The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) announced that Thomas V. DiBello, CO/L, FAAOP, is the association’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. This award is bestowed on individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the O&P profession; it will be presented at the 2015 AOPA National Assembly in San Antonio.
“Mr. DiBello is this year’s honoree because of his relentless passion for patient care, O&P education, and advancing the profession,” said AOPA President Charles Dankmeyer Jr., CPO. “Tom is a true visionary who has made a huge impact through his leadership at the Academy [American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists], AOPA, O&P educational programs, and his other volunteer work here and abroad.”
He earned an orthotics certificate at Northwestern University and completed his residency at the University of Oklahoma. He spent eight years as a clinician employed in private practices before purchasing a practice in Houston that became Dynamic Orthotics and Prosthetics. Over the next 18 years, he grew that practice from a single location with a single clinician to four offices employing over 25 practitioners and technicians. In 2010, he merged his practice with Hanger Clinic, where he now serves as Gulf Coast regional director.
DiBello holds the position of clinical assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, School of Allied Health; honorary adjunct faculty at Texas Women’s University; and chairman of the advisory committee of the Baylor College of Medicine Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics program. He has lectured extensively on lower-limb orthotics throughout the United States and Mexico, as well as in Italy, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Africa, and has authored chapters in two textbooks and two chapters for the new Atlas of Orthotics.
DiBello has served on AOPA’s board of directors for five years, including two terms as president. He also served on the Academy’s board for six years and as its president from 2000 to 2001.