Each year, over 486,000 burn injuries receive medical treatment in the US, due to recent medical advances, more than 96% of those treated in a burn centre will survive (American Burn Association). Understanding that survival is not enough, Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, the leading national non-profit dedicated to empowering burn survivors, will welcome members of the burn survivor community and their families for the Phoenix World Burn Congress, virtually, on 22–24 October 2021.
Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors World Burn Congress will feature powerful talks from burn survivors and those who have overcome difficult life challenges. This year will include a keynote from Dr B.J. Miller, an American physician, author, storyteller, burn survivor and pre-eminent thought leader on patient-centred care. His story is also the main topic of Netflix’s Academy Award-nominated short documentary End Game. Dr Miller will share his journey as a survivor and the impact it’s had on his life. His message will explore how to own your limitations and find meaning every day through creativity, a sense of belonging and connection.
In a 2017 New York Times article, Miller said: ‘Parts of me died early on and that’s something, one way or another, we can all say. I got to redesign my life around this fact, and I tell you it has been a liberation to realize you can always find a shock of beauty or meaning in what life you have left.’
The Phoenix World Burn Congress, which is the world’s largest gathering of the burn community, is a life-changing event that connects burn survivors, their families, medical professionals and first responders to share stories, provide support and increase knowledge of burn recovery. Many attendees have never met another survivor outside the hospital, and there is nothing more powerful than the moment someone meets a person further down the road to recovery and realizes there is life, love and happiness after a burn.
‘Phoenix World Burn Congress is an ongoing testament to the transformational power of community,’ said Amy Acton, burn survivor and CEO of Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors. ‘I celebrated my 40th ‘Burniversary’ as we like to call it, this year, and it is a reminder that our stories are not to be suppressed but used as a powerful tool to bring community together; we can all lean on and learn from each other because everyone has a unique experience.’
Sessions will cover topics such as:
- Adults Burned as Children: What I Wish I’d Known
- Make-Up Techniques for Burn Survivors
- Finding Purpose after Burn Injury
- Exploring Burns as a Chronic Condition
- Spirituality in Healing: Is there a Connection
Understanding that there is now a larger demand for long-term burn recovery resources, Phoenix Society has built a community that supports lifelong healing for burn survivors. Since 1977, the organization has developed a variety of national programmes that help promote healing physically, emotionally and socially. The Phoenix SOAR (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery) programme, which provides peer support for burn survivors, is currently in over 70 hospitals across North America. The SOAR programme has also trained 1,200 Peer Supporters and served 4,000+ SOAR visits in 2020 alone.
Earlier this year, Phoenix launched a national campaign in conjunction with nine West coast burn centres, the National Fire Protection Association and fire rescue organizations nationwide. Outreach focused on wildfire safety, burn prevention and first aid to prepare the public for a severe wildfire season following 2020’s catastrophic season. This was the first time this many partners joined forces to spread the word of fire prevention and first aid should one be affected by a fire.
Registration for the Phoenix World Burn Congress can be completed here. The virtual experience can be live-streamed to a computer, smartphone, or tablet.
About Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors
In the US, 40,000 people are hospitalized with burn injuries each year. Burn survivors and their loved ones face a lifelong journey of physical, emotional and social recovery. Connecting with others who have walked a similar path is essential to optimal recovery and social reintegration. Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors is the leading national non-profit dedicated to empowering burn survivors and their families at all points of recovery. Since 1977, Phoenix Society has worked with survivors, families, healthcare professionals and first responders to support burn recovery, improve the quality of burn care and prevent burn injuries.
For more information, visit www.phoenix-society.org