About The Fund
Click here to learn about service on the OPAF Board of directors.
History and Mission
The Orthotic & Prosthetic Activities Foundation (OPAF) is a nonprofit organization, a 501(c) (3) public charity, established and incorporated in January 1995 by the former Orthotics and Prosthetics National Office. The Orthotics and Prosthetics National Office is now three separate organizations including The American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA), The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) and The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC). Each of these organizations still supports OPAF through both financial and in-kind support. OPAF was initially dedicated to providing financial and in-kind support to the 1996 Paralympics, OPAF now generates its own initiatives through partnerships with individuals, organizations, and institutions engaged in:
- improving the quality of life for O & P patients through health and fitness programs, and
- raising public awareness of physical disability.
OPAF aims primarily to enable individuals served by the orthotics and prosthetics community to enjoy the rewards of personal achievement, physical fitness, and social interaction.
In achieving this goal, OPAF also seeks to:
- provide adaptive sports programs, clinics and activities that appeal to those served by the orthotic and prosthetic community.
- raise public awareness of the benefits that individuals with physical disabilities receive from physical activity, orthotics, and prosthetics.
- facilitate continuing education programs for allied-health professionals who serve as members of the rehabilitation team.
From 1996-2005, the core operations and programs of OPAF have been made possible through generous contributions from the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP), ABC, and American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA). Since that time we have generated our own funding from both within and outside the orthotic and prosthetic community to support our programs and initiatives.
Growth of OPAF and its programs depends on the generosity of all contributors who share our commitment to enhance the quality of life for all individuals with disabilities. We welcome your support. All financial and in-kind donations to these events are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by U.S. law. We welcome your support through the following initiatives. Thank you!
OPAF is a nonprofit organization, a 501(c) (3) public charity, incorporated in the state of Delaware. Our incorporation papers are on file at 13303 Hunting Birds Lane, Charlotte, North Carolina 28278. A copy of this document is available upon request.
Certificate of Authority
OPAF holds a valid certificate of authority to transact business in North Carolina.
OPAF holds a Disability Organization Membership of the Amputee Coalition (www.amputee-coalition.org). The Amputee Coalition is a national, non-profit amputee consumer educational organization representing people who have experienced amputation or are born with limb differences. The ACA includes individual amputees, amputee education and support groups for amputees, professionals, family members and friends of amputees, amputation or limb loss related agencies, and organizations.
OPAF is also an Organizational Member of the United States Tennis Association (www.usta.com) as a Community Tennis Association in conjunction with our nationally recognized adaptive tennis program, First Volley™.
Governance and Board of Directors
A Board of Directors governs OPAF according to bylaws written in 1995 and revised in subsequent years.
The 2017 - 2018 Board, effective December 1, 2017, includes:
Lesleigh Sisson, CFom – OPAF President
Lesleigh Sisson, has been committed to serving the Orthotics and Prosthetics community since 1992. Prior to launching her consulting business, O&P Insight, Lesleigh served as Director of Administration for a multi-practice company. Through her experiences in administrative and clinical support roles, she recognized the need to assist dedicated professionals working toward this common goal: to provide excellent patient-centered care while achieving successful reimbursement.
Lesleigh helps independent Orthotics and Prosthetics practices to not only survive but also to thrive in today’s challenging and ever-changing healthcare environment with demands for efficient work flow and successful compliance.
Lesleigh makes her home in fabulous Las Vegas with her husband, Ed, where they serve the community as owners of Prosthetic Center of Excellence. Lesleigh enjoys spending time with their two sons, two daughters-in-law, and two granddaughters.
Nikki Hooks Driggers, CO, BEP, FAACPDM – OPAF Vice President
Nikki Hooks Driggers is a native of the Carolinas and entered the O&P field in part because of her grandmother’s use of orthotic bracing to continue her lifestyle as an artist. She is a graduate of North Carolina State and the Newington Program for Orthotics and Prosthetics and has been practicing in South Carolina since 2007. Nikki, along with her former practice members in Greenville, SC were instrumental in the creation of OPAF’s First Cycle clinic, launched in October 2014. She has continued her involvement with OPAF, receiving her Adaptive Athletic certification and leading a First Fit Clinic in 2015. Speaking of her grandmother, Nikki said, “She relied upon and therefore loved her braces because they allowed her to achieve her goals. At a very young age, I knew I wanted to “help” people, like my grandmother, continue to live passionate, fulfilling lives.” Nikki currently practices in Columbia, SC with Carolina O&P. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, hiking, and enjoying life with husband, Nathan, and stepson Gabriel.
