A GLOBAL Thank You from Anaplastologists around the world!

(Members of the International Anaplastology Association)


What's the problem?


As described on the "Art + Science of Anaplastology" page of this site, the term anaplastology refers to the practice of restoring missing facial or body anatomy with highly customized, life-like prostheses when surgical reconstruction is unachievable or undesired by the patient. By creating prostheses so visually true-to-life that they are often indistinguishable from natural tissues, the field of Anaplastology has remained rather anonymous through out the last century. This lack of knowledge causes many patients as well as doctors to be unaware or misinformed about the rehabilitative services available to potential prosthetic patients, ultimately placing barriers that prevent patients from obtaining treatment. This lack of awareness also creates challenges for clinicians to acquire funding for research and education necessary to advance the field and bring about better patient outcomes.


There is a real need to increase awareness among  patients and health care professionals about:


■  the field of facial prosthetic treatment (Anaplastology),

■  the practicing community of clinical anaplastologists and the services which they provide,

■  timely research devoted to the advancement of facial prosthetic treatment and outcomes, and

■  education and/or research funds, organizations, associations, and special projects to which one may contribute support



This need calls for  the development and execution of educational programming and public awareness campaigns,  information resources and ambassadors for the field of Anaplastology.


Erin Stevens, a Chicago-trained anaplastologist and founder of the Facial Prosthetics Initiatives Network, recognized the need for improved awareness of her field and began exploring solutions to actively support this need. After recruiting and organizing a team of ambassadors for anaplastology, her first project was born in the spring of 2012 -- The Worthwhile Mile. Stevens initiated a mile-for-mile cycling campaign, pledging to cycle 1000 miles throughout the summer of 2012 in hopes of obtaining 1000 donations for the Walter Spohn Education Fund, a grant program established to to provide financial support to individuals initiating educational and research projects to advance the field of Anaplastology.  She had great success and vowed to carry the project forward by opening it up to multiple riders. There is more power in numbers, right?


This past summer, Erin served as one of four leaders, guiding a team of 28 cyclists from the Atlantic coast of North Carolina to the beaches of San Diego, Califiornia. Motivated to learn the ins and outs of organizing larger group rides, she gleened a wealth of knowledge from her personal experiences and those of her Bike & Build directors and alumni leaders. While decending a range in the Rockies on the 4th of July, Erin made up her mind to move forward with an expansion of The Worthwhile Mile  in 2014.


And here we are! The WM has two new routes on deck:


wm4WSEF - Denver to Durango, June 2-8


Supporting the Walter Spohn Education Fund (WSEF) research and education initiatives in Facial and Somato (body) Prosthetics



wm4IAA - Nashville to Asheville, September 21-26


Supporting the International Anaplastology Association (IAA), which promotes quality patient care by supporting the development of best practices in anaplastology through educational conferences, networking, publication, and advocacy opportunities


Each ride will have a team of up to 30 riders, each of whom fundraise $1000 prior to the trip.



The Walter Spohn Education Fund was established to provide financial support to individuals initiating educational and research projects to advance the field of Anaplastology. The WSEF is one of several scholarships and research grants established under The Vesalius Trust for Visual Communication in the Health Sciences, a 501(c)(3) Non-profit Corporation.


The International Anaplastology Association is an international organization founded in 1980 as the American Anaplastology Association and incorporated in California as a 501(c)(6) Non-profit Mutual Benefit Corporation. The association originated to bring together a wide variety of specialists involved in providing restorative prostheses for patients with facial and somato disfigurements due to cancer, trauma, or congenital origin.



The WM Story is an exciting one and there is still so much ahead! Thank you for your interest and please follow and support this awesome and worthy project moving forward.