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Education Services

Special thanks to NCOPE’s Chris Robinson for speaking with IIOP students

IIOP students were given the opportunity to hear all about Orthotic and Prosthetics residency programs, including how they will be tracking their patient encounters and what to look for in a residency. Chris Robinson took valuable time out of his day to present the ins-and-outs, and answer all the students’ burning questions. IIOP appreciates being able to connect the students with the organizations that oversee the residency programs, and are glad to have their continued support for the students. Chris speaks to the students every fall and spring when they are in their final semester, getting ready to make a decision about the next step in their O&P education. This time can be very stressful for students and they appreciate the support.


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Boots on the Ground, Clinical Rotation Amid Pandemic

It’s no surprise that Orthotics and Prosthetics clinics across the country are changing their day-to-day operations while COVID-19 continues to affect the world. As a result, many educational programs are having to change the way students perform their clinical hours. Companies have reduced work force hours which has made it difficult for not only Orthotics and Prosthetics students, but Nursing, Physical and Occupational Therapy, and Dental Hygiene students when it comes to getting their required hours. IIOP’s twelve O&P Certificate students were in their second semester in the Spring when the pandemic forced them to switch to online learning. They adapted gracefully and finished their semester without missing a beat. Their challenge however, escalated when many of the O&P Clinics were not accepting students over the Summer. IIOP found a solution to their problem, working with one of the largest and busiest clinics nearby and one motivated Orlando native to fulfill the requirements for the entire class. IIOP asked Stan Patterson, CP and Founder of Prosthetics & Orthotics Associates (POA) to allow Orlando native Francesca Cicchetti to shadow his practitioners, speak to his patients, and ask questions, all the while Zoom video conferencing with her classmates and professors. Not two weeks later news got out to other schools that IIOP’s students were still getting their clinical exposure, and O&P programs from Alabama State University, Eastern Michigan University and Loma Linda University joined the call, bringing students together from across the country. Just like the O&P clinics must adapt to uncertain times, the schools must do their best to keep students on track. According to Francesca “- I know I can speak on behalf of my classmates when I say this – in the four short weeks at POA, the experiences we have had both in the clinic and in the lab have been invaluable and we are forever grateful for this opportunity.”

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IIOP and Orthomerica Host Cranial Certification Course

Orthomerica Products, Inc., a global manufacturer of prefabricated, semi-custom and custom O&P devices, is pleased to announce its partnership with the International Institute of Orthotics & Prosthetics (IIOP). IIOP will be hosting Orthomerica’s new STARbandCranial Course (SCC), a prerequisite for ordering from our line of FDA cleared cranial remolding orthoses. This new online training program is the most comprehensive cranial course available and has been awarded 25 credits from the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC). The educational process consists of 26 modules supplemented with required readings. A quiz follows completion of each module and all modules must be completed for ABC credit award. Orthomerica will also be sponsoring a cranial remolding treatment room at IIOP that includes our latest scanning technologies such as the STARscannerand SmartSocsystems. In early 2021, Orthomerica and IIOP will introduce a new post-certification cranial course for credentialed orthotic clinicians and other allied health care professionals. This three-week advanced educational program will be held at IIOP in Tampa, FL and will focus on the pathologies, technologies, patient care programs and current research associated with the orthotic treatment of infants with skull deformities. Expert cranial instructors will provide the didactic information and oversee all clinical interactions. This post-certification training program is the first of its kind for O&P and aligns with the continuing shift towards clinical specializations for certain pathologies and the corresponding O&P treatments. According to Deanna Fish, CPO, Clinical Outreach Manager for Orthomerica, “Orthomerica is pleased to continue to enhance the overall knowledge of pediatric cranial anomalies for physicians, orthotists, therapists and parents through the healthcare industry’s most comprehensive training program. The STARbandCranial Course (SCC) will have global implications and effects as Orthomerica continues its overseas implementation of cranial treatments. We are pleased to partner with IIOP to bring this unique educational pathway to our orthotic colleagues. Advanced education for clinical specializations will continue to elevate clinical outcomes for all patients in need.“ For more information and to register for the course, contact IIOP at 813-517-1741 or go to:

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Student of the quarter: Rich Gotti

