Academy Meeting: Something Bold, Something New

AAOP logo

More than 1,700 O&P professionals participated in the 42nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (the Academy). It took place March 9-12 in Orlando, Florida, and something bold and something new was on the menu.

The new flavors were apparent with the launch of the Academy's new logo, the first phase of its corporate rebranding effort. Academy President Jason Highsmith, PT, DPT, PhD, CP, FAAOP, addressed attendees at Wednesday evening's opening session; he thanked his colleagues for the generous donation of their time and talent over the year that aided many of the Academy's accomplishments. Academy Awards were bestowed on industry leaders, including Charles Michael "Mike" Schuch, CPO, FAAOP, FISPO (1955-2015), who received the Titus-Ferguson Award posthumously for his years of contributions to O&P research and practice, and service to the Academy. Other honorees included Tim Dennis, CO, for clinical commitment; Ryan Caldwell, CP/L, FAAOP, for clinical creativity; Highsmith for research; and Sara Peterson, MBA, CPO, FAAOP, and Steven Stolberg, CP, as outstanding educators. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), and Billie J. Randolph, PT, PhD, ATC (Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired), received honorary membership awards for their work that is closely allied with O&P.

The 2016 class of Academy Fellows were inducted during the opening ceremonies, as was the inaugural class of the Academy Fellows With Distinction.

inaugural class of Academy Fellows With Distinction

The designation Fellow With Distinction, the newest designation program, recognizes the pursuit of the highest standards of care and the remarkable commitment to promoting the wide exchange and dissemination of knowledge in the O&P profession. The 2016 class of Academy Fellows With Distinction include, from left: Pat Prigge, John Rheinstein, Michelle J. Hall, Stephanie D. Langdon, and Kevin M. Carroll. Not pictured are Christopher Lake and Christopher Robinson.

2016 class of Academy Fellows

The designation Fellow of the Academy is a signature recognition of professional achievement. The 2016 class of Academy Fellows includes, from left: Kyle A. Sherk, Jared A. Howell, Michael P. Madden, Matthew A. Parente, Sun Hae (Sunny) Jang, Ellie Boomer, Cara M. Negri, Julian A. Wells, and Michael Carroll. Not pictured are Kristin J. Carnahan, Adam Edmonds, Erin O'Brien, Brittany L. Stresing, Santiago Munoz, Rick Miller, and Leslie Gray.

Thursday morning featured presentations by the Thranhardt Lecture winners. Michelle Hall, MS, CPO, FAAOP(D), presented "Margins of Stability in Children With Cerebral Palsy Diplegia: Barefoot vs. AFO Comparison," and Joan Sanders, PhD, presented "Effect of Daily Limb Volume Changes and Volume Accommodation on Activity and Self-Reported Outcomes."

Thursday through Saturday offerings included the opportunity to earn continuing education credits with professional development sessions, instructional courses and symposia presentations, free paper and poster presentations, demonstrations and discussions of clinical and practice management techniques and issues, manufacturer workshops, and product preview presentations. American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics certifees had the chance to earn up to 37.5 credits, while Board of Certification/Accreditation certificants had the chance to earn up to 39.5 credits and pedorthists could earn up to 11.75 Category I credits.

Charles Kuffel receives award from Jason Highsmith

Highsmith (right) presented Charles W. Kuffel (left) with the Distinguished Practitioner Award for his many years of practice and work advocating for those with limb loss and limb impairments in both his home state of Minnesota and at the federal level. Photographs courtesy of the Academy.

Of particular note was the session "3D Printing and the Future of O&P." A large audience assembled to hear the latest on this controversial topic. The Thematic Poster Session, the first of its kind at an Academy Annual Meeting, was a hit. The town hall forum approach to this session encouraged questions to be directed to and from anyone attending the session, including the presenter, moderators, and audience members, which led to lively debates and discussions. Moderators helped to initiate the conversation but encouraged the discussion to grow beyond the specific scope of any single presentation to encompass a broad area.

The Academy's 43rd Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium is scheduled for March 1-4, 2017, in Chicago.