Terri Sparber Bukacheski, LP, CP
Terri Sparber Bukacheski, LP, CP, is an ABC-certified prosthetist and a Florida-licensed prosthetist and orthotic fitter. She is the founder of and clinical director of prosthetic patient management for Ortho Pro Associates, Inc. in Miami, Florida.
Terri was a Governor-appointed member of the Florida Licensure Board of Orthotists and Prosthetists from 1997-2001. She founded Ortho Pro Associates in June 1991. Her personal and professional mission has always been to provide high-quality patient care and individualized treatment goals for every patient requiring prosthetic and orthotic services. Her measure of success is based on her patients reaching and surpassing their physical goals and improving their quality of life.1
We recently caught up with Terri to ask a few questions.
How long have you been in the profession?
I have been in the field for 31 years.
What is your education background (college through certification)?
My undergraduate degree is in therapeutic recreation from Indiana University. I earned post-graduate certificates in prosthetics and orthotics from the Northwestern University Prosthetic-Orthotic Center (NUPOC) in Chicago in 1986.
Why did you choose this profession?
My professional choices for both therapeutic recreation and prosthetics/orthotics were influenced by my father. He has a transfemoral amputation secondary to sarcoma. He became a transfemoral amputee while attending college. I have never known him with two legs. He had always been extremely active, sports-oriented, and had a great sense of adventure and travel. His many interests included travel, racquetball, tennis, swimming and scuba diving (all around the world), downhill skiing, water skiing, hiking, camping, and boating. The majority of these activities were prior to my entry in the field and were performed wearing an exoskeletal prosthesis with an old Dupaco hydraulic knee unit!
What has changed the most about the field since you first became a practitioner?
The prosthetic technology options have been life-changing for our patients!
What has been most satisfying aspect about your decision to go into the field?
Changing peoples' lives in a positive way every day.
What has been the most frustrating?
Fighting with insurance companies to get the best prosthetic and orthotic care for our patients.
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
I'm proud of starting Ortho Pro Associates, Inc., in 1991. Over this period, along with our amazing staff, we have helped thousands of patients regain their mobility and improve their quality of life and have supported them through extremely difficult challenges. We have patients who first came to us as kids and continue to see us as adults. We treat our patients as if they are part of our family.
If you were speaking to high school or college students, what would you say to encourage them to choose this profession?
I would say that it's one of the most gratifying, creative, and challenging professions. You will also have a sense of making a positive impact on others while making a good living.
How has your Academy membership been valuable to you?
My Academy membership has been valuable to me as it's a great way to interact with other professionals, and I also am able to obtain continuing education through the Academy.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I also love the outdoors, traveling, and cultural events.
1. "Our Staff." Ortho Pro Prosthetics Orthotics, Ortho Pro Associates, 2017, www.orthoproassociates.com/about-us/meet-the-staff.aspx.