Welcome to O&Pedia

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Welcome to O&Pedia

O&P, just like every other industry, profession, sport, and hobby, has its own "language"—an amalgamation of acronyms, words, organizations, processes, and procedures. Although those new to the profession may most often stumble across an unfamiliar acronym or organizational reference, even seasoned O&P professionals are not immune to an occasional term that may leave them scratching their heads, as new words, processes, procedures, acronyms, and organizations pop up seemingly every day.

To that end, O&Pedia will be a series of "micro-lexicons" explaining the language common to the O&P industry that we hope you will find to be a useful reference, if not for yourself, perhaps for a mentee. In the spirit of shared learning, if you have suggestions for categories of terms you would like to see covered in this column, please send your suggestions to .

In this issue, we are highlighting a sampling of U.S.-based nonprofit organizations, small and large, that provide orthotic and prosthetic care to people who need it primarily in developing countries.


The Bra Recyclers


The Bra Recyclers is a textile recycling company that specializes in the recycling and re-use of used and unused bras of all sizes and styles, including post-mastectomy bras, for redistribution in the United States and in developing countries. Its first international shipment of post-mastectomy bras and breast prostheses was made in June 2012 to a breast cancer support group in South Africa.

Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation


The Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation (EMPHF) provides the low-cost, durable LN-4 "helper" prosthetic hand at no charge to every person who wants one and can benefit from it. EMPHF works with Rotary clubs and others to organize fitting events. Its reach has extended to the countries of East Africa, Colombia, Vietnam, India, Jordan, and more.

Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation


The Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation provides access to prosthetic and orthotic care to individuals in need who could not otherwise afford it, in part by facilitating the charitable delivery of services, equipment, and expertise by practitioners. The Foundation also seeks to create larger, more sustainable solutions by expanding the capabilities of local practitioners in underserved areas through education, collaboration, and support.

Photograph courtesy of Healing Hands for Haiti.

Healing Hands for Haiti


Healing Hands for Haiti (HHH) is a secular, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization (NGO) that delivers quality, sustainable physical medicine and rehabilitation education, training, and care for adults and children with physical disabilities in Haiti. It has provided P&O services, training, and support since 1998.

Legs to Stand On


Legs to Stand On™ is an international initiative to prevent disease and restore the lives of persons in less-resourced environments (LREs) by developing a model for lower-limb care that can be duplicated in countries worldwide. In recognition of the critical importance of footwear for prevention and treatment of several lower-limb problems, one core area of support is finding sustainable solutions to provide appropriate, effective, low-cost footwear in LREs.

LIMBS International


LIMBS International serves individuals with amputations around the world by providing highly functional and affordable prosthetic components. LIMBS offers prosthetic limb solutions that can be made and repaired locally, which creates sustainable solutions that local clinicians can claim as their own, while improving the lives of their countrymen.

Prosthetic & Orthotic Component Clearinghouse:


The Prosthetic & Orthotic Component Clearinghouse (POCC—rhymes with foxy) is a collaborative project created to divert surpluses of usable P&O goods from being sent to landfills. The donations provide access to these needed goods and services to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), P&O practitioners, developing-world P&O schools, developing-world P&O facilities, and researchers.

Prosthetics Outreach Foundation


The Prosthetics Outreach Foundation (POF) works to strengthen the local capacity of developing countries to provide prosthetic care, orthopedic surgeries, and treatment for children with clubfoot through hands-on teaching and training. This includes assisting developing countries with the in-country fabrication of O&P devices to break dependence on costly component imports.

Editor's note: The organizations highlighted in this issue of  The O&P EDGE are just a sampling of the numerous U.S.-based nonprofit organizations that are doing O&P humanitarian work across the globe. Space does not permit us to include all of them. For possible inclusion of your organization in  EDGE Direct, e-mail

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