APMA News - September/October 2017 - 32

Celebrating 50 Years: Firsthand
Accounts of the History of the Seal Program
As part of APMA's ongoing celebration of the 50th anniversary of the APMA Seal Program, APMA News spoke to some of the podiatrists
who played a critical role in shaping the Seal of Acceptance and Seal of Approval. Read on for their memories of the program as it evolved
over half a century. For more information about the Seal Program, read "50 Years of Excellence and Growth" in the July-August issue of
APMA News.

Arthur E. Helfand, DPM
Dr. Helfand, in his position on the faculty at the then-Pennsylvania College of
Podiatric Medicine, had a hand in the original Mennen Company proposal for the
creation of the Seal. He provided APMA
News with additional background on the
founding of the program.
"The Mennen Company wanted to recreate what Crest did
with the American Dental Association. [Mennen] met with
APMA in 1965 to start discussing the program. There was a
question of whether the schools would support the program.
So, a feasibility study was set up at the five colleges, and each
college was sent one product to evaluate. At the Pennsylvania
College, we studied [a] health sock. We did not recommend the
Seal for the product we evaluated because there was a big knot
in the seam of the toe. In tight shoes, it would have created
an irritation."

Robin Ross, DPM
Dr. Ross served on APMA's Podiatric
Seals Committee starting in 2010, and she
served as committee chair from 2011 until
the end of her tenure in 2013.
APMA News:
Why did you choose to participate on
the Podiatric Seals Committee?
Dr. Ross:
I had been a member of various APMA committees since
2000. I wanted to experience membership on different APMA
committees to give back and to understand my organization.
Volunteering is a wonderful, selfless act that all can do. It
doesn't cost a penny, but the rewards are many.
APMA News:
What do you see as the Seal Program's role at APMA and for
podiatry in general?
32 APMA News September/October 2017

Dr. Ross:
The Seal serves as a resource for the public and the American commercial and medical industry by utilizing the standards recognized by APMA to acknowledge the benefits and
risks of product usage.
APMA News:
How did the program evolve during your time on the committee?
Dr. Ross:
I feel that the Seal Program and the committee became more
centralized and focused. No process is ever perfect, and when

"It is a dynamic system, and with
input from member podiatrists
from all parts of the country with
different backgrounds, needs,
and wants, the Podiatric Seals
Committee was committed to doing
better for itself and the public."
-Robin Ross, DPM
errors occurred in product evaluation, they were recognized and
discussed, and steps were put in place to prevent recurrence. It
is a dynamic system, and with input from member podiatrists
from all parts of the country with different backgrounds, needs,
and wants, the Podiatric Seals Committee was committed to
doing better for itself and the public.
APMA News:
What else would you like APMA members to know about your
experience with the Seal Program?
Dr. Ross:
The Podiatric Seals Committee is a confidential committee
because that is one way to limit any bias that may occur by
being recognized by vendors submitting products for Seal
consideration. One of the best experiences I had was working
with dedicated professionals, both member podiatrists and



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of APMA News - September/October 2017

Contents
APMA News - September/October 2017 - Cover1
APMA News - September/October 2017 - Cover2
APMA News - September/October 2017 - 3
APMA News - September/October 2017 - 4
APMA News - September/October 2017 - 5
APMA News - September/October 2017 - 6
APMA News - September/October 2017 - 7
APMA News - September/October 2017 - Contents
APMA News - September/October 2017 - 9
APMA News - September/October 2017 - 10
APMA News - September/October 2017 - 11
APMA News - September/October 2017 - 12
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APMA News - September/October 2017 - 14
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APMA News - September/October 2017 - Cover3
APMA News - September/October 2017 - Cover4
APMA News - September/October 2017 - S1
APMA News - September/October 2017 - S2
APMA News - September/October 2017 - S3
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