roadshow. She was still very reliant on a walker. Almost immediately when she tested out the C-Leg she was much more stable, and was able to walk without the walker. She also experienced significantly less energy expenditure.”

Over lunch, patients and Robert, a member of the Otto Bock staff, who is himself an above knee amputee took the opportunity to spend “peer time”. Robert counseled his fellow amputees on some of the nuances of making the most of the bionic technology. (He currently wears the “next generation” Otto Bock knee,  the Genium, which isn’t widely available at this time, but soon will be).

“It was a really rewarding and productive day for all of us. I think the patients that attended got a lot out of both the demonstration and the discussions with Robert.

We hope to repeat the experience again in the future,” said Tommy Griffin.

Snell’s Show and Tell

In September, “Mr. Trevor” (Snell’s Resident Trevor Johnson) was invited by Miles and Emily Snell, grandchildren of company president Clint Snell, to participate in their school’s show and tell activities.  Mr. Trevor made a special rainbow leg and Miles and Emily showed it off to show the kids, which they were fascinated with.  Miles’ class was featured in the neighborhood edition of the Shreveport Times.

Snell’s is dedicated to the education of future practitioners, as evidenced by our strong residency program.  Perhaps one day some of these youngsters will become prosthetists and orthotists at Snell’s!

The show and tell was at Noel Methodist Children’s Center.  Emmy is in PK4 and Miles is in PK3.

Education Update

Clint and Chris attended the annual American Orthotics and Prosthetics Association Assembly in Boston, in September.  The annual assembly featured continuing education and networking on a national level.

Also in September, Clyde and Trevor conducted an educational seminar for LSU Medical School’s OT students and will be returning soon to provide education to their PT students.  And, on October 4th, Clint showed off and demonstrated his new KAFO to the PT students at LSU.

Clint, Kaitlynd and Clyde attended training in Dallas on cranial helmets at the Star Cranial Center.  STARband cranial helmets are used to treat deformational plagiocephaly, which is commonly referred to as “flat head syndrome”.  The STARband is used to correct this condition.  Our practitioners are now qualified and certified by The Star Cranial Center to fit STARband cranial helmets.

Chris is working getting his BOC certifications in prosthetics and orthotics.  He is currently doing the pre-requisites and will be completing his course work and obtaining his certifications.

The company is actively seeking a new resident(s) in order to continue with the success of Snell’s residency program.