In Memoriam: Todd Anderson, CP, FAAOP
August 24, 2010
Todd Anderson, CP, FAAOP, passed away on August 18. His friends and colleagues at Otto Bock HealthCare, Minneapolis, Minnesota, prepared the following remembrance for Anderson, which appears in edited form below.
Todd Anderson was born in 1960 and spent his years in motion. Whatever role he played, he was fully engaged, taking on new challenges, reaching for new adventures and experiences, and often leaving those he touched changed for good.
From an early age, his path encompassed sports of every variety, and he enjoyed nature as a sportsman, adventurer, and photographer. Most of all, he had a great passion for his family and all those he cared for. He was an eight-time National Tournament Most Valuable Player and Hall of Fame Inductee of the National Wheelchair Softball Association and a record holder in the 200m run World Record in Gothenburg, Sweden. He was a member of the United States Disabled Volleyball team from 1993-1994, and he won multiple awards for archery. He always pushed himself to improve, to go from good to great, and to help others enjoy and explore new activities.
Anderson earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin, and post-graduate certificate in clinical education from Century College, White Bear Lake, Minnesota. In 1986 he was certified as a prosthetist by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC). He was one of the first clinicians to be recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (the Academy) in 2001-a reflection of his commitment to learning. He was the author of many respected clinical works, and presented to countless audiences.
He began his O&P career in 1985 at Northwestern Artificial Limb and Brace, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He worked at Green Bay Orthopedic Company, Wisconsin, and Shriners Hospital for Children, Minneapolis, before joining Otto Bock in 1999 as the director of professional and clinical services. He spent the intervening years building a professional and clinical services team that delivers more than 400 educational opportunities annually. Most recently at Otto Bock, he opened the Innovation Center and launched the concept of Cooperative Care. His unerring compass kept everyone around him focused on improving care and outcomes for people with limb loss and other physical challenges. As Anderson himself said, he works for people with limb loss and other disabilities-he just happens to do that work at Otto Bock.
"Todd brought a unique perspective to all that he did, always serving as the voice of the patient, acting with integrity and honor. He brought humor and compassion to every aspect of our work," said Bert Harman, president and CEO of Otto Bock North America.
Anderson served for four years as a board member of the U.S. National Member Society of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (U.S. ISPO), as president of the Minnesota chapter of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (the Academy), and as ABC's secretary-treasurer.
"Todd Anderson was one of the most thoughtful, passionate men I have had the pleasure to know," said Brad Ruhl, president and CEO of Otto Bock HealthCare. "His leadership and dedication to others is already missed."
"Todd was the kind of person people loved to be around," said Kendra Calhoun, president and CEO of the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA). "Over the years, he made significant contributions as a member of the ACA-most recently at our Limb Loss Task Force Summit. He was a bright star. The limb loss community burns a bit less bright today without him."
Anderson touched a great many people on his journey, from schoolmates to teammates, from colleagues to close friends, and he will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife Diane; son Daniel (Rebecca); daughter Erin; father Gerald; brothers Marc (Sherry) and Eric (Kris); uncle Floyd (Kathy) and aunt Pat (Dick) Enz; as well as many other relatives and close friends.