Face to Face: Kacy Moran Powers, CO

Kacy Moran Powers has been intrigued by the O&P profession for as long as she can remember. That is because her father, Ed Moran, CPO, has 38 years of experience in O&P. While involved in a summer research internship during her undergraduate studies, Powers decided to follow in her father's footsteps. She says she was lucky to begin her career under his tutelage, adding that she learned the intricacies of pediatric prosthetics and orthotics from her number one teacher and mentor—someone who never lost his desire to provide the finest patient care.

1. How did you become involved with O&P?

As a mechanical engineering student at Villanova University (Villanova), Pennsylvania, I was fortunate to intern in the Biomedical Engineering Research Department at Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children (Nemours) in Wilmington, Delaware. I worked on helping with the development of the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX), which is an arm orthosis that helps children with very little residual strength to move their arms in space. This project enabled me to work closely with the orthotics department. It was there that I fell in love with O&P patient care. I particularly love working with children.

2. Who has motivated or inspired you in your life and/or professional pursuits?

In addition to my father, I had an inspiring professor at Villanova, Jim O'Brien, who helped me challenge myself to use my knowledge to better the lives of others. During a service trip to Nicaragua in which we designed and built water systems for communities, he instilled in me how important it is to give back to those less fortunate.

3. How has your career progressed?

I have been working in O&P for five years, most of which has been spent at Nemours. During my time there, I co-authored a published article about the WREX and gained experience working with the Wilmington Scoliosis System. I also graduated from the certificate program at the Northwestern University Prosthetic-Orthotic Center (NUPOC, Chicago, Illinois), and then became certified in orthotics.

I recently moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and joined the Orthologix team working mainly at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

4. What are your personal and/or professional goals?

I would like to complete my prosthetics certification. By utilizing cutting-edge technology available to me, I hope to stay in step with the most up-to-date advances while providing the best quality care for patients and families seeking O&P services. I want to foster a team approach to patient care. It is imperative for doctors, therapists, orthotists, prosthetists, families, and patients to all work together in formulating the best treatment plan to yield the most optimal outcome for each particular patient.

5. What emerging trends or exciting advances do you see for your field?

As technologies such as bionics, microprocessor knees, stance control orthoses, and smart pyramids become common practice, hopefully they will become more sophisticated, miniaturized, and more affordable. I hope that this trend of advanced technology will continue to grow with our patient's needs. I would love to see the introduction of osseointegration here in the United States during my career. I also think it is important that our field is becoming more focused on conducting research and outcome-based studies to ensure the most optimal care.