Lisa Arbogast – OPAF Treasurer
Lisa Arbogast is a Co-Owner and Director of Government Affairs for a well know family owned prosthetics manufacturer- Willow Wood. She is returning to the OPAF Board of Directors and assuming the role of Treasurer. She has worked in the P&O industry for 20 years, and has volunteered for non-profits such as Children's Hospital, Mt. Sterling Community Center and the Golden Eagle Youth Association. She possesses a strong desire to help "heal the bodies, hearts, and minds of amputees across the world", and is proud to do so once again through the Orthotics and Prosthetics Activities Foundation.
Sue Borondy – Immediate Past President
Sue Borondy is Marketing and Communications Manager for North America for Endolite, Inc., a division of parent company, Blatchford in the United Kingdom. She has been with Endolite since 1996 beginning as an office manager and moving to Marketing and Communications Manager where she coordinated the rebranding of the company in 2008. She is also a member of the new product development and implementation team which brings new products to market. "I have the privilege of working for a company whose core values parallel those of OPAF. Blatchford was founded over 125 years ago with the sole purpose of helping those with limb loss and limb difference. "Biomimetic engineering is at the heart of our design philosophy, where the development of award-winning prostheses is focused on the long-term health and wellbeing of every amputee. OPAF supports this philosophy by providing adaptive clinics for individuals with limb loss or limb difference, encouraging long-term health and wellbeing." Sue is the first three term President of OPAF, "I am thrilled to be part of the OPAF BOD. I have watched the organization grow over the years and look forward to our continued growth and the opportunities we offer the community we serve." Sue loves running, backpacking, arts and crafts and anything around the water.
Amy Franklin serves as the Director of Community Development, Outreach and Training for USTA North Carolina. In her 20 year tenure with USTA NC, she has worked with physically and intellectually challenged populations and introduced them to the sport of tennis. In addition, she has served as a First Volley instructor for OPAF for 10 years. Amy is a member of the USTA Adjunct Faculty and has helped train nonprofit boards throughout the country in areas of nonprofit governance, strategic planning, fundraising, grant writing and implementation, diversity and inclusion, volunteerism and board development. Amy has especially enjoyed volunteering for OPAF with her daughter, Emily, son Alex, and wife, Dottie, over the years. Each have had firsthand experience in watching participants gain confidence, and become empowered through the First Clinics and Trainings. Amy graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management and received her MBA from NC State University. She is an avid amateur photographer and resides in Charlotte, NC.
Angela Courtade, CPO, LPO
Angela Courtade, CPO, LPO is an instructor at the J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics at St. Petersburg College in Florida. She is also currently working on her master’s degree in science in Instructional Design at St. Leo University in Florida as well. She has also worked as a clinician for a small practice and with a large organization. ln both settings she had had the pleasure of sharing the field of Orthotics and Prosthetics with many different health care professionals. As a national member of a Lower Extremity Specialist team, she traveled to different parts of the country to evaluate patients to ensure that they had the best prosthesis to meet their needs and activity levels. Through meetings and information sessions she has established interdisciplinary teams that worked together to assist our patients to achieve the best possible outcome for their rehabilitative process. These team members included doctors, physical therapists, insurance companies, nursing staff, administrators and occupational therapists. "I have worn a prosthesis for 39 years and have experienced the advancements of this industry that have allowed me to join activities that previously I was unable to participate in both safely and with comfort of my prosthesis. lt is a pleasure to educate and demonstrate the abilities of patients with physical challenges to raise awareness of the benefits of physical activities and the rewards of personal achievement. I have participated in the First Swim and First Climb and met the participants and their families. The experience and exposure to these activities offered had such a tremendous personal physical and mental benefit to the lives of the all that participated and observed at the event. The smiles on all of the faces were enough to know that this is the organization that I would like to promote." Angela and her family, including three sons, reside in Florida.
