Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center


Read the latest news from the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about NUPOC and our recent achievements.

  • NUPOC to Host Residency Interview Days

    MPO 2018 students have honed their resumes and interview skills to prepare for residency interview days that NUPOC will host on-site at on October 19 and 20, 2017. Officers and members of the Northwestern University Prosthetics Orthotics Student Society (NUPOSS) have worked collaboratively with NUPOC faculty to invite P&O companies from throughout the USA to interview members of the MPO class of 2018 who are seeking supervised residencies.

    NUPOSS president Michael Hoggatt confirmed the thirteen companies that will conduct residency interviews at NUPOC: American P&O, Bionic P&O, Comprehensive P&O, East Point Prosthetics and Orthotics, Evergreen P&O, Fourroux Prosthetics, Hanger, Kenney Orthopedics, Mary Free Bed O&P, Pacific Medical Prosthetics & Orthotics, Prevail P&O, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, and Wright and Filippis.

  • NU-FlexSIV Socket Course Sponsored by ISPO Norway

    The October 2017 NU-FlexSIV Socket Course was sponsored by ISPO NorwayStefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, taught the 2-day NU-FlexSIV Socket Course to six prosthetists from Norway and Denmark. ISPO Norge sponsored the course held at Sophies Minde Ortopedi in Oslo, Norway. Rune Nilsen and Andreas Huck from ISPO Norge organized the course. All prosthetists successfully fit the NU-FlexSIV Socket to five patients with transfemoral amputation. See additional coverage on the ISPO Norge Facebook page. 

  • Jacalyn Sickels Wins NJ AAOP Robert Frank Scholarship

    Jacalyn Sickels (MPO 2018) wins NJ AAOP ScholarshipJacalyn Sickels (MPO 2018) has been awarded the New Jersey Chapter AAOP Robert Frank Scholarship for her narrative essay recounting unique life experiences that led her to train for a career in Prosthetics and Orthotics. The Scholarship provides a $1,000 award that Ms. Sickels will use to defray costs associated with P&O graduate training.

    Ms. Sickels graduated with a B.S. from Rutgers University (2016) where she focused on Applied Kinesiology within the Exercise Science and Sport Studies major. Prior to entering the MPO program at NUPOC, Ms. Sickels logged many hours of active experience as a Junior Technician at Hanger Clinic; Intern at JFK/JRI Prosthetic and Orthotic Labs; and Physical Therapy Aide at Jersey Physical Therapy.

    In addition to her excellent performance in the rigorous clinical practicum at NUPOC, Ms. Sickels is working under the mentorship of Michael Cavanaugh, CPO, FAAOP, to review and evaluate safety measures and the relationship between P&O materials and human fertility. She actively volunteers at P&O-related organizations throughout Chicago and she is a Team Leader for the Kidney and Urology Foundation of America (Freehold, NJ).

    In the future, Ms. Sickels plans to conduct her residency and clinical career as a Prosthetist-Orthotist in New Jersey. Her long-range vision includes developing community-based philanthropic and social support organizations for individuals and families facing limb amputation. Community support is a platform where she can parlay her personal experience as a primary resource for a family member who lived with limb difference and recently experienced a limb amputation. 

  • NU-FlexSIV Socket Course Presented at OIM Orthopedie in The Netherlands

    Ryan Caldwell, CP/L, prepares to fit patient model with NU-FlexSIV Socket.  Patient model demonstrate ROM wearing NU-FlexSIV Socket   

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), presenting evening lecture at OIM (The Netherlands).On October 5 and 6, 2017, Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and Ryan Caldwell, CP/L, taught the 2-day NU-FlexSIV Socket Course to 12 prosthetists at OIM Orthopedie in The Netherlands. Jeroen Olsman, Team Leader and Senior Orthopaedic Advisor at OIM hosted this first presentation of the NU-FlexSIV Socket Course in The Netherlands. Mr. Olsman organized the course after attending a presentation by Dr. Fatone in Rotterdam at the ISPO Europe conference (October 2016). All prosthetists successfully fit the NU-FlexSIV Socket to five transfemoral patients, including a young woman with bilateral transfemoral amputations. 

    On the final evening of the course, OIM hosted a lecture by Dr. Fatone and Mr. Caldwell, who addressed physical therapists and physicians interested in the NU-FlexSIV Socket. 

  • Fatone Invited to TU Delft (Netherlands)

    Delft Technical University, The NetherlandsStefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was invited to visit Dr. Dick Plettenburg at Delft University of Technology, commonly called TU Delft, (The Netherlands). Dr. Plettenburg coordinates the Master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering and directs the Delft Institute of Prosthetics and Orthotics. NUPOC has hosted numerous engineering students from TU Delft. 

