Awards, fellowship announcements kick off Academy meeting

ORLANDO, Fla. — The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium kicked off with a tribute to practitioners, researchers and educators making a difference in the O&P profession.

In the event’s opening ceremony, the president of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) spoke about the importance of passion for one’s work.

M. Jason Highsmith, PT, DPT, PhD, CP, FAAOP, proposed a new mindset to promote growth in the O&P profession. Rather than doing something “because it has always been done that way,” he said, O&P professionals need to focus on outcomes. In the realm of teaching and training, he said, while specific skills are important, educators need to focus on teaching students to think critically and become leaders. Last, rather than choosing a component for a patient based on its possibilities for reimbursement, or applying for a grant based on its opportunities for promotion and tenure, Highsmith said O&P professionals in both these areas need to shift their focus to patient impact. Each component chosen or research grant applied for should address a patient problem, he said.

Taking that theme a step further, Highsmith encouraged attendees to consider the impact they are having on individual patients’ lives.

“You have to think about what you want [to accomplish] when you engage every patient. I know what I want for patients … I want them to have the best care,” Highsmith said. “Ask yourself, what do you want?

“I challenge you to make each patient’s issues your cause,” he said.

A new mindset also is reflected in recent changes at the AAOP, according to Lydia Middleton, MBA, CAE, AAOP executive director. Middleton said AAOP is undergoing changes to better respond to the needs of O&P professionals. These changes are reflected in the AAOP’s new logo, its forthcoming new website, which is expected this summer, and changes to the Online Learning Center (OLC), also coming soon. Middleton emphasized the new logo’s tagline of “MY OP” and said the new site will allow members to customize their own profiles and obtain access to resources that fit their individual needs.

M. Jason Highsmith

Lydia Middleton

The opening ceremony featured a number of awards, beginning with the Carlton Fillauer Prize, presented by the Orthotic and Prosthetic Educational Research Foundation (OPERF), which was awarded to Donald R. Cummings, CP, LP, FAAOP. The recipients of the Outstanding Educator Award were Sara Peterson, MBA, CPO, FAAOP, and Steven Stolberg, CP. Honorary membership to the AAOP was awarded to Billie J. Randolph, PT, PhD, ATC, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Ia. Highsmith received the Research Award.

The Clinical Creativity Award was given to Ryan Caldwell, CP/LP, FAAOP and the Clinical Commitment Award’s recipient was Tim Dennis, CO. The recipient of the Distinguished Practitioner Award was Charles Kuffel, MSM, CPO, FAAOP. The Titus Ferguson Award, which honors lifetime achievement, was presented to the family of the late Michael Shuch, CPO, FAAOP, FISPO.

The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists announced its new class of fellows at its annual meeting.

Source: Alexander A, O&P News.

AAOP also honored its new class of fellows, which included: Ellie Boomer, CPO, LPO, FAAOP; Kristin J. Carnahan, CPO, FAAOP; Michael Carroll, MBA, CPO, FAAOP; Adam Edmonds, CPO, FAAOP; Jared A. Howell, MS, CPO, FAAOP; Sun Hae (Sunny) Jang, MSC, CO, FAAOP; Erin O’Brien, CPO, LPO, FAAOP; Brittany L. Stresing, CPO, FAAOP; Cara M. Negri, CP, FAAOP; Matthew A. Parente, MS, PT, CPO, FAAOP; Kyle A. Sherk, MS, CPO, FAAOP; Michael P. Madden, CPO, LPO, FAAOP; and Julian A. Wells, CPO, FAAOP.

In addition, AAOP announced a new designation of fellows with distinction. This year’s class included: Kevin M. Carroll, MS, CP, FAAOP(D); Michelle J. Hall, CPO, FAAOP(D); Christopher Lake, CPO, FAAOP(D); Stephanie D. Langdon, CPO, FAAOP(D); John Rheinstein, CP, FAAOP(D); and Christopher Robinson, MS, MBA, CPO, FAAOP(D). – by Amanda Alexander


Highsmith MJ, et al. Opening session: Academy awards presentation and Fellow ceremony. Presented at: American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium; March 9-12, 2016; Orlando, Fla.

Disclosures: Highsmith and Middleton report no relevant financial disclosures.

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