O&P Humanitarian Database Seeks Updates

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By Tina Eichner

The Digital Resource Foundation for the O&P Community (DRFOP) maintains the O&P Humanitarian Database , a collaborative project aimed at promoting humanitarian organizationsthat servethe orthotics and prosthetics profession worldwide. The online database provides detailed information about each organization listed, including regions served, services provided, and financial, material, and volunteer needs.

The O&P HumanitarianDatabase was launched early in 2005 through the DRFOP, a nonprofit organization established in 2003 with a mission to develop computer-based information resources and communication links for the worldwide orthotics and prosthetics community.

"The database is a central resource of current information about worldwide humanitarian efforts in the orthotics and prosthetics community," said Mary Novotny, RN, program director of the DRFOP. "It answers the question, 'Do you know anyone who is involved in any kind of humanitarian work, anywhere,'" she explained.

Many humanitarian organizations are not yet listed, and the organizers of those groups are encouraged to use this resource, to make the repository as complete as possible.

"It was designed to link organizations, individuals, and agencies providing orthotic and prosthetic care and resources with people worldwide who need assistance," said Novotny. "In addition, the database provides a vehicle for communication and participation to individuals seeking involvement in humanitarian efforts and donors wishing to contribute money, components, supplies, and resources."

The O&P HumanitarianDatabase is hosted on the industry's portal website, www.oandp.com

"The ultimate success of the project rests on the involvement of all groups and individuals engaged in O&P-related humanitarian work," said Novotny. "Each organization submitting information is in the database and provided with a password to verify and update its information at any time. If your organization is not yet included, please contact hdb@drfop.org . If you are interested in locating opportunities for involvement or organizations that can offer assistance in specific areas, search the O&P Humanitarian Database by going online to www.drfop.org or www.oandp.com ," she added.

Novotny is a rehabilitation nurse, educator, and consultant who survived cancer, which resulted in a hip disarticulation amputation in her teens. While completing her masters degree in nursing, she coordinated several amputee programs in Chicago, Illinois, founded the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA), and later developed the National Limb Loss Information Center (NLLIC).