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The Barr Foundation, a non-profit organization, is pleased to announce the establishment of the Barr Foundation Amputee Assistance Fund (BFAAF)
The purpose of the "FUND" is to purchase prosthetic limbs for amputees who cannot otherwise afford them. The creation of the fund was made possible by a generous donation from the Barr Foundation. William G. Barr, co-author of the book "Whole Again", tells of his and his son's struggles to find a proper fitting prosthesis and overcome their disabilities. Barr was an above the knee amputee as a result of a 1970 car bombing, his son Tony lost a foot in a 1972 train accident. In 1978 Bill and Tony took the tragedies in both of their lives and turned them to triumph by founding the Institute for the Advancement of Prosthetics (IAP) in Lansing Michigan.
IAP deserves credit for many advances in prosthetics and improving the lives of amputees everywhere. The Institute for the Advancement of Prosthetics was sold to the Hanger Orthopedic Group in 1992. Hanger has picked up the torch lit by Bill Barr. The proceeds from the sale to Hanger Orthopedic Group were used to create the Barr Foundation. Tony Barr, son of Bill Barr and Foundation President, explains "the Barr Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for amputees. In many ways the Foundation mirrors my father's efforts. Since 1995, the BUAAF has made it possible for over 800 amputees in 43 states and 8 foreign countries to become Whole Again."
The Barr Foundation Amputee Assistance Fund (BFAAF) is administered by the Barr Foundation in Boca Raton, Florida, and coordinated by local and foreign prosthetists. The "Fund" will pay for materials and fitting of a new prosthesis after financial need has been established by the prosthetists. To establish that need, the amputee and prosthetist would need to show there are no other sources of funding available. To apply for the funding the prosthetist and amputee will complete application forms which will then be reviewed and verified by a committee of professionals. In most cases, the amputee should have an answer within two weeks.
The Barr Foundation and other amputee support organizations and the Florida Association of Orthotists and Prosthetists were instrumental in the successful passage of 1997 legislation requiring mandatory licensing of orthotic and prosthetic professionals in the state of Florida. As a direct result of the enactment of this legislation, Florida Medicaid expanded O&P coverage to adults over 21 years of age.
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