A New Era
By 2001, the deconsolidation from AOPA and ABC was complete and the Academy was independent. In May 2001, the Academy relocated to 526 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia. The Academy's reserve fund totaled $291,190.
As part of its transition to independence, the Academy instated the vision statement, "Professionals providing better care through knowledge."
In 2000, a vote to shift the governance year resulted in the election of the board to serve from July 1 to June 30 of the following year, a change that took effect in 2001. This allowed the reports at the Annual Business Meeting to focus more on what was accomplished for the membership in the current year instead of what was being planned.
Project Quantum Leap was launched at the 2001 Academy Annual Meeting as the vehicle for changing and validating how practitioners practice with the goal of offering consensus conferences geared toward developing standards of practice for the O&P profession and embarking on broad-based programs to empower research in targeted areas.
2001 saw James H. Campbell, PhD, CO, FAAOP, of Becker Orthopedic Appliances take on the role of JPO editor-in-chief. In partnership with Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, the quarterly journal was redesigned.
In 2002, the Academy enhanced its legislative activities. The primary focus remained on the federal government's competitive bidding initiative, negotiated rulemaking, in order to protect the interpretation of "qualified provider" of O&P care. Academy members also faxed a foot-high stack of letters to Congress in support of reinstating funding for O&P schools, and Donald E. Katz, CO, FAAOP, and Susan Kapp, CPO, FAAOP, testified before a Department of Education hearing on the issue. The Academy also developed a comprehensive model HIPAA compliance plan and special privacy officers supplement notebook to assist its members.
Through the direction and leadership of Academy President-Elect Donald E. Katz, CO, FAAOP, the Academy successfully completed the Consensus Conference on the Treatment of Idiopathic Scoliosis. It was funded in part by a special grant from the federal government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Joint Committee on O&P Awareness, led by the Academy, began implementing the goals it laid out under Project Quantum Leap, including the development of the career website www.opcareers.org, a career fair presentation package, and a comprehensive O&P career brochure for use by guidance counselors.
The 2002 Academy Annual Meeting in Orlando set a new record attendance of 1,535 attendees. The Academy also presented the Georgia Institute of Technology with a library of O&P materials in support of their new master's level O&P program.
2002 was also a big year for the JPO as it began being listed on Excerpta Medica, a biomedical and pharmacological database that provides access to up-to-date information about medical and drug-related subjects.
First Department of Education Grant Re-Focuses Academy Activities
The Academy's first one-year Department of Education grant was announced on December 1, 2003 and funded retroactively to October 1, 2003 through September 30, 2004. The grant focused on the increasing demand for O&P provider services and developing the framework to improve the quality of applied O&P research, education, and patient care.
In 2003, the Academy, in conjunction with the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, held a two-day conference to collect and discuss current information on microprocessor knee prostheses. In the same year, the findings from the first consensus conference to document clinical standards of practice (CSOP) on the orthotic treatment of idiopathic scoliosis and Scheuermann's Kyphosis were published as a first-ever supplement to the JPO. Gary Berke, MS, CP, FAAOP, and Douglas Smith, MD, co-chaired the second CSOP consensus conference on post-operative management of the lower extremity amputee.
The Academy represented the individual ABC-certified practitioner on "qualified provider" and "qualified supplier" definitions during the arduous negotiated rulemaking process over the course of eight months of meetings along with representatives from 20 other organizations. The decision rested with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Unfortunately, there was never a successful completion of the negotiated rulemaking process.
The addition of ABC fitters as Associate members helped the Academy reach a new record membership of 2,500 in 2003.
The Academy continued to offer CSOPs. The Academy's third CSOP, Orthotic Treatment of Deformational Plagiocephaly, Brachycephaly, and Scaphocephaly, was held April 7 through 9, 2004. The Academy's fourth CSOP, Orthotic and Pedorthic Management of the Neuropathic Foot, was held in August 2004.
Academy publications continued to be active in 2004 as Jeffrey A. Nemeth, CPO, FAAOP, was appointed editor-in-chief of the JPO. CSOP 2, Post-Operative Management of the Lower Extremity Amputee, was published in July. Supplement to the Orthotic Treatment of Deformational Plagiocephaly, Brachycephaly and Scaphocephaly was published in October and The ACADEMICIAN EXPRESS was launched in December.
The Academy received its second one-year grant from the Department of Education's Rehabilitation Services Administration, which ran from October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2005. This grant focused on continuing awareness efforts and establishing standards for the format, implementation, evaluation, and outcomes dissemination for an ongoing series of State of the Science conferences. Through the grant, the Academy developed online continuing education courses based on the conferences that investigated prosthetic outcomes measures in lower-limb prosthetics and knee-ankle-foot orthoses for ambulation.
Change in Leadership
In January 2005, the Academy and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs signed an agreement that the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD) would be sent to all Academy members.
In 2005, the Academy received a generous $50,000 donation from the Leimkuehler family toward the Paul E. Leimkuehler Online Learning Center (OLC), which was launched at the Academy's Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium that year.
As a result of the 2005 Academy Board Strategic Planning Meeting, the Research Council was formed to focus on the Academy's interest in pursuing and promoting research in the O&P profession.
Academy Executive Director Tom Gorski resigned in April of 2005. At that time, an annual Academy audit showed that, as of November 30, 2004, the reserve fund stood at $172,000. The Academy gained new leadership when Peter D. Rosenstein joined the Academy as executive director in September of 2005. Rosenstein was entrusted to build the Academy's financial stability and enhance the administrative capacity of the organization to accomplish its mission.
The Academy was awarded a third federal grant commencing October 1, 2005 and running through September 30, 2006. Though grant funds were awarded for a one-year period, the Academy applied for and received a one-year no-cost extension to complete additional projects under the auspices of the grant.
2005 was a big year for publications. The Academy's new in-house magazine, the Academy TODAY, debuted in April of 2005. The Academy also provided complimentary copies of the Netter Posters, anatomical posters dealing specifically with O&P topics, to Academy members as part of the Academy's Department of Education grant. 2005 saw the formalization of the Academy's Research Council.
2006 was another active year in publications. The supplement on SSC 6, Outcome Measures in Lower Limb Prosthetics, was published in January. The SSC 7, Knee-Ankle Foot Orthoses for Ambulation, was held February 11 and 12, 2006. The SSC 7 supplement of Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthoses for Ambulation was published in June, and the last issue of The ACADEMICIAN EXPRESS was published in July.
SSC 5, Prosthetic Foot Ankle Mechanisms, was held April 14 through 16, 2005. SSC 6, Outcome Measures in Lower Limb Prosthetics, was held September 7 through 9, 2005. The supplement of CSOP 4, Orthotic and Pedorthic Management of the Neuropathic Foot, was published in April of 2005. The supplement of the Prosthetic Foot Ankle Mechanisms SSC was published in October of 2005.
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