January 2017

AAOP names new executive director, invests in O&P research initiatives

Chellie Hollis Blondes. (Photo courtesy of the AAOP.)

The Washington DC-based American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) announced in December its appointment of Chellie Hollis Blondes as executive director. Blondes has more than 25 years of management experience in the nonprofit healthcare industry and has served as AAOP’s deputy executive director for 15 years and as its interim executive director for the past eight months.

She has championed innovative O&P continuing education offerings through the academy’s annual meeting and through the creation, launch, and growth of the Paul E. Leimkuehler Online Learning Center; she also has legislative experience, according to an AAOP release.

Last November, the academy reported it began investing some of the $210,000 it plans to spend on O&P research initiatives, which the AAOP hopes will lead to new protocols to enhance patient care and to help practitioners to increase insurance reimbursements.

AOPA has identified six key areas for funding priority and announced the first initiatives.

These include the economics of transtibial prostheses, to study the cost-effectiveness of prosthetic rehabilitation for transtibial amputee patients; outcome measures for poststroke patients, to look at effects of ankle foot orthoses in this population; and metabolic costs in transtibial prosthesis users, to provide justification for prosthetic-related components and services and inspire evidence-based care.

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- Emily Delzell

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