OPAF Partners with The Academy

The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (the Academy) is pleased to announce its partnership with the Orthotic and Prosthetic Activities Foundation (OPAF).

The Academy will provide administrative support to help OPAF fulfill its mission of serving those with physical and mobility challenges and raising public awareness of physical disability, limb loss, and limb difference.

Like many non-profits, Covid-19 had a large impact on the day-to-day operations for OPAF. Last May, the OPAF Board made the conscious decision to halt fundraising requests and return all grant monies and First Clinic deposits until programming could resume. Being respectful of and ensuring their donors’ resources were not idle during the Global Pandemic allowed everyone to focus on health and well-being. In July, the OPAF board of directors unanimously voted to enter a state of dormancy to drastically reduce operating costs and allow the board to focus on restructuring. The OPAF Board began looking at viable options for partners within the O&P community whose missions aligned and could bring value to each organization. The Academy is dedicated to helping O&P practitioner members provide the highest level of professionalism and service to their patients.

Academy President Jared Howell, MS, CPO, FAAOP, feels the Academy’s mission is hand

in glove with OPAF’s. "Many in the O&P community were deeply disturbed by the thought of there being no OPAF to serve the O&P patient population. The Academy is thrilled to support the OPAF mission as it positively impacts the lives of the patients, we as O&P practitioners serve," stated Howell. The partnership allows OPAF to remain as an independent 501(c)3, with a focus on fundraising and program development, while the Academy will help administer the day-to-day operations of the OPAF financials, marketing, events, and website.

"On behalf of the OPAF Board of Directors, we are so excited to announce our

partnership and bring our programming back to the communities that we serve. Since its inception, OPAF has served as the philanthropic arm of the orthotic and prosthetic community and we look forward to the expanded relationship with the Academy and the opportunities that it will bring. We are grateful for the support of all of our partners, instructors, and participants over the years and are thrilled for what the future holds," stated Travis Young, CPO, President of OPAF.

The two organizations will begin working on the supporting architecture to have systems in place over the next few months.

About OPAF

OPAF was founded in 1995 and was initially dedicated to providing financial and in-kind support to the 1996 Paralympics. OPAF now generates its own initiatives through partnerships with individuals, organizations, and institutions engaged in improving the quality of life for those with physical disability, limb loss, and limb difference. To learn more please visit www.opaffirstclinics.org.

About the Academy

The Academy, founded in 1970, is the professional organization representing certified practitioners, state-licensed practitioners, assistants, technicians, fitters, and others affiliated with the profession of orthotics and prosthetics (O&P). It is dedicated to helping its members provide the highest level of professionalism and service to their patients. To learn more please visit www.oandp.org.