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.

  • Tamarack Awards to Kyle Miller and Sheila Pach

    Shelia Pach and Kyle Miller (MPO 2018) are 2018 Tamarack Award recipientsKyle Miller and Sheila Pach (MPO 2018) are recipients of the 2017 Tamarack Awards. Since 2014, the generosity of J. Martin Carlson, CPO, FAAOP, owner and chief engineer of Tamarack Habilitation Technologies (Blaine, MN), enables NUPOC to confer a Tamarack Award on two NUPOC MPO students who demonstrate excellence in orthotics. Each Tamarack Award represents a $2,000 monetary prize. Current MPO students compete for the awards by submitting an original essay that details his/her commitment to orthotics. NUPOC teaching faculty evaluate the work and the awards go to the two highest scoring students.

    Describing his commitment to orthotics, Mr. Miller said, “An orthosis can provide a life-changing mechanism for improvement of mobility, function and quality of life. Mastering the principles of orthotic management is an important factor in my commitment to patient-centered care and I am resolved to strengthen these skills throughout my career.”

    Describing her commitment to orthotics, Ms. Pach said, “I am honored to receive the Tamarack Award. During my orthotics practicum courses, NUPOC has fostered my understanding of orthotic management with respect to anatomy, componentry, biomechanics and fabrication techniques. In each patient encounter, I focus on patient goals and invite the patient to collaborate. I intend to continue advancing compassionate, patient-centered orthotic treatment.” 

    NUPOC deeply appreciates the generosity of Mr. Carlson for bestowing the annual Tamarack Awards at NUPOC. Congratulations to the 2017 Tamarack awardees.

  • Contributions of the RERC for P&O

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, and Steven A. Gard, PhD, are co-authors of the open access article, How a Diverse Research Ecosystem Has Generated New Rehabilitation Technologies: Review of NIDILRR’s Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2017, 14:109). The paper describes the impact and accomplishments of Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERC).

    Authors Reinkensmeyer et al., review the scope, achievements, and ongoing projects of an unbiased sample of 19 currently active or recently terminated RERCs. The article identifies each RERC target population, summarizes significant historical advances, identifies emerging innovations, and considers future directions. The article documents numerous contributions of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) for P&O (1983 through 2014) [pp10–11], including:  

       -Squirt shape socket fabrication system 
       -Shape&Roll foot  
       -Adaptable prosthetic foot-ankle mechanism  
       -Direct ultrasonic ranging system  
       -The Orthotic and Prosthetic Users Survey 
       -Extended physiological proprioception  
       -Early exploration of socket interfaces  
       -Inverted rocker based pendulum model for bipedal walking  
       -Challenging the six determinants of gait  
       -Roll-over shape

    Learn more about research outputs from the RERC for P&O.  

  • Fatone Conducts Seminar at University of Nebraska

    Jorge Zuniga, PhD, presents a T-shirt to Dr. Fatone.Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was the featured speaker at a seminar series hosted by The Department of Biomechanics and The Center for Research in Human Movement Variability (MOVCENTR) at the University of Nebraska (Omaha). Dr. Fatone presented The NU-FlexSIV Socket: Development, Research, and Dissemination. She discussed research about the fabrication, comfort and performance of the NU-FlexSIV Socket; and addressed early evidence of its clinical implementation.

    At left, Jorge Zuniga, PhD, associate professor, Department of Biomechanics, University of Nebraska, presents a T-shirt to Dr. Fatone after her presentation. Dr. Fatone is mentor to Dr. Zuniga as part of their NIH COBRE grant.

  • Brinkmann and Leckrone Present AAOP Webinar

    Spencer LeckroneJohn Brinkmann, CPO, FAAOP, and Spencer Leckrone (MPO 2018), presented the webinar, What Is ‘Behavioral Science’, and What Does It Mean for My Practice, for the AAOP Behavioral Sciences Society. Mr. Leckrone, a founding member of the Behavioral Sciences Society, has a strong interest in behavioral sciences and their strategic integration into patient care. This inaugural webinar described how understanding the behavioral sciences can support and improve effective clinical decisions and communications with patients and colleagues. The webinar demonstrated how to implement these strategies.

    The American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists (AAOP) offers Scientific Societies for members to share interest and develop further expertise in specific areas. The nine Scientific Societies include 1) CAD-CAM, 2) Gait, 3) Fabrication Sciences, 4) Craniofacial, 5) Lower Limb Prosthetics, 6) Lower Limb Orthotics, 7) Upper Limb Prosthetic, 8) Spinal Orthotics, and the newly formed 9) Behavioral Sciences Society.

    Mr. Brinkmann, chair, and J Chad Duncan, CPO, PhD, CRC, vice chair, worked collaboratively to establish the Behavioral Sciences Society at AAOP.

  • Bondre and Brinkmann Present AOPA Webinar

    As part of the AOPA Healthcare Compliance & Ethics Week, Nina Bondre, CPO, MPO (2015), and John Brinkmann, CPO, FAAOP, presented the webinar, Teaching Professionalism and Ethics during Residency.  The webinar identified professional ethical standards described by ABC and NCOPE and provided an overview of how the NUPOC MPO program teaches ethics. Ethical decision-making emphasizes a conscious approach, reflective practice, real-time feedback, and clear guidance in company policies. Presenters analyzed themes derived from 200 student responses to the ethical question, “What should I do when…” and discussed specific scenarios involving ethical dilemmas. 