    Dr. Plettenburg conducted Dr. Fatone on a tour of the campus and introduced his research colleagues: Dr. Winfred Mugge who is working on projects on motor control; Dr. Tim Horeman who is developing surgical instruments; and Drs. Gerwin Smith and Heike Vallery who are working on prosthetics projects.

    Currently, Dr. Fatone serves on the Scientific Program Committee and works collaboratively with Dr. Plettenburg, who chairs the Scientific Program Committee for the 2019 ISPO World Congress. 

  • Kristin Carnahan, CPO, FAAOP, Joins NUPOC Faculty

    Kristin Carnahan, CPO, FAAOPKristin Carnahan, CPO, FAAOP, has joined NUPOC as an Instructor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Ms. Carnahan will use her clinical and instructional skills to teach MPO students and guide their clinical practicum as they learn to evaluate, fit and fabricate P&O devices. 

    Ms. Carnahan has nearly a decade of experience as a P&O clinician in private practice. She completed a Master of Prosthetics and Orthotics (2008) at Georgia Institute of Technology. She completed an orthotics residency at University of Michigan Orthotic and Prosthetic Center (2009) and a prosthetics residency (2010) at ProCare Prosthetics and Orthotics (Buford, GA). Ms. Carnahan continued as a staff CPO at ProCare until 2017, serving in positions that include Technical Team Manager and startup leader for one of the firm’s satellite offices. She has teaching experience in Georgia programs for PT, PTA, and MSPO.

    Prior to training in P&O, Ms. Carnahan majored in Chemical Engineering at Auburn University, AL, where she was member and president of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, a University Honors College Graduate, and a Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll student when she played varsity tennis. From 2000 to 2006, Ms. Carnahan worked at Southern Nuclear Operating Company Plant Vogtle (Augusta, GA), holding positions that include System Engineer, Chemistry Program Engineer, and Chemistry Foreman.

    From 2007, Ms. Carnahan volunteered her skills to the Adventure Amputee Camp as Counselor and from 2012-2016 served on the Board of Directors as Treasurer. Adventure Amputee Camp encourages children with amputations or limb differences to explore and experience outdoor and sporting activities. A native of Louisiana, Ms. Carnahan enjoys tennis, reading, and cycling. Director of NUPOC, John W. Michael, MEd, CPO/L, said, “We believe that Kristin Carnahan will contribute significantly to the clinical training and education program at Northwestern University.”

  • Stefania Fatone, PhD, Promoted to Professor of PM&R

    Professor Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons)Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), has been promoted to Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University effective September 1, 2017. Dr. Fatone is Principal Investigator for multiple research and development projects at the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center where she also contributes to the Master of Prosthetics and Orthotics Program.

    Dr. Fatone’s contributions have been seminal within prosthetics and orthotics (P&O), effectively changing the discipline with the development of the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum Socket for transfemoral amputation; leading research in the orthotic management of neuromuscular conditions, particularly stroke and cerebral palsy; and evaluating the outcomes of partial foot amputation to facilitate shared decision-making. Internationally collaborative, she works productively with physicians, prosthetist-orthotists, biomedical engineers, and other specialists.

    Dr. Fatone is one of a small cadre of qualified prosthetists and orthotists with a doctorate. She has clinical and teaching experience in prosthetics and orthotics, as well as experience in clinical gait analysis. She has published more than 65 peer-reviewed articles, editorials, and book chapters and mentored more than 60 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, residents and junior faculty. Dr. Fatone said, “My research examines the effects of prostheses and orthoses on human movement in order to increase understanding, establish efficacy, and improve effectiveness of prosthetic and orthotic interventions for people with disability.”

    Dr. Fatone was educated at La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia) where she graduated with a Bachelor of Prosthetics and Orthotics with Honors (1995) and completed her PhD (2000). In 2000, Dr. Fatone was a post-doctoral fellow at the Northwestern University Prosthetics Research Laboratory and Rehabilitation Engineering Research Program, where she was instrumental in generating funding for a 3-year grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate Ankle-Foot Alignment and Support in Ankle Foot Orthoses for Persons Post-Stroke. In 2003, Dr. Fatone transitioned to Research Assistant Professor and was co-PI of a 5-year NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Prosthetics and Orthotics from 2008-2013. In 2011 she was promoted to Research Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation where she has continued to conduct numerous, collaborative research projects that contribute new knowledge to the discipline of prosthetics and orthotics.

