2017 in Retrospect

Reprinted from PN December 2017

From new national leaders to making air travel better to moving a paralyzed limb with a thought, this year has provided many amazing and noteworthy moments.

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As the frantic pace of the holiday season winds down, it’s a good time to take a step back for a few moments to reflect on the changes of the past year and mentally reset for the year ahead. For Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), 2017 came with new leadership at the national level, as well as continued advocacy efforts in the areas of health care and legislation on behalf of the nation’s most catastrophically injured veterans. PN has had a busy year, too. We’ve crisscrossed the country to bring you coverage of the 37th National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Cincinnati, the PVA Summit + Expo in National Harbor, Md., the latest in accessible technology from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and even some amazing stories from the Invictus Games in Toronto. With all of that and so much more to consider, we’ve somehow managed to whittle things down and highlight just a few of this year’s people, places and things from 2017.

Change Of Command

A close race for national president marked PVA’s executive committee election at the 71st national convention in National Harbor, Md., in May. David Zurfluh won the post, edging out Ken Weas by just one vote, 16-15. An Air Force veteran, Zurfluh has held several positions in the PVA Northwest Chapter since 2003, including legislative director, vice president and president. 

“I joined Paralyzed Veterans of America the same year I was injured. As I lay in my hospital bed after my injury, lost, broken and wondering about my future, Paralyzed Veterans came to my aid, gave me hope and showed me a path to succeed in life,” says Zurfluh. “I can’t imagine any better way to pay it forward than to lead an organization that offers new lives to injured veterans.”

Moving Into The Future

Learning about PVA’s new leadership wasn’t limited to the print edition of PN or even its website because the magazine and its sister publication, SPORTS ’N SPOKES (S’NS), took a big technological step in June. PN and S’NS joined the digital realm that month with the release of mobile applications (apps) for both magazines. The apps allow magazine subscribers to access the full edition of each magazine on their Apple or Android mobile devices, as well as editions from previous months, all with the swipe of a finger. 

To see a video tutorial on how to download and use the app, visit

That technological step was managed under the guidance of then-Editor Richard Hoover, who decided to retire that same month after 10 years leading PVA Publications. Tom Fjerstad was promoted from deputy editor to replace Hoover as editor. Overseeing PVA Publications’ step into the digital arena was only a small part of the major influence Hoover had on PVA. There’s honestly not much Hoover hasn’t done for PVA. Besides serving as editor, he’s served as national president, national senior vice president, national vice president, national executive director, national treasurer, on the national board of directors and as a member of the PVA Arizona Chapter Board of Directors. 

“During my tenure, technology advanced, and we had to develop a digital strategy,” Hoover wrote in his final editorial in the June issue of PN. “PN and S’NS are now each available in print and digital formats, have websites and new mobile applications available through iTunes and Google Play. It’s my belief that PVA Publications is on the leading edge of publishing in the digital age.”


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2017 in Retrospect


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