IIOP O&P Student of the Quarter RICH GOTTI

Rich was born and raised in Long Island, NY. He attended Philadelphia University (Class of 2016), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Biology. Ever since Rich could remember, he was involved in sports one way or another. He was as an athlete from the age of 4 and all through High School. Football, Baseball, and Hockey are a major part of his life. It was his love for sports, and the unfortunate injuries that come with them that led him to a career in the O&P field. Rich has been an ABC Certified Fitter in various NYC Hospitals and O&P Practices across Long Island since the Fall of 2016. He chose to further his training at IIOP and become a practitioner because he wanted to be more hands on with not only the patients, but the devices prescribed to them. As a fitter, he was mostly fitting off the shelf braces and could only make minor adjustments. As a practitioner, he would have the opportunity to make custom devices for the actual patient he is helping. His long-term career goal is to run his own practice one day. What Rich looks forward to most about becoming a CPO is the impact he will have on his patients. He wants to be the beacon of hope for someone who has gone through a traumatic event and be the person who reminds the patient that what they are going through is temporary, and that with a little assistance, they can get back to their normal daily activities. His goal is to become a CPO who will provide the highest level of care to each patient, while bringing both a personal and systematic approach, getting their lives back to as normal as possible.

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IIOP’s Response to COVID-19

Over the last several months, the International Institute of Orthotics and Prosthetics has been making serious changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that our classes are transitioning from online to on-campus, we are excited to welcome students back once again. Policies and procedures described below will help all our students, faculty, patients, and visitors of IIOP to feel safe and protected.

• Upon initial entry to the building, we are asking all students and visitors to complete a questionnaire about recent travels and potential contact with the virus.

• All students, faculty, and visitors will undergo a contactless temperature check each morning upon entering the school.

• Hands will also be sanitized before advancing beyond this temperature check.

• Mandatory masks will be provided to students and faculty for DAILY use

. • Social distancing will be observed in classrooms, labs, and common areas.

• Niko Mahairas has been appointed Safety Officer to maintain the daily sanitation of the individual tools and machines in the lab, in addition to collecting temperatures daily and ensuring that students and faculty have their PPE.

• Twice daily sanitization of all common surfaces will occur in the mornings and afternoons.

• Ventilation in the lab areas has been increased to allow for better air evacuation.

• The plaster modification room has been expanded to ensure that social distancing can be enforced during cast modification.

• Outdoor seating has been added to give students more room to enjoy their breaks.
We hope that with these policies and the cooperation of our students and faculty, we can minimize the risk of transferring the virus, and keep everyone on the right path of achieving their educational and professional goals.


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IIOP and Alps team up to help Wounded Warrior Increase comfort and Function

IIOP & Alps Team Up to Help Wounded Warrior Increase Comfort & Function

U.S. Navy Veteran John Dusseau came a long way from Detroit, Michigan to Tampa, Florida to represent his team at the Department of Defense’s Warrior Games. His specialty: shooting. What he didn’t expect was to return home with a pair of custom-designed silicone pads, stacked and sewn, to fill a void in his backside where a large portion of his glute muscles were removed during a surgical repair. The loss of his musculature led to pain in discomfort during long periods of sitting, and the pelvic obliquity due to lack of support was causing low back pain. John tried to create his own support using rolled up towels and T-shirts, but they lacked the proper balance of softness and support. John was introduced to the IIOP team, and explained what he needed, and within thirty minutes, they were on the track of creating the custom devices John would soon love. It started with a Silicone distal end pad manufactured by Alps in St. Petersburg, Florida. The X-large pad is about 6” in diameter and 2.5” in depth, which perfectly contoured to the concavity on John’s backside. The silicone material is very skin-friendly and is sometimes used to soften scar tissue following surgery. Using 6- and 9-millimeter thick prosthetic liner material provided by Alps with a fabric backing, the layers were stacked and tested for an afternoon before being sewn together. Six months later we followed up with John, who said “the design and materials [used] forms to my surgery site and gives me the support needed… I do not go on a trip without it.” We asked him too if he needed another pair, but he says they “still look and feel like the day I got them,” which speaks to the durability of both the silicone distal end pad as well as the silicone liner material used. From

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Restore POC now affiliated with the International Institute of Orthotics and Prosthetics

Restore POC now affiliated with the International Institute of Orthotics andProsthetics

