Associations Issue Comments on Anti-harassment Open Letter

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The O&P Alliance issued an open letter to the O&P profession December 10 on sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace. CEOs, executive directors, and presidents of the organizations within the O&P Alliance have weighed in on the need for the workgroup as well as the steps that can be taken within the industry to reinforce the Alliance's message.

American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC)
Catherine A. Carter, Executive Director

"ABC has a long history of being the standard-bearer for ethics and professional discipline in the orthotics and prosthetics profession. Our ethics policies have always encompassed harassment in any form and we continue to uphold those values today. In today's environment, our values and adherence to the Code of Professional Responsibility couldn't be more important. As part of our participation in the O&P Alliance, we fully support the open letter to the profession and have already implemented strategies to inform and educate our constituents. In addition to providing the open letter to our certifees, we have a two-part series on harassment that launched with the December issue of our newsletter, Mark of Merit, as well as a future podcast on the topic."

The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (The Academy)
Leigh Davis, MSPO, CPO, FAAOP, 2018-2019 President

"In addition to supporting the members of our profession with the tools they need to provide the best patient care, the Academy feels that there may sometimes be a need for protection. The Academy, along with all O&P Alliance organizations, recently signed a letter condemning harassment and discrimination of any kind. There is no room for these types of behaviors in our profession. We must all hold each other to the highest ethical standards, standing up for ourselves and those around us."

National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP)
Dave McGill, President

"The NAAOP believes the Alliance's statement about preventing sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination in the workplace is an important first step in raising awareness about this issue. NAAOP was fortunate enough to have multiple members of our organization attend an Össur Women's Leadership Initiative (OWLI) event where multiple individuals bravely shared their stories. We were honored to participate in that meeting and thank the rest of the O&P Alliance for its rapid response once we brought these facts to the group's attention. By raising awareness about this serious issue, we can hopefully help prevent both O&P professionals and their patients from having to experience sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination in the future.

Rebecca J. Hast
Incoming NAAOP President

"Respect and empathy in the workplace have always been important, but the value of raising awareness about the impact of discriminatory practices and sexual harassment in today's world is imperative if we want to attract and retain a talented, diverse, and productive workforce. The work that began at the Össur Women's Leadership Conference last summer and the follow up from the O&P Alliance are an exciting beginning. At NAAOP, we are committed to helping our members and our industry understand the impact of these issues and identify pathways for improvement."

Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC)
Claudia Zacharias, MBA, CAE
, President & CEO

"BOC and our fellow members of the O&P Alliance are taking a zero tolerance stand to condemn sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination in all forms. BOC continues to uphold high ethical standards for our certified practitioners through our comprehensive Code of Ethics. BOC's Code of Ethics addresses inappropriate behaviors that involve or impact our certified professionals. The first step in initiating an ethics complaint is to complete and submit an Ethics Charge Statement, which is available on our website. After an ethics complaint is filed, BOC follows an in-place process to investigate and respond."

The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA)
Eve Humphreys, MBA, CAE, Executive Director

"AOPA is excited to team with the O&P Alliance along with the Alliance Work Group that was established at the 2018 AOPA National Assembly in Vancouver to address this important issue as one unified voice in O&P. Since September, AOPA has submitted suggested language for an open letter from the O&P Alliance and has updated the AOPA Code of Interactions with Health Care Professionals. We hope to encourage and engage our members, along with the O&P profession, to have an ongoing discussion with their workforce and be transparent in the iteration of a Nondiscrimination/Anti-Harassment policy in the workplace."

We, at The O&P EDGE would like to thank these leaders in the O&P profession for taking the time to share their thoughts on this important issue and will continue to bring you updates on the profession's efforts to support a respectful workplace free of harassment and discrimination.