  • Strong Showing by NUPOC at MWCAAOP

    Ryan Caldwell, CP, and Stefania Fatone, BPO(Hons), PhD, presented research at MWCAAOP 2017  Julia Quinlan, PhD, presented research at the 2017 MWCAAOP meeting

    The annual meeting and scientific session of the Midwest Chapter of the AAOP (MWCAAOP) met on November 11, 2017 at NUPOC in Chicago, IL. NUPOC strongly contributed to MWCAAOP organization and scientific content. NUPOC faculty organizers of the meeting are President/Treasurer John Brinkmann, CPO; Vice President Michael Cavanaugh, CPO; and Director II Ryan Caldwell, CP.

    NUPOC researchers and collaborators presented their work. Underline indicates the presenter.

    Fatone S, Caldwell R, Stine R, Tran L, Angelico J. Evaluation of the NU-FlexSIV Socket for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation: Interim Results. 
    Tran L, Caldwell R, Yohay J, Chung Hu, Jung I, Rogers J, Fatone S. Description and demonstration of a prototype residual limb monitoring system. 
    Quinlan J, Tran L, Yohay J, Poziembo B, Fatone S. The effect of prosthetic socket texturing on socket suspension using mechanical loading. 
    Heinemann A. Orthotist, Physical Therapist, and Patient Perspectives on Indicators of Quality Care for Users of Custom Ankle Foot Orthoses. Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO, is a co-investigator of this study. 
    Brncick M. Update on Joliet Junior College Orthotic Prosthetic Technician Program. 

  • NUPOC Participates in Health Professions Week

    NUPOC participated in Health Professions Week 2017

    NUPOC collaborated with the National Commission on Orthotics & Prosthetics Education (NCOPE) to participate in Health Professions Week (HPW) Virtual Fair on November 8, 2017. HPW is an on-line initiative designed to educate students about opportunities in Prosthetics & Orthotics (P&O) and 18 other allied health disciplines. HPW provided interactive opportunities for students to explore P&O or other allied health education programs, communicate directly with health care practitioners, and learn about educational requirements for each allied health career.

    NUPOC educators J. Chad Duncan, PhD, CPO, CRC, and Kristen Carnahan, CPO, interfaced as Chat Leaders with HPW students. They conducted person-to-person informational segments about how students can prepare for a P&O career, volunteer at a P&O facility, and select course requirements for undergraduate and graduate degree programs. They also discussed resident training and professional certification. R. J. Garrick, PhD, led the outreach activities and facilitated the collaboration with NCOPE.

  • Helen Oh Exhibit Opens at NUPOC


    Helen Oh Exhibit opens at NUPOC Gallery

    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 drawings by Helen Oh.

    Ms. Oh is a realist painter who has studied with leading realist artists, including Harvey Dinnerstein, Aaron Shikler and David Levine. She attended the School of Visual Arts, National Academy of Design, and the Art Students League of New York. She holds a BFA from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA from Harrington College of Design. She won a Julius Halligarten Painting Prize from the National Academy Museum and twice received an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant. Ms. Oh teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts (Chicago). She exhibits her work nationally.

    Helen Oh is a realist artistThrough drawing, Ms. Oh seeks to create a clearer vision of life. I endeavor to connect my audience to a realism that celebrates the formal qualities of graceful lines, volumes, and textures. For this exhibition, I selected drawings of human figures, seashell fossils, and a Thoracic Lumbar-Sacral Orthosis (TLSO) that was cast and fabricated at NUPOC.”

    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 Helen Oh and the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts (Chicago) for making this exhibit possible.

  • J. Chad Duncan Presents at Rehabilitation Educators Conference

    Chad Duncan, PhD, CPO, CRC, presented the results of his research, The Effect of Having Comorbidities on Finding Employment through Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), at the National Rehabilitation Education Conference, hosted by the National Council on Rehabilitation Education in Arlington, VA. The conference is an annual information exchange among professionals who train, recruit, and hire rehabilitation counselors.

    Dr. Duncan discussed his research findings on Vocational Rehabilitation for individuals with limb loss or absence and the effect of amputation and amputation with comorbidities on employment outcomes. Amputation with co-morbidity includes diabetes and amputation, or depression, diabetes, and amputation.

    Individuals with limb loss or absence can receive funding for prosthetic care through VR services when VR assists them in developing essential occupational skills and obtaining employment. VR services are available in all fifty states and a national database (RSA-911) documents each person’s demographics, type of disability, use of VR services, the cost of services, and employment outcomes.

  • MPO 2018 Makes Teddy Bear Orthoses for Lurie Patients

    MPO 2018 students' service project fabricated teddy bear orthoses for pediatric orthotics patients

    Sara Jerousek (MPO 2017) was the Lurie service project liaison NUPOC hosted a service project that fabricated Thoracic Lumbar-Sacral Orthoses (TLSOs) and Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFOs) worn by teddy bears. The orthosis-clad bears were donated to Lurie Children’s Hospital for pediatric orthotics patients. The teddy bear orthosis project carries forward a 2016 Boy Scout Eagle Project that initiated the donation of plush bears wearing orthoses to Lurie orthotics patients.

    Michael Hoggatt (MPO 2018), President of the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Student Society (NUPOSS), and Sara Jerousek, MPO, a NUPOC graduate (2017) and current orthotics resident at Lurie, led the service project. Ms. Jerousek selected this project as one of her resident service projects. “It’s a project that hones fabrication skills and helps kids in need of comfort during medical treatment and intervention. Hopefully, it will give them comfort and make them smile.

    The NUPOC students have successfully fit and fabricated TLSOs and AFOs for human clients, so they enjoyed designing whimsically patterned, miniature orthoses and fitting them on the brightly colored bears. Young orthotics patients and their families respond positively to the cheerful bears. Children who interact with the teddy bears may feel less anxiety, fear or resistance to wearing an orthosis. 

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.