29,246 children were abused or neglected last year in Illinois – those are just the reported cases. Imagine how many more children suffer who no one knows about! April is known nationally as Child Abuse Prevention Month. The McKinley Foundation and Presby Hall residents will help raise awareness about child abuse and neglect by building a Blue Ribbon Tree this Friday, April 7, outside the McKinley Foundation and Presby Hall.
Aadeel Akhtar, PhD, was 7 years old when he first met a person with an amputation. She was his age, living in poverty in Pakistan, where he was visiting in the summer of 1994. That event spurred Aadeel’s interest in developing prosthetics for the entire world. To that end, he enrolled in the MD/PhD program in Neuroscience at the University of Illinois. While there, he established and directly supervised a team of 2 graduate students and 15 undergraduate students in the development of a low-cost, highly-functional prosthetic hand that can provide sensory feedback. His hand can be built for around $550 and has functionality comparable to prosthetic hands that cost $5000-$8000 in raw materials and are sold for around $30,000.
The vast majority of prostheses on the market only allow for hand open and close movements. Aadeel developed pattern recognition algorithms that enable finer control. Users are able to perform more complex movements like fine pinches and three-finger grasps just by making the same muscle movements they did prior to their amputation.
Furthermore, Aadeel implemented a method of providing touch/force feedback to patients by casting a $5 barometric pressure sensor in rubber, turning it into a highly sensitive touch sensor on the prosthesis. The pressure is translated into electrical stimulation pulses sent across the skin of the user to let them know when and how hard they are pressing on a surface. No other commercial prosthetic device provides this sensory feedback.
In August 2014, he traveled to Ecuador where he successfully tested his hand on an amputee of 30 years. In March 2016, he returned to Ecuador to enable the same patient to feel from his lost hand for the first time in 32 years using his sensory feedback technology. Locally, Aadeel has been working with an Iraq War veteran who lost his right arm below his elbow due to an improvised explosive device in 2005.
With a PhD under his belt, Aadeel is now finishing medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana. He lives with his wife Whitney and 2-year-old son Zain.
Artists’ Alley will be showcasing the photographs of University of Illinois BFA student Constance Sarantos. Exhibition is on display April 3 – May 14. Open hours are 9 AM to 8 PM daily. After 4:30 PM, entry to the space is open through Presby Hall only (located at 405 E. John Street). Opening reception and artist’s Q&A is April 6, 4 to 6 PM. Artist Q&A is at 5PM.
Artists’ Alley @ McKinley is a new gallery space, located at Fifth and Daniels Streets in Champaign, in the corridor connecting the McKinley Foundation and Presby Hall. It is a physical expression of the McKinley Foundation’s work to build a bridge between students and the local community.
We are proud to be part of the Boneyard Arts Festival.
The McKinley Foundation and Church are pleased to offer three scholarship opportunities for the 2017/2018 academic school year. The deadline to submit your application has been extended to April 28. Apply today!
Join us on Saturday, April 29, to honor four of our community’s heroes in the cause of justice. The evening’s festivities will begin at 5:30 with a reception and silent auction followed by dinner and the awards program.
We are pleased to have University of Illinois Chancellor Robert J. Jones, PhD, as our keynote speaker. Assata Zerai, Associate Chancellor for Diversity and Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois, will emcee.
Individual tickets are $50 or you may purchase a table for 8 for $350. Purchase your tickets online or contact our office more information at 217.344.0297.
The McKinley Foundation was thrilled to host more than 200 people at the Racial Taboo screening on Sunday, March 12. Local Champaign-Urbana residents were in full attendance as well as guests from Decatur, including Millikin University President, his wife and several faculty members; the Decatur police chief and a member of the Sheriff’s department; and other community members. Other guests came from as far away as Metropolis, Illinois; Paducah, Kentucky; and Huntley, Illinois. Read More →