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Congratulations to Arlene Gillis on being appointed to AOPAs Board of Directors

Alexandria, VA (December 1, 2022) – Today, the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) is pleased to announce its 2023 Board of Directors.

The Executive Committee will consist of Teri Kuffel, JD who assumes the role of President. Along with, Dave McGill who moves into the role of Immediate Past President and Mitchell Dobson, CPO, FAAOP who becomes President-Elect. Joining them are Jeff Brandt, CPO who was elected to serve as Vice President, and Rick Riley who will continue to serve as Treasurer.

New to the Board of Directors: Arlene Gillis, CP, LPO, M.Ed. and Lesleigh Sisson, CFo, CFm. They join Kimberly Hanson, Elizabeth Ginzel, MHA, CPO, Mo Kenney, CPO, LPO, FAAOP, Jim Kingsley, Linda Wise, and Shane Wurdeman, PhD, CP, FAAOP(D).

“AOPA has remarkable Board members who use their expertise and energy to work tirelessly for their fellow AOPA members,” said Eve Lee, MBA, CAE, Executive Director. “We are committed to ensuring that all AOPA members get the support they need to run their business and provide quality patient care. To do this, I will work with the Board and staff to continue to execute the strategic plan we launched earlier this year.”

Elected by the membership, the AOPA Board of Directors is representative of the membership and serves as the governing body, responsible for the supervision and direction of its mission.

About the new Board members:

Arlene Gillis, CP, LPO, M.Ed.: The Institute is the brainchild of our founder, Arlene Gillis, CP, LPO, M.Ed. Mrs. Gillis is a noteworthy O&P professional with over 27 years of experience, including ten years as a practitioner, followed by 17 years as an educator and O&P Program Director at St. Petersburg College, Florida State University, and Florida International University. Mrs. Gillis has served on numerous Orthotic and Prosthetic boards and committees, as well as the National Commission for Orthotics and Prosthetic of Education (NCOPE), as Chair, along with ten years as a board member.

Collectively, these experiences led Mrs. Gillis to identify two significant voids in the O&P education, profession, and more particularly, in the treatment of members of the armed services who have lost limbs. Specifically, Mrs. Gillis observed that O&P veterans benefit significantly from a holistic approach to the treatment of their injuries but noted that the availability of such holistic care is limited. Mrs. Gillis recognized that a collaborative process between researchers, educators, and practitioners is necessary for the advancement of the treatment of O&P patients, the training and education of O&P practitioners, and research and development in the O&P profession. In recent work, she started O&P Day at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee, raising awareness of the significance of the orthotics and prosthetics field.

Mrs. Gillis first became interested in rehabilitation when she was 12 years old after her mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and subsequently passed away. Determined to help other families challenged with any physical impairment, Mrs. Gillis eventually pursued a career in Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy. During this time, she discovered the orthopedic and prosthetics field, and it has remained her life-long passion for helping educate others about the profession and develop competent O & P practitioners. Gillis leads an innovative team of O&P educators. They hope to impact patients, the future of this field, and our students’ lives.

Lesleigh Sisson, CFo, CFm: Lesleigh Sisson, CFo, CFm, the founder of O&P Insight and President of Prosthetic Center of Excellence, has been part of the orthotics and prosthetics profession since 1992.  She has held a variety of jobs in O&P from office administrator, Certified Fitter, Director of Administrator, and business owner.

After serving in various roles in O&P, Lesleigh, and her husband, Ed Sisson, CPO, acquired Prosthetic Center of Excellence in 2015. Lesleigh started O&P Insight in 2015 because she cares deeply about three things: helping people thrive in their professional lives, advancing the profession for patients & practitioners and leaving a legacy of lives impacted for the better. While she has always had a love of teaching and helping others, it was working in administrative and clinical support roles when Lesleigh recognized the desire to assist dedicated professionals working toward this common goal: providing excellent patient care while achieving the best possible health for the business. Lesleigh helps independent O&P practices to not only survive but also to thrive in today’s challenging and ever-changing healthcare environment with its demands for efficient workflow, revenue cycle solutions and successful compliance.

