The six dimensions of caring for patients with disabilities: a journey from the US to Sierra Leone

By MIT Morningside Academy for Design

Through innovation in policy, economics, engineering and design, MIT MAD Fellow Francesca Riccio Ackerman strengthens orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) sectors to improve the future of healthcare for people with disabilities globally, from the US to Sierra Leone.

Francesca Riccio Ackerman is a PhD student, research assistant in Biomechatronics at the MIT Media Lab, and a 2022 MIT Morningside Academy for Design Fellow

In 2021, Francesca joined the K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics, co-directed by Professor Hugh Herr, often referred to as the “Leader of the Bionic Age.” The center’s ambition is to bridge the gap between human limitation and human potential. Through its research, one of the Center’s priorities is to ensure equitable access of the latest bionic technology to all impacted individuals, especially to those in low-resource communities. As part of a team addressing this objective, Francesca collaborates with Professor Herr, Assistant Professor Amos Winter, humanitarian Dara Dotz, and MIT Alum David Moinina Sengeh, the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and Chief Innovation Officer for the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation in Sierra Leone. Together, they are reimagining care for people with disabilities.

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