JoAnne Kanas, PT, CPO, DPT
JoAnne earned her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy degree from Northeastern University, a postgraduate certificate in Orthotics & Prosthetics from Northwestern University, Orthotic and Prosthetic Certification from the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics (ABC), and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Boston University. JoAnne began her career in O&P at Shriners Hospital for Children, in Philadelphia, PA and subsequently worked at American Prosthetics in Iowa City, IA, Atlantic Prosthetic & Orthotic Services in Smithville, NJ, Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics in Linwood, NJ, and the returned to Shriners Hospital for Children in 2008. Her current position is Corporate Director of Orthotics & Prosthetics for Shriners Hospitals for Children. JoAnne's passion has always been both patient care and education. JoAnne is currently on the Board of Directors of AAOP and is the Chair for The Education Development Council. She has presented at many State, national meetings, and lectured for O&P and Physical Therapy programs as well as having authored several journal articles and chapters in medical publications. JoAnne resides in Tampa with her daughter Danielle.
Mary is an Area Manager for Prosthetics with Ossur Americas. She is responsible for sales and marketing of prosthetic products, clinical and product education in a 3-state territory. She has worked in both upper and lower extremity prosthetics for the past 7 years and has a varied background in the DME medical and reimbursement industries. "Working in the prosthetics industry is not only challenging but extremely rewarding. To enable individuals to improve their quality of life through the programs offered through OPAF will be a privilege to be part of."
Peggy Chenoweth has fought for the rights of people with disabilities her entire career. She created amputeemommy.com, a blog devoted to discussing real-life issues affecting people with limb loss, which today has a monthly readership of nearly 500,000. This year, she received a Bloggie Award in recognition of the attention her blog drew to a Medicare policy proposal in 2015 that could have restricted vital prosthetic care. She co-founded amp'd, a podcast and resource for the limb loss community which now has a weekly reach of more than 40,000. She is also a consultant for the Amputee Coalition, where she manages the organization’s social media platforms. Under her leadership, the Amputee Coalition won a Social Media APEX Award for Best Facebook Page for a Disability Nonprofit in 2014. She served as consultant for Grey’s Anatomy about the storyline about an above-knee amputee, and been interviewed by HuffPost Live, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Before Peggy lost her own leg in an accident, she was named Virginia Special Educator of the Year in 2004 for her work with visually impaired students.
Peggy has two children and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband Scott, who is a high school special education teacher. When she isn't busy managing social media platforms she can be found playing with her boys at the park, volunteering in their schools or baking cookies and treats for Scott's students.
Reggie Showers joins the OPAF Board of Directors with a deep and ongoing desire to serve people and live an altruistic life of service. After attending his first First Clinic – First Dive Intro to Scuba in Dayton Ohio this year, Reggie found a natural attraction to the organization and the service being provided to the disabled community. Our values were alike. How could I help? As an inspirational speaker he routinely shares his story with the public. "As an extreme sports enthusiast, I hope to bring fresh new ideas to the development of more First Clinics. I want the opportunity to show the disabled, and the world, that we are not defined by our physical condition. That we can be champions within our own rights! As an entrepreneur, I am well aware of the ongoing economic challenges faced with providing the programs that you do. Coming from a professional motorcycle racing background, I have an extensive relationship with corporate sponsors. I hope to use my existing relationships as well as develop new ones to attract the resources needed to further support OPAF's vision. For 35 years I have lived as a bilateral below knee amputee. In the early years I tried hard to conceal that fact. I didn't want to be labeled as 'handicapped' or less than. In my mind that meant that I was weak, when I knew I was strong. I believed that people would judge me on my condition before they got a chance to see that I was capable of anything that I set my mind to. As I matured and gained more personal confidence, I began to disclose my condition to the general public, and the overwhelming response was one of positivity and love. People embraced my story and were so inspired by my accomplishments until they themselves were empowered to face their own life challenges with a renewed sense of strength. Realizing my purpose, that this was a way for me to serve people, I dedicated my entire adult life to helping people, especially our children, realize their true potential." Reggie is the CEO of RS Group Motorsports in Philadelphia as well as an instructor with the Urban Youth Stem Academy of Philadelphia and a member of the American Association of Snowboard Instructors, Rocky Mountain Division. He is also a two time World Champion in motorcycle drag racing and a noted motivational speaker.
Sourabh Nagale, CPO
Sourabh Nagale, CPO entered the O&P field due to his uncle’s influence. He spent his summers actively learning and participating in the fabrication of orthotic and prosthetic devices. To seek further training, he attended Northwestern University’s Prosthetic / Orthotic Program. Sourabh worked for Hanger before operating his own practice. He merged with Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics and oversaw clinical operations as the Area Practice Manager. He currently practices at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. A previous member of OPAF’s advisory board, Sourabh wanted to continue giving back to the O&P community.
