OPERF | Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation

OPERF Mission

The Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF) was established to raise the standards of education and research in the O&P profession. Practicing O&P professionals founded the organization to meet the ever-changing needs of the field.

OPERF will award grants to promote research in the profession with the goal of providing the best possible care to patients in need of O&P care. The Foundation will also assist students currently attending or entering O&P education programs by providing competitive grants and awards as they pursue careers as O&P professionals, faculty or researchers in the field.

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Recent Announcements

Naft Awarded OPERF Tamarack Prize

Jonathan Naft, CPO

Jonathan Naft, CPO

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF), Inc., is proud to announce that Jonathan Naft, CPO, was awarded the organization's Tamarack Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Orthotic Science and Practice at the 43rd Academy Annual Meeting March 1 in Chicago.

The OPERF Tamarack Prize, an endowed prize sponsored by Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, Inc., is awarded to an individual who has made significant contributions to the practice and understanding of orthotic science within the last five years and has a history of clinical care, scientific research, and peer-reviewed publication in the orthotic profession.

Naft is certified as an orthotist and prosthetist by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC). He also is an electrical and a biomedical engineer. He has been an innovator in O&P for 27 years. He is the founder of Geauga Rehabilitation Engineering in Cleveland, Ohio, and the vice president and general manager at Myomo in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Naft divides his time between clinical patient care, research projects, product development, and national O&P projects. Some of his work includes co-developing the first myoelectric, upper-extremity orthosis called the MyoPro. The MyoPro is the first commercially available myoelectric orthosis that is designed to both support and provide functional movement to those with arm and/or hand weakness to assist the user with activities of daily living.

Naft is the recipient of the 2014 American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (the Academy) Clinical Creativity Award. He is a published author, featured speaker, past president of the Ohio Academy Chapter, and past board member for OPERF. He is a member of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) Coding and Reimbursement Committee, a volunteer examiner for the ABC Clinical Patient Management exam, a volunteer prosthetic Paralympic practitioner, and a member of the O&P News advisory board.

OPERF Announces 2016 OPERF/ABC Resident Travel Award Recipient

Kyle Barrons, CPO, MSOP

Kyle Barrons, CPO, MSOP

The Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF) is pleased to announce that Kyle Barrons, CPO, MSOP, has been awarded the 2016 OPERF/ABC Resident Travel Award. Barrons was selected for his National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE) residency project titled Biomechanical Effects of Adding a Flat Region to Constant Radius Rocker Bottom Shoes. He will receive a $2,500 cash prize to attend the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (the Academy) 2017 Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium in Chicago, Illinois, March 1–4, 2017, and present his research.

Currently a staff prosthetist-orthotist at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System in Minnesota, Barrons completed his orthotics residency at Michigan Orthopedic Services in Flint, Michigan.

The OPERF/American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC) Resident Travel Award Program supports prosthetics and orthotics residents' travel to the Academy Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium so that they may present their NCOPE directed study report or project. Up to four $2,500 travel awards are given annually.

"OPERF is grateful to ABC for its sponsorship of this award and partnership in investing in future O&P practitioners," said Donald Katz, MHA, CO/L, FAAOP, chair of the OPERF board of directors. "The OPERF board of directors would also like to extend its appreciation to all of those who served as clinical and scientific reviewers for this year's submissions. Their guidance and support ensure that all applicants receive constructive feedback to help them grow further in their research interest endeavors."

OPERF Announces the winner of the Carlton Fillauer Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Prosthetics Science and Practice

The first Carlton Fillauer Prize was awarded to Phillip M. Stevens, MEd, CPO, FAAOP at the 40th Academy Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium.

The Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF) is honored to present the Carlton Fillauer Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Prosthetics Science and Practice. This award, sponsored by the Fillauer Companies Inc., recognizes prosthetists who have actively engaged in clinical care, research, and publication. The $5,000 unrestricted cash prize is presented biennially.


OPERF has launched the OPERF Student Challenge, an opportunity for students to collaborate, create, and organize fundraising activities to contribute to the profession's educational growth. Participating CAAHEP-accredited O&P programs will compete to raise the highest amount of funds to donate to OPERF. The Academy has graciously offered to match any challenge donations up to $500 per school. The school that wins the OPERF Student Challenge will be announced by the OPERF chair at the Academy Annual Meeting.

Students will be tasked with organizing and implementing fundraising activities at their schools. Those interested in leading these efforts should contact their program director to be put in touch with the faculty representative for the challenge. In its first year, the challenge will begin in September with a limited number of schools participating. Thereafter, the challenge will begin on February 1 and conclude on January 31 of the following calendar year.

OPERF Receives Major Donation from ABC

ABC's $100,000 donation will fund resident and student awards

The Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF) is pleased to announce a $100,000 donation from the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics, Inc. (ABC). The funds will be used beginning in 2015 for awards to residents and students.

"This incredibly generous donation demonstrates ABC's dedication to excellence in orthotics and prosthetics," said Don Katz, MHA, CO/L, FAAOP, chair of OPERF. "We are thrilled to partner with ABC to enhance the opportunities that OPERF can offer to students and residents."

The ABC student scholarship and resident travel awards will be awarded beginning in 2015 and the generous donation will guarantee that they continue to be awarded for a minimum of five years. Full details of the award programs will be announced in the coming months.

"ABC, like OPERF, is committed to promoting education and development in O&P. We are proud to partner with OPERF to sponsor these awards that will foster the success of future practitioners," said Curt A. Bertram, CO, FAAOP, president of ABC.