About the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA):

A trusted partner, advocating for and serving the orthotic and prosthetic community, the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) fosters relationships with decision makers, provides education, supports research, and advances equality to strengthen the orthotic and prosthetic profession and improve the lives of its patients. Since 1917, AOPA has been the largest non-profit organization consisting of more than 2,000 patient care facilities and suppliers that together manufacture, distribute, design, fabricate, fit, and provide clinical care for patients using orthopedic braces) and prostheses (artificial limbs). Each and every day, AOPA and its members strive for a world where orthotic and prosthetic care transforms lives.

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Sam Bousman – Student Blog 11/30/22

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We are gearing up for final exams, and everyone is studying so much. This week we completed our second journal club assignment for Pathology class. Everyone found two research articles related to O&P, and then in groups, we discussed any similarities, differences, or limitations that we found within our articles and presented them to the class. This was a helpful exercise and was good practice for finding relevant research articles for our projects in the upcoming semesters. In Neuroanatomy and Anatomy class this week, we were put into groups and assigned individual chapters/lectures to review for exams. We presented our topics to the class, which was a great refresher heading into next week. We are so excited to be just about done with our first semester here at IIOP, and we can’t wait for what’s to come. Check back next week and wish us luck on our final exams! Thanks for reading.

Sam Bousman

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Sam Bousman – Student Blog 11/21/22

So much is happening this week before we head out for Thanksgiving break. First, we had Student Government board elections; your new SGA board members are Reagan Handley (President), me (Vice President), Carolyn Ornato (Treasurer), and Katherine Lahue (Secretary). We are so excited to work together and become more involved in the IIOP community and can’t wait to bring new ideas to the table! There is a new club here at IIOP that is all about research! Shoutout to Cyd Daquila and Kristen Peterson for creating the research club where anyone at IIOP that is interested in research can come together and discuss new findings in the field of O&P and put their own group project together during their time here. Cyd and Kristen gave an excellent presentation that sparked interest in a lot of our class! This week we also gave our semester presentations for Anatomy, and everyone did great. Next week, IIOP is providing us with a Thanksgiving feast at lunch! We are so grateful and are looking forward to enjoying time with friends and loved one’s next week. Check back soon and I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Sam Bousman 

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Sam Bousman – Student Blog 11/14/22

Hi everyone! 

We have started to review for final exams! It is hard to believe they are less than a month away. We have been doing a lot of interactive group activities in Dr. O’s classes to help us prepare. Last week in Anatomy we were partnered up and presented on our assigned muscle group. This was a great way to review the lower extremity muscles from the midterm and continue learning the upper extremity muscles that will be on the final! It was really fun to watch these presentations because each group presented in different ways. We had some groups get creative and make up dance moves to demonstrate the muscle actions. On Thursday a group of us went to Trivia which was also so fun and a great way to bond outside of class! Next week we will give our semester presentations for Anatomy. We have worked very hard on these for about 2 months now, so we are ready to present what we have learned. Next week we will also have SGA elections, so check back to see who your new student government leaders will be! Have a great week and thanks for reading! 

Sam Bousman 

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Sam Bousman – Student Blog 11/09/22

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween weekend! With Gait class being over, we have Thursday’s and Friday’s off for the remainder of the semester! We still have a lot of material to cover in Dr. O’s classes for pathology, Neuroanatomy, and Anatomy, so it has been nice to have a few extra study days! It is so hard to believe we are almost at Thanksgiving break; everyone is looking forward to seeing their friends and loved ones in just a few shorts weeks. We have our semester presentations coming up soon for Anatomy, so we have been working hard on finishing those up as well. That’s all for now, check back next week and thank you for reading!

