The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) has launched the "O&P Giving Back" Program to help reach its goal of raising $1 million over the next several years to fund the Project Quantum Leap (PQL) initiative.
"PQL will shape the future of the O&P profession by implementing a vigorous O&P awareness campaign to attract high school students to pursue a career in O&P, documenting clinical standards of practice to define treatment protocols, and identifying and encouraging the funding of applied research in O&P," said Academy President Frank H. Bostock, MBA, CO, FAAOP. "The ambitious goals of PQL can only be achieved through the combined efforts of all those impacted by future changes in O&P." He continued, "The O&P Giving Back Program enables O&P practitioners and facilities to share a vested interest in achieving the goals of PQL. The Academy wants its members to make an investment in the future of the profession."
Two Academy members who have made initial pledges of $1,000 each are Stephen Schulte, CP, FAAOP, and Gregory Banks, CPO.
Schulte became interested in the O&P profession when his paternal grandmother lost her leg due to diabetes. After attending Northwestern University, he became certified in prosthetics and worked in an Atlanta-area facility for several years. He and his wife Amne founded ProCare - Prosthetic Care Inc. , Suwanee, Georgia, in 1995. He now has two facilities and enjoys the family atmosphere in the office, since his wife handles the business end of the practice while his mother Kay assists with human resource responsibilities.
"When I first heard about the Academy's Project Quantum Leap, it sounded like they were taking a proactive step in the right direction to advance the profession," explained Schulte. "I felt it was important to support the profession that has given so much to me and my family. I hope others will lend their support so we can continue to strengthen the profession."
†Gregory Banks, CPO, of Bio Prosthetic-Orthotic Lab Inc., Aldie, Virginia, was motivated to give by other reasons. His daughter Rebeca, grew up surrounded by the world of O&P-casting materials, carbon fiber, and other miscellaneous supplies that piqued her curiosity at a very young age. Instead of playing with dolls, she spent time casting them and watching her father at work. She was often rewarded for doing her chores with rolls of fiberglass.
Rebeca is now 18 and still shows a great deal of interest in O&P. She frequently attends the various O&P meetings looking to expand her knowledge in special subject areas.
How the 'Giving Back' Program Works
How does it work? The O&P Giving Back Program offers practitioners and facility owners the ability to make a pledge of support of PQL over the next three years. Payments may be made in three installments payable by November 30, 2003, June 30, 2004 and June 30, 2005. A minimum of one-half of the total donation should be made in the initial installment.
At each level of giving, donors receive recognition and benefits reflective of their level of support. The levels for an individual practitioner range from $500 to $2,500, while facilities start at $1,000 and go up to $5,000. PQL supporters will be recognized through the Academician newsletter, Annual Meeting signage, website listings, and premium items for offices or facilities. A complete listing of contributor benefits can be found on the Academy's website,†How To Support Project Quantum Leap.
To learn more about Project Quantum Leap or to make a tax-deductible online donation, go to www.oandp.org/pql Be sure to also check out the "Special Giving Opportunities" if you wish to honor someone who has made a significant contribution to the profession. For additional information, contact Julie Hayes, director of Development & Communications for the Academy, 703.836.0788, ext. 203; firstname.lastname@example.org.