Sourabh currently resides in the Chicago suburbs with his wife, and two children. Sourabh is an avid cyclist and also likes to encourage all children to engage in a healthy lifestyle.
Stacey Minton returns to the OPAF Board of Directors as the Creator and Developer of the Adaptive Scuba Instructor Course for Scuba Schools International. She has been teaching Scuba Diving since 1993 and was inducted as a Platinum Pro 5000 Instructor in 2007. As Instructor Certifier and coordinator of adaptive scuba events, she is working with other non profit organizations to get people with physical disabilities to dive with able bodied divers. She is also a Health Fitness instructor with the "American College of Sports Medicine" which works closely with physicians and physical therapists during rehabilitation programs. She owns and operates New Mexico Scuba Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Stacey is also very involved with Dive Pirates Foundation, based out of Houston, Texas as the Director of Training. Stacey brings both her focus on adaptive diving and her skills with the physically challenged population to the board. "I believe that a person with a physical disability should be able to enjoy activities without a 'handicapped label'. We adapt the sport to the diver and not the diver to the sport. I would like to see more doors open up and give those individuals a chance to at least experience what it is like to be free," says Minton.
Travis has grown up in the O&P family and has been extremely active since a very young age. Travis' father, Jim, is an amputee who was inspired to become a Prosthetist himself and opened his own Practice, Amputee Prosthetic Clinic, in 2005, with his wife Pam. Travis spent his days after school working alongside his parents and volunteering at multiple O&P events such as the Ga State Amputee Golf Tournament, OPAF First Clinics, and the Extremity Games. As Travis gained more and more interest in the O&P profession, he obtained his Certified Prosthetic Assistant credential through ABC in 2011 and began working his way through school to become a Certified Practitioner. Travis is a Graduate of West Virginia University and Cal State, Dominguez Hills with his MSOP degree. Travis help lead the establishment with CSUDH to be a host for a pair of annual First Clinics. Travis is currently serving as the Orthotic Resident at Valley Institute of Prosthetics and Orthotics in Bakersfield, CA.
Vibhor Agrawal, Ph.D., ATP is an Assistant Professor in Physical Therapy at the University of Miami, where he has served since 2010. His research on lower-limb amputees is focused on improving movement biomechanics and reducing secondary health conditions through novel rehabilitation techniques and optimal components. He is also a member of ISPO’s Publications Committee and Associate Editor of the journal Prosthetics and Orthotics International. His unique background in prosthetics research, exposure to clinical practice, experience in the prosthetics industry along with his assistive technology professional (ATP) certification make him well qualified for service on the OPAF board of directors. His goal is to assist with international outreach, help establish new relationships with academic philanthropists and foundations, utilize his grant writing skills to secure external funding and facilitate development of continuing education programs for rehabilitation professionals.
OPAF Executive Director
Robin Burton, OPAF Executive Director, has brought years of administrative experience, and her personality to OPAF, along with a genuine desire to work towards health and fitness programs for those we serve. The First Clinics are doing just that. She has held the position of Executive Director since May of 2005. Robin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Coker College in Hartsville, SC and has 17 years of funeral home management on her resume along with serving as Customer Service Manager for a prosthetics manufacturer. Robin has held leadership positions in both community organizations as well as professional groups, both inside and outside of O & P. OPAF's visibility at state and regional meetings has greatly increased under Robin's leadership as well as the development of the First Clinics. "The reality of OPAF's mission comes to us so many times and in so many ways...to help to bring anyone with a physical challenge back to a life style level that they may enjoy. We are working to remain vital and integral not only to the O & P industry, but also to the people that we serve."
The OPAF Advisory Board
The Orthotic & Prosthetic Activities Foundation, Inc. Advisory Board is comprised of individuals who have been invited to participate in the ongoing work of OPAF. Each member possesses a special talent or field of interest which is a vital part of the volunteer aspect of OPAF. While no formal meetings are held for the OPAF Advisory Board, they each serve to further our programs, our mission and our goals.