Sam Bousman 

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Alyssa Noe – Student Blog 11/01/22

Sorry it has been a couple weeks since I have updated you all on the senior class! We have had 2 midterms and 2 final exams since then on prosthetics and we are just beginning our upper limb orthotics course. We are getting so close to graduation it is hard to believe it is only little over a month away! Where has time gone! We all have been working so hard to place our residency spots and it is so exciting to see my classmates and I finalizing our residencies. In addition to exams the past couple weeks, we have been working on our research projects for our symposium coming up December 7th. It is going to be amazing learning about all the different research projects my classmates and I have come up with over the course of this semester. I hope you all come and watch us! 

Until next time,

Alyssa

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Sam Bousman – Student Blog 10/31/22

Hi everyone!  

We have officially finished our gait class! It is crazy to think about how fast these 5 weeks have gone by. This week we had our lab practical for clinical outcomes measures, and our final exam for gait. The lab practical was great practice for us having one on one time with the professors in preparation for our future lab classes and the board exams. We also gave our semester presentations in Dr. O’s classes for Pathology and Neuroanatomy. Everyone did a great job on their presentations, and it was interesting to see what everyone learned and how they chose to present their findings to the class.  The weather has been beautiful here in Tampa lately, so we have all been enjoying some time outside during our lunchbreaks! Everyone is looking forward to Halloween and it has been fun talking about everyone’s costumes! We even got to see a peg leg that some of the senior class made for a pirate costume, and it was so cool to see how well it turned out! That’s all for now and check back next week for more updates. Thanks for reading!

Sam Bousman 

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Sam Bousman – Student Blog 10/24/22

Hi everyone! 

We made it through midterms! Our class is so happy that all our studying paid off, and of course we had to celebrate with bowling. This was a great bonding experience for the group, and we discovered some of us are good at bowling (I am not one of them). We got back into Anatomy and Physiology lecture this week and had the opportunity to finish up working on our presentations for Pathology and Neuroanatomy. It is so hard to believe that we are over halfway through our first semester here at IIOP. We are having such a great experience and are getting more and more excited to get into our lab classes next semester! In gait lab this week, we learned about the different gait deviations that a patient can present with, and different orthotic treatments to go along with them. We were put into groups and had a few minutes to present on our assigned gait deviation, some of the groups were creative and engaging with how they chose to present, and it was a fun way to learn the information. We will give our semester presentations next week for Neuroanatomy and Pathology and we are looking forward to listening to what each group learned about their topic! Check back soon for more updates and thank you for reading!

Sam Bousman 

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Sam Bousman – Student Blog 10/18/22

Hi everyone! My name is Sam, and I am the student blogger for the Fall 2022 cohort (The Divine 29)! Our class has really been enjoying getting to know each other, our professors, and the other cohorts at IIOP. We are currently in midterm week, which has been a lot to prepare for, but we are almost done! This week we had our Anatomy and Gait midterms, and next week we will take Pathology and Neuroanatomy. For Gait this week, one of our labs focused on how cognitive overload impacts our normal self-selected gait. It was really cool to see how distractions effect our walking and using the Gait mat has been such a great addition to our labs, we are so grateful to have access to this piece of equipment! We also got to meet some of the patient models that the senior cohort is working with, it was so cool to see how their projects turned out, and we got some service-dog interaction as well. After midterms we will give our semester presentations for Pathology and Neuroanatomy, so check back soon for another update!

Thanks for reading!

Sam Bousman

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Alyssa Noe – Student Blog 10/06/22

It’s been a crazy past few weeks with hurricane Ian. Happy and blessed to be back in school finishing our transfemoral prostheses with our patient models this week! For many of us it was out first time fitting a transfemoral prosthetic and I am thrilled how well it went on Tuesday. We are so fortunate to have patient models who are so willing to take time out of their days to come in and help us learn. Today, we are now starting our CAD Transfemoral sockets this week! Check out the pictures attached from this week!

Alyssa

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