AOPA Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Thranhardt Award

Alexandria, VA (July 21, 2021) – This year the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) is proud to be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the prestigious Howard R. Thranhardt Award. The Award, established in 1996 by a gift from J.E. Hanger in memory of Howard R. Thranhardt, CP, has become one of the most distinguished honors in the orthotics and prosthetics profession, annually recognizing the strength in clinical research.

A celebration will take place Friday, September 10, 2021 at Noon ET in conjunction with the 2021 AOPA National Assembly in Boston. It will include recognition of past winners, remarks from Ted Thranhardt, CPO(E) (son of Howard R. Thranhardt) and Vinit Asar, CEO of Hanger, as well as the 2021 award presentation.

“(Howard Thranhardt), who perhaps more than anyone else in the U.S. contributed to the transition of prosthetics and orthotics from a craft to a profession…it is doubtful that without his immense contributions, the formal education program for prosthetics and orthotics begun in the U.S. in 1952-1953 and emulated in other parts of the world would have been successful,” said Ted Thranhardt, CPO(E).

The recipients of the 2021 Howard R. Thranhardt Award are Andreas Hahn, PhD, MSc and Chrysta Irolla, MS, MSPO, CPO.

“Having presented the best orthotic and prosthetic research, the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association is proud to name them as 2021 Thranhardt Award winners,” said Traci Dralle, CFm, President, American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association. “We look forward to honoring Chrysta Irolla and Dr. Andreas Hahn along with all the prior years’ recipients as we celebrate 25 years of Thranhardt Award excellence at this year’s National Assembly.”

Hahn will present The Effect of Microprocessor Controlled Exo-Prosthetic Knees on Limited Community Ambulators: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Hahn holds the global corporate responsibility for Ottobock’s Clinical Research activities. Trained as a physicist at Oxford University, he has over 20 years professional experience in leading positions in the Medical Device Industry. He was also presented the Thranhardt Award in 2014 and 2019.

Irolla will present Treatment Parameters for the UCSF Pectus Carinatum Orthosis: A Pilot Study. Irolla is the clinical manager and residency mentor at the University of California, San Francisco Orthotics and Prosthetics Center. She explored her interest in patient rehabilitation while obtaining her MS in Engineering Design from Northwestern University and subsequently decided to focus on patient care and get her MSPO from The Georgia Institute of Technology.

More information about the 2021 National Assembly is available at

Media contact: Joy Burwell,


About the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA): Through advocacy, research, and education, AOPA improves patient access to quality orthotic and prosthetic care. AOPA, based in Alexandria, VA, is the largest non-profit organization consisting of more than 2,000 O&P patient care facilities and suppliers, dedicated to helping O&P businesses and professionals navigate the multitude of issues surrounding the delivery of quality patient care.