    The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists recognized her contributions with Honorary Membership (2007) and Research Award (2010). Dr. Fatone is recognized internationally as a leading researcher in the field of prosthetics and orthotics and frequently is invited to present keynote talks about her work. Dr. Fatone is a long-standing member of the Clinical Content Committee for the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists. She is a Board Member and Chair of the Research Committee for the Orthotics and Prosthetics Education and Research Foundation; serves on the Editorial Board for Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as Prosthetics and Orthotics International. She is a standing member of the Department of Veterans Affairs Scientific Merit Review Board, Rehabilitation Engineering and Prosthetics/Orthotics Subcommittee, contributes as a faculty mentor for the Training in Grantsmanship for Rehabilitation Research workshops, and recently joined the Scientific Committee for the 2019 International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics World Congress to be held in Kobe, Japan.

  • Kierra Falbo Wins 2017 Becker Award

    Kierra Falbo (MPO 2018), recipient of 2017 Becker Award.Kierra Falbo, a graduate student at NUPOC in the MPO class of 2018, received the 2017 Otto and Lucille Becker Award for the best orthotics abstract submitted as a poster for presentation at the AOPA National Assembly. She is the first NUPOC student to win this award. Established in 2012, the Otto and Lucille Becker Award encourages students and residents to present posters of exceptional content. Ms. Falbo accepted the Becker Award in person at the 2017 AOPA national meeting in Las Vegas, NV.

    Ms. Falbo presented the poster, Characteristics of Delphi Processes in Orthotics and Prosthetics Research, at the AOPA meeting. The content is based on her NUPOC capstone research project under the mentorship of John Brinkmann, MA, CPO, FAAOP(D). Ms. Falbo said, “In addition to clinical work, I am very interested in research. I’ve been working as a research assistant on a research project with Mr. Brinkmann. I like to do things really well and in depth. As soon as I identified my capstone topic, I began to work systematically to develop it, so I was ready to submit this poster.

  • Andrew Conklin Exhibit Opens at NUPOC

    The Andrew Conklin Exhibit is at the NUPOC Gallery in September and October 2017

    At NUPOC, science, technology, and art intersect. In recognition of the artistry that is vital to prosthetics and orthotics, NUPOC is delighted to announce the installation and exhibition of oil paintings by Andrew Conklin. Mr. Conklin holds a BFA from the American Academy of Art (Chicago) and an MFA from the Academy of Art University (San Francisco), with postgraduate instruction at the National Academy of Design (New York) and from portraitist Aaron Shikler, painter of the official John F. Kennedy White House portrait.

    As a contemporary artist, Mr. Conklin continues the traditions of representational depiction and narrative content in painting. “My favorite subject is the human figure. The human body continues to play a vital role in my work, presenting technical demands and opportunities to explore its spiritual, moral and political condition in contemporary culture.” Mr. Conklin’s paintings challenge the viewer to consider complex life experiences and to examine the human condition as both progressive and unchanging. Mr. Conklin’s recent series of Motion Capture Studio paintings are particularly relevant to NUPOC research that uses motion capture to analyze human gait and motion.

    Artists and Certified Prosthetist-Orthotists (CPO) cultivate similar skills. A maxim holds that a good prosthetist-orthotist needs the triad of “head, heart, and hands”. Superior cognitive ability, compassion, and hand skills enable CPOs to serve their patients well. As scientists and clinicians, CPOs are rigorously trained in human anatomy, biomechanics, behavioral sciences, professional issues, practice management, and independent research. They also employ creative artistry that bridges science and technology to fit and fabricate functional, comfortable, wearable prostheses and orthoses.

    NUPOC appreciates Andrew Conklin and the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts (Chicago) for making this exhibit possible. 

  • Fatone and Caldwell Present at the AOPA World Congress

    Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, at AOPA 2017.   Stefania Fatone, PhD, at AOPA 2017 (Las Vegas, NV).

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, attended the AOPA Centennial Celebration and Second World Congress from September 6 to 9, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV.  On September 5, Dr. Fatone and Mr. Caldwell presented a pre-congress education workshop, Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum Socket Course. This was the first time AOPA included a pre-conference education program. The course attracted approximately 60 participants who attended lectures, watched a live casting demonstration and engaged in an interactive discussion. Dr. Fatone and Mr. Caldwell appreciate Össur for their assistance in identifying a patient model to participate in the course.

    Dr. Fatone was also invited to participate in two symposiums, co-presenting Orthotic Management of Post-Stroke Gait Dysfunction with Dr. Jill Seale, PhD, DPT, and The Experience of Sequential Partial Foot Amputation and Transtibial Amputation: Implications for Shared Decision Making about Amputation Surgery with Michael Dillon, PhD, BPO(Hons). 

The Childress Fund

Established with a generous gift from the Childress family, the Childress Fund accepts donations that help to continue Dudley Childress' work by stimulating interest in rehabilitation engineering for Prosthetics-Orthotics.

The Childress Fund benefits all who are interested in P&O and especially individuals who live with physical impairments. We invite you to be part of this ongoing effort by giving generously to the Dudley S. Childress, PhD, Research and Education Fund.