The 2016-17 OPAF Advisory Board Members include:
- Adrianne Haslet - Professional ballroom dancer and First Dance instructor of Boston, MA
- Anne Weiland, CTRS - Team Leader of Recreation Therapy at Moss Rehab in Elkins Park, PA
- Brad Mattear, L.O., CPA - Managing Director for Nabtesco - Proteor, USA
- Bruce Jaster - Executive Director of the Turtle Creek Chorale - Dallas, TX
- Chris Doerger, PT, CP - Director of First Stride and First Things First Clinics
- Darren Kindred, PTR - Professional Staff instructor for Princeton Tennis Program in Princeton, NJ, First Volley Director of Tennis - Yardley, PA
- Jason Wening, CPO - Staff Prosthetist/Orthotist with Scheck & Siress & Five Time Paralympian Gold Medalist in Swimming - Chicago, IL
- Jena Baxter - Orthotic & Prosthetic Industry Recruiter, Sr. Account Manager at The Newell Group - Greenville, SC
- John Kinder - Amputee Athlete and Purchasing/Inventory Manager with Advanced Prosthetics - Greenville, SC
- Karen Henry - Owner and marketing communications consultant at Write Ideas Media - Denver, CO
- Lisa Watkins - Communications Coordinator for WillowWood - Mt. Sterling, OH
- Mabio Coasta - Two time World Champion Triathlete. Director for First Swim Programs - Orlando, FL
- Marty McNab, CPO - President of Optech O & P - Kankakee, IL
- Pam K. Hale, CPO - Director of Clinical Sales and Support for Click Medical - Steamboat Springs, CO
- Rebecca Cook - Prosthetic Resident at Duke University - Durham, NC
- Tammie Higginbotham - Amputee Advocate and Horsewoman - Bath, IL
- Tommy Lyon - National Paraclimber and First Climb Instructor of Pottstown, PA
- Tyler Carter - USA Paralympic Athlete, Downhill skier - Topton, PA
- Zita Upchurch, RN - Consulting and Billing for O&P Providers in Gallatin, TN
Conflicts of Interest Policy Statement
OPAF operates according to the best practices described in the Conflicts of Interest Policy. This publication is © 1998 Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations.
To the end of upholding best practice in nonprofit organization management, the OPAF Board of Directors expects every member of the Board, as well as every OPAF staff member and volunteer, to sign and abide by the organization's conflict of interest policy, and in so doing, avoid situations that create even the appearance or perception of a conflict of interest. A copy of the OPAF conflict of interest policy is available here.
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Service on the OPAF Board of Directors
The Executive Committee of OPAF, as the organization's nominating committee, coordinates nominations to the OPAF Board of Directors, presenting these nominations to the entire OPAF Board each fall.
The required nomination form is available here.
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If you do not have this program installed on your browser, you can download it here for free.
Nominees should have appropriate background, a history of 501(c)(3) nonprofit committee/ volunteer work alongside a familiarity with and dedication to fundraising, and a strong commitment to OPAF's primary mission: enable individuals with physical disabilities - especially those served by members of the O&P community - to enjoy the rewards of personal achievement, physical fitness, and social interaction.
Responsibilities of each member of OPAF's Board of Directors are these, among others:
- attend at least one of OPAF's two face-to-face Board meetings each calendar year;
- be empowered to promote and educate others about OPAF's programs and mission;
- respect - and hold in confidence when circumstances require - the teamwork and collaborations of OPAF, including its ideas, proposals, and programs;
- take pride in the mission of OPAF, building and upholding its integrity and reputation within and beyond the O&P community;
- respect the individuals, organizations, and institutions with whom OPAF partners, treating them with courtesy, respect, and civility and empowering them to be part of OPAF's mission;
- maintain open and regular communication - via email, phone, and/or face-to-face conversations - with:
- her/his Board colleagues;
- OPAF's Executive Director and Program Coordinator; and
- the individuals, organizations, and institutions with whom OPAF partners.
- encourage and solicit, in cooperation with OPAF's Fundraising Committee, individuals, organizations, and institutions to make financial and in-kind contributions to our organization; and
- educate individuals, organizations, and institutions about OPAF's mission;
- offer constructive feedback to OPAF's Executive Director, Director of Operations, and fellow Board members to improve upon programs, proposals, and administration.
OPAF Copyright 2006-2018 - All rights reserved. - The material contained herein is protected under the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. For purposes of the copyright, the Orthotic and Prosthetic Activities Foundation (or "OPAF"), is considered the author of this work. Any distribution or replication of this information by any means without the express written consent of OPAF is a violation of those laws and subject to penalty. The OPAF logo is ™ by OPAF.^ Top