OPERF Recognizes O&P Research With 2010 Award Program

The Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF)
recently recognized four individuals for their original O&P research.

OPERF, an independent nonprofit foundation, established the OPERF Award
Program in 2008 as a means to encourage and stimulate research at all levels in
the O&P profession. The program includes awards at three funding levels,
designed to support and promote investigator-initiated research ($25,000),
graduate fellow research ($5,000), and resident-conducted research ($1,000).

Researchers, physicians, students and residents from around the country
submitted diverse, quality research for this year’s Award Program,
indicating the great need for O&P research and the support of research
activities, according to a press release. Volunteers reviewed each application
for relevance, merit and appropriateness.

“This process allows OPERF to both support the most well-conceived
research projects, but also enables us to provide all candidates —
regardless of funding — with detailed feedback and support for their
research endeavors,” Brian J. Hafner, PhD, OPERF board member and research
committee chair, told O&P Business News. “In this way, we
not only support research with financial resources, but also contribute to the
overall quality of all research that is submitted for consideration.”

This year, Jason Wening, MS, CP, from Scheck and Siress Prosthetics,
Orthotics and Pedorthics received the Small Grant Award for his research,
“Effects of Two Different AFOs on the Gait of Acute Hemiplegic CVA

Fellowship Awards went to both Angelika Zissimopoulos, MS, from
Northwestern University for “Mediolateral Stability in Post-Stroke
Hemiplegic Gait: Dynamic Influences of Ankle-Foot and Torso-Weighting,”
and to Daniel Abrahamson, CPO, from the department of rehabilitation medicine
at the University of Washington for “The Effect of Elevated Vacuum Versus
Suction Suspension on Daily Volume Fluctuation in the Transtibial Residual

Richard Hunsaker, of Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, was awarded the
Resident Travel Award for “A Review of Current Literature Studying the Use
of Functional Electrical Stimulation for Foot Drop.”

“Ultimately, we all benefit: OPERF is able to support the most
qualified researchers, applicants are able to receive feedback and improve the
quality of their research, and our O&P community is able to add to a body
of knowledge with research supported by its own members,” Hafner said.
“We are proud to be at the center of this effort, but we are certainly not
alone in it. We have the support of other organizations, businesses and
individuals who, like us, believe that it is our responsibility to encourage,
support and promote research and education in O&P. In so doing, we support
our community and commit to building a strong future for the orthotics and
prosthetics profession.”

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