Restore POC is very proud to have achieved another milestone as they recently formalized their relationship with the International Institute of Orthotics and Prosthetics (IIOP) in Tampa, FL, opening their 22nd clinic within the educational building on the IIOPcampus. With the support of IIOP’sDirector, Arlene Gillis, they have worked together to create a sponsorship by Restore POC of the Institute, designed to further pre-licensure and post-licensure education of clinicians in ourindustry. Restore POC’s affiliation with IIOP means their clinicians now have access to the outstanding resources of the Institute including the ability to collaborate with their faculty on research and development concepts and practices to better our industry.
We are thrilled to be a part of the cutting-edgework and progressive thought and actions happening at the Institute for the furtherance of the industry through new methods and products designed to support our mission to Restore capabilities to those in need.Thank you to Arlene and the Institute for thisopportunity!” – Rebecca Irish Restore POC President &CEO
IIOP Director Arlene Gillis is very excited for the potential that the affiliation will provide for the Institute’s students. “This helps us create a valuable experience for student during both aspects of the NCOPE education: academic and residency. In addition, it gives current practitioners the chance to enhance their skills by working collaboratively with IIOP to enhance O&P outcomes and research” says Gillis. Arlene is sure to thank Rebecca Irish and her wonderful leadership team, who “saw the value in supporting our mission and helping support an innovative approach to enhancing O&P workforce and O&P education.

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Faculty and Student Highlights: What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

The Prosthetics and Orthotics industry is no stranger to multi-generational practices, with the descendants of practitioners taking part in the family business. Many Florida clinicians are familiar with Mid-Florida Prosthetics and Orthotics and the Bustamante name, or the Fredricks and their O&P operation named Rehab Engineering LLC. in South Georgia and North Florida. Our neighbors to the North have probably heard of the Millers of Ohio and West Virginia, and their innovative work with 3D printed sockets for their three-legged dog, Keating.
The International Institute of Orthotics and Prosthetics is proud to have members of all three of these O&P families enrolled in the Masters of Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO) program. Alex Miller, James Fredrick, and Victor Bustamante have been exposed to the Orthotics and Prosthetics world from a very young age and are expected to graduate in 2021 with the rest of their talented cohort. We asked them what their plans are after graduation, as well as how they chose what O&P program to attend.
It is refreshing to hear the goals of these three students. When asked what they hoped to do after graduation they all has similar aspirations of working for, and potentially taking a leadership role in their family’s company. But is it enough to share a name with a successful Prosthetist or Orthotist to seamlessly fall into succession? Hand skills aren’t given at birth, but rather carefully learned and practiced. The intangible elements that make a great clinician, however, cannot always be taught but instead are a result of our upbringing. The curriculum at IIOP will provide plenty of opportunity to hone the hand skills of the next generation of practitioners, but it also emphasizes the essential functions that help a clinician build a strong relationship with the patient.
When making the decision of what school to attend, there are a lot of factors to consider. Alex Miller admitted “I toured another school, and this place, the facility, just blows everything out of the water that I’ve ever seen,” before adding “it’s going to kind of spoil us, I think.” IIOP is proud of it’s 40,000 square foot facility equipped with a 3D-printer, three-axis carver, and several 3D white-light scanners, but can assure its students will learn all the basics before being exposed to time-saving methods. The students all agreed that a large factor in their decision was the Institute’s devotion to Prosthetics and Orthotics, how everything is focused solely on O&P education, and it’s clear that it’s the main goal of IIOP.

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Student of the quarter: Wadad Lahoud

IIOP O&P Student of the Quarter Wadad Lahoud

Wadad Lahoud was born and raised in Houston, Texas, but her family is originally from Beirut, Lebanon. She graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston. During her undergrad she had the opportunity to work with a nonprofit organization called eNABLE that 3D printed mechanical transradial arms for children with upper limb amputations. She later went on to work on two different 3D printed myoelectric arms, one of which won first place in a poster competition at A&M university. She is a huge advocate of Camp No Limits, a camp for children with limb differences and their families. She’s been volunteering with Camp No Limits since 2017 and plans to do so throughout her career as a student and a professional. She enjoys playing recreational sports like basketball, volleyball and ultimate frisbee. Wadad also enjoys photography, videography, and traveling in her free time. She particularly enjoyed visiting Jordan last year and exploring Petra and the Dead Sea.

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