2019 NAAOP Fellows Begin Their Journey

NAAOP’s 2019 Fellows began their summer experience on May 28th with a week of orientation and education on O&P policy and advocacy. In addition to Washington-based advocacy, the Fellows will be traveling in June to learn about clinical prosthetics, orthotics, and policy and advocacy at the state level. They will be hosted for a day by each O&P Alliance organization and will attend the annual conference held by the Amputee Coalition in July. They will also learn about the future of O&P data collection, electronic medical records, and the Limb Loss and Preservation Registry. When in Washington, the Fellows will be focused on their main projects, which have been tailored to take advantage of each Fellow’s strengths and interests.

Susannah Engdahl recently completed her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Having grown up using myoelectric prostheses due to congenital absence of both hands, she has a strong interest in applying science to improve functional outcomes for individuals who use prostheses. Her main project this summer will be to compile a set of evidence-based statements from the literature regarding the effectiveness of prostheses and orthoses, which the NAAOP can draw from in future advocacy work. Susannah says, “I am very excited to be working with the NAAOP this summer and to learn how I can become a more effective advocate for O&P care. Thank you to everyone who has worked to make this experience possible for me. I truly appreciate your efforts and am looking forward to the coming weeks!”

Alicia Carver is a born advocate who is passionate about advancing care that benefits O&P consumers. After congenital ankle deformity caused her to utilize orthoses during her childhood, she is now a user of limb prostheses. She brings a consumer perspective to Washington, and knows some of the challenges of accessing orthotic and prosthetic care in rural areas of the country. She has experience in state-based advocacy as a Lead Advocate for the Amputee Coalition representing the state of Indiana where she calls home. Alicia is a graduate of Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in Technical and Applied Studies. Alicia’s main project will be to visit every Member of the key House and Senate Health Committees to promote the Medicare O&P Patient Centered Care Act. When asked what she hopes to learn during the ten-week fellowship with the NAAOP, Alicia said “I am excited to be focusing on becoming a stronger advocate as I focus on advancing the bill. I want to be a sponge and soak in this wonderful experience and gain valuable tools that I can use to be a stronger advocate on behalf of the O&P community.” She also expresses her gratitude to everyone that has worked together to organize the fellowship and the sponsors that collectively make this fellowship possible.

THANK YOU to all those who have contributed time, talent and treasure to the 2019 NAAOP Fellowship. We greatly appreciate your support.

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