JoAnne L. Kanas, DPT, CPO
JoAnne and her daughter Danielle
JoAnne L. Kanas, DPT, CPO has practiced in the field for 23 years and currently practices at Shriners in Philadelphia. After earning her baccalaureate degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University in Boston, she attended the long term certificate program at Northwestern University in Chicago. She later went on to complete her Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from Boston University. Along with serving as the past Chair of the Education Development Council of the Academy, JoAnne currently serves as the Chair of the Academy's Clinical Content Committee. In 2006, her paper titled, "How do Cardiopulmonary and/or Cardiovascular Diseases Affect the Treatment of the Amputee: A Clinical Approach" was published in the Journal of Proceedings. We recently caught up with JoAnne to ask a few questions.
Why did you choose this profession?
My undergraduate degree was in Physical Therapy and I worked with a lot of patients with both orthoses and prostheses. Most of those were pediatric. I also went to a lot of splinting courses primarily low temp for pediatric use as well. I enjoyed that a lot and decided that if I like doing it that much O&P might be a perfect next step and an excellent combination with my PT background.
What has been most satisfying about your decision to go into the field?
Working with patients and families and providing them with both device and services that they require.
What has changed the most about the field since you became a practitioner?
Reimbursement changes and improved technology (materials, components, and design)
What has been the most frustrating about this field?
I would have to say working within today's healthcare system when coverage has such an influence on the ability to receive services and a direct effect on the actual services received.
Of what professional accomplishment(s) are you most proud?
My DPT because I did all of my research and projects in the O&P area of PT. So, it truly combined and united my two professions.
If you were speaking to high school or college students, what would you say to encourage them to choose this field?
Orthotics and Prosthetics is an excellent field to consider if you enjoy working closely with patients, physicians and therapists, want to be an integral part of the healthcare team, and have a interest in biomechanics and materials.
How has your Academy membership been of value to you?
I am very involved in the Academy at both the state and national level. Their mission is extremely important to me as a practicing practitioner. What they have to offer in the areas of education, research, and professional helps me every day do what I love to do better.