2015 National Assembly

The 98th Annual AOPA National Assembly October 7-10 held in conjunction with the Texas Chapter of the American Academy of Orthotics and Prosthetics drew 2,200 O&P professionals to San Antonio, Texas.

Whether it was the magnet power of San Antonio, the programming, the convenient facilities or all of the above, the initial feedback has been extremely positive. The opening ceremony honor guard was followed by an emotional keynote from Ret. Lt. Col. Donald Gajewski, MD, former director of the Center for the Intrepid who told the moving story of the Center’s mission of restoring mobility and life quality to returning wounded soldiers. The opener plus the fun events in the exhibit hall and the clinical and business management educational content drew “best ever” comments.

Lt. Gajewski echoed the thoughts of the audience when during his presentation he expressed shock that the government would seek to impose limitations on providing the highest technology appropriate for amputees citing the recent LCD for lower extremity prosthetics.

If you missed the opening session by Ret. Lt. Col. Donald Gajewski, don’t worry because the O&P Almanac covered the address and has provided highlights for you!

Welcome Reception Texas Pride Contest
Attendees were welcomed to the show Texas Style by exhibitors who competed to show attendees the most Texas Pride. Exhibitors used costume, refreshments and décor to entice attendees to vote. The winners of the Texas Pride contest in each category are outlined below:

AOPA Board Members get into the Texas spirit

Small 1-3 Booths
1st Place: Bulldog Tools
2nd Place: WillowWood

Medium 4-6 Booths
1st Place: Cascade Orthopedic Supply Inc.
2nd Place: Becker Orthopedic

Large 7+ Booths
1st Place: OPTEC USA
2nd Place: Ottobock


Tom DiBello, CO, FAAOP accepts his Lifetime Achievement Award

Lifetime Achievement Award
Each year the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) presents the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor is bestowed on individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of orthotics and prosthetics. The AOPA Board of Directors presented the 2015 award to Thomas V. DiBello, CO, FAAOP, former AOPA President and Board member.

The O&P Almanac covered the Awards Ceremony – see the highlights now.

Legislative Advocacy Awards
The Ralph R. “Ronney” Snell, CPO, FAAOP, Legislative Advocacy Award recognizes individuals who have made valuable contributions toward advancing the legislative and regulatory goals of the O&P field by motivating members of Congress and other decision makers to take action on behalf of O&P.

  • Charles W. Kuffel, MSM, CPO, FAAOP
  • Teri Kuffel, Esq.
  • Rick Riley, CEO, Townsend Design

Thranhardt Lecture Series
The Thranhardt Lecture Series is always considered the “Best of Show” clinical research.  Launched by a gift from J.E. Hanger Southeast in memory of Howard R. Thranhardt, CP, the series recognizes individuals committed to advancing O&P education and research. Winners of the Thranhardt Lecture receive an award of $500 each.

  • Can Individuals with Transtibial Amputation Reduce the Metabolic Demand of Walking Using Realtime Visual Feedback?, Elizabeth Russell Esposito, PhD
  • Balance-Confidence May Help Explain Physical Function and Community-Integration among Individuals with Unilateral Transfemoral and Transtibial Amputations, Megan Sions, PhD, DPT, PT, OCS

Sam E. Hamontree, CP Business Education Award
Congratulations to the winner of the 2015 Hamontree Lecture Series! The votes are in. Attendees of the 98th Annual AOPA National Assembly chose the winner of the Sam E. Hamontree, CP Lecture series and we’re pleased to announce the winner

  • Thomas McGovern for the presentation, Control Your Marketing Message by Controlling the Medium

Student Poster Awards
Tyler Klenow was the recipient of the fifth annual Otto and Lucille Becker Award for his orthotic poster presentation “A Functional Comparison of a Carbon Fiber AFO and Two Modular KAFO Conditions Using Outcome Measures in a Veteran Subject with Traumatic Brain Injury.” Tyler is a resident at James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital, and graduated with a Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics from Eastern Michigan University. An award was also presented to Eastern Michigan University.  The Otto and Lucille Becker award has been made available by an endowment from Becker Orthopedic.

Lisa Abernethy, at Alabama State University, was the recipient of the fifth annual Edwin and Kathryn Arbogast Award for her prosthetic poster presentation “Going Back In Time: A Content Analysis On The Media Portrayal Of Characters With Antiquated Prostheses.” An award was also presented to Alabama State University.  The Edwin and Kathryn Arbogast award has been made available by an endowment by the Willow Wood Company.

The purpose of these awards is to honor one orthotic and one prosthetic commendable scientific paper submitted for presentation as a poster during the AOPA National Assembly and to encourage students and residents to display outstanding posters at the AOPA Annual Assembly.

The award recipients are entitled to a $500 cash award, complimentary Assembly registration, up to 3 nights of hotel accommodations, coach class airfare to the Assembly, and of course recognition during the awards ceremony.

Technical Fabrication Contest
The exciting, but extremely competitive 2015 Technical Fabrication Contest was a timed event, where participants competed to properly assemble an articulating AFO the fastest. Participants were allowed to have their time recorded up to three times. First place winners received a $500 prize and second place winners received a $200 prize. Congratulations to the following:

Tech fab contest

Participants compete to assembly an articulating AFO the fastest

Professional Category
First Place Winner, Tommy Coronado, CPOA with a time of 46.98 seconds
Second Place Winner, Brian DeMain, CPO with a time of 52.41 seconds

Technician Category
First Place Winner, Dan Lopez, ROPT with a time of 58.03 seconds
Second Place Winner, Paul Mindenann with a time of 1:09:04

Student Category
First Place Winner Mary Walsh with a time of 1:01
Second Place Winner, Kenneth O’Mera with a time of 1:19

Topgolf Winner

  •  Mitch Trainor with a score of 500

Wine Auction
One of the biggest winners of all were those in attendance at the 8th Annual Wine Tasting & Auction, who enjoyed a night of networking and sampling of fine wines.  This year’s event is shaping up to be one of the most successful in recent memory, in terms of attendance and the amount of funds raised to help support AOPA’s government relations efforts.

See all the photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/aopaevents/albums 

Exclusive: The O&P Almanac Interviews Jon Schull and Jeff Erenstone about their 3-D Printing Presentation

And don’t miss highlights from the Exhibit Hall

gensess wineauction

AOPA 2015 National Assemblydankmeyerbull