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Tampa, Florida – O&P News has announced Arlene Gillis, LPO, Program Director a member of its inaugural edition of the O&P News 175 – an elite group of 175 O&P professionals who O&P News has identified as leading innovators in the field of orthotics and prosthetics. Read more.
O&P Grads Brian Moran, Gabriel Henao, Stephanie Poling, Orializ Gonzales and Tony Ferraro awaiting to receive their master’s diplomas On August 8, 2015 the first 14 SPC graduates of the orthotics and prosthetics master’s program received their specialized O&P engineering degrees at a Florida State University graduation ceremony in Tallahassee. Read more.
This Fall marks the implementation of the newly accredited orthotics and prosthetics technician AS degree program from CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Care Educational Programs), which is the first and only associate degree for orthotic and prosthetic technicians in Florida. Read more.
This month, the J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics & Prosthetics will once again have the privilege of hosting the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics. During the second and third week of June, St. Petersburg College will serve as the site for the ABC Clinical Patient Management exams. Read more.
ABOVE: Arlene Gillis, center, with veterans climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists is dedicated to promoting professionalism and advancing the standards of patient care through education, literature, research, advocacy and collaboration. This month they spotlight Arlene Gillis, our director of the J.E. Read more.
After performing an extensive review and analysis of the Bachelor of Applied Science in Orthotics & Prosthetics (ORTHO-BAS) degree program, St. Petersburg College, in January 2016, decided to close this program and not accept any new students. This was not an easy decision, nor entered into lightly. Many factors were taken into consideration, including rising enrollment in the college’s associate program and declining enrollment in the bachelor’s program. Both enrollment shifts are tied to degree requirement changes instituted in 2012 by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education, which changed the requirements for a practitioner from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree. SPC remains committed to our students currently enrolled in the BAS Orthotics & Prosthetics program, and they will have the opportunity to continue and complete their bachelor's degree.
We offer courses for current licensed professionals and certificates those wanting to get into the field of orthotics and prosthetics such as orthotic fitter, mastectomy fitter and pedorthist. See our full course descriptions.
The Key West Citizen covered SPC's annual research trek to the Florida Keys with the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge, designed to test new prosthetics and establish baseline measurements for their efficiency and versatility.
In November, the Tampa Tribune covered the story of Army Sgt. 1st Class Billy Costello who, with the help of St. Petersburg College’s J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics, is designing a prosthetic device that will allow him to return to the level of activity he had as a Green Beret combat diver.
Program Director Arlene Gillis is coordinating the effort with Florida State University, which partners with SPC to offer a master’s in industrial engineering, with a specialization in the management of orthotics and prosthetics.
SPC's Orthotics and Prosthetics program will receive a $2 million federal workforce training grant to expand and improve the delivery of orthotics and prosthetics career education. The college will join a consortium led by Century College tasked with increasing the number of trained, certified health care workers with expertise in orthotics and prosthetics.Read our news story »
Graduates and partners of SPC's Orthotics and Prosthetics program are using the latest orthotic technology to help Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman Holly Crabtree.Read our news story »Hear from graduate Caitlyn Collins in her own words »
SPC’s research on underwater prosthetics in the Florida Keys with the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge was recently detailed in O&P Business News. Check out previous press coverage of the trip and hear from SPC graduate Michael L. McCauley in his own words:
SPC has launched the Orthotics and Prosthetics Comprehensive Innovation Center thanks to funding from the 2013 Florida Legislative session. Through the center, SPC will offer new certificates and degrees in Orthotics and Prosthetics and increase the number of highly qualified graduates who can enter the field. A local community news outlet even noted SPC is "blazing a trail" in the field now.
Since 2005, SPC has been a national leader in developing and providing Orthotics and Prosthetics training through its $11-million J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics. This expanding allied health field involves evaluating, fabricating and custom fitting artificial limbs and orthopedic braces to help rehabilitate patients with disabling conditions. Demand for these professionals is increasing, as are the educational requirements.
Extensive laboratory experiences are necessary in O&P education to master the computerized planning process, materials fabrication and professional patient skills. The O&P building has 5,151 square feet of actual lab space and another 3,443 of lab support space (CAD, machining, lamination, plaster room, thermal forming, mill/lathe, material testing, etc.).
Demand for O&P professionals continues to grow, as do the
educational requirements. Careers in orthotics and prosthetics include
practitioners (certified orthotists and certified prosthetists),
pedorthists, assistants, fitters and technicians. The practitioner level
provides comprehensive care, including assessment, treatment plans and
practice management, and requires a master's degree. Those who assist
practitioners at various levels need post-secondary training and
Changing demographics and health factors will significantly raise the demand for trained O&P professionals. In fact, a recent study by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education estimates that without an increase in O&P graduates, the number of practicing orthotists can serve just 61% of patients who need them. The study also projects the number of people using prostheses to increase by 50%. Some reasons for the expected rise in need in the United States include:
Since its inception, the O&P program has partnered with J.E. Hanger Corp., one of the largest providers of orthotic and prosthetic services in the U.S. The J.E. Hanger Corp. is a long-standing benefactor of the program and partners with SPC on educational, clinical and material management activities.
Other partnership opportunities exist in research, enhancement and development of products and materials, including:
SPC has partnerships with more than 50 clinical agencies in Florida, including:
Contact Arlene Gillis, Program Director at 341-4151
As the pre-eminent professional organization in orthotics and prosthetics, the mission of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists
is to promote high standards of patient care through advocacy,
education, and literature & research. In keeping with this mission
the Academy is the professional organization representing practitioners
credentialed by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and
The American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics
(ABC) is the national certifying and accrediting body for the orthotic
and prosthetic professions. The public requires and deserves assurance
that the persons providing orthotic and prosthetic services and care are
qualified to provide the appropriate services, and it was on this basis
that the ABC was established as a credentialing organization.
The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association
(AOPA) is a national trade association committed to providing high
quality, unprecedented business services and products to O&P
The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics
(ISPO), is a multi-disciplinary organization comprised of persons who
have a professional interest in the clinical, educational and research
aspects of prosthetics, orthotics, rehabilitation engineering and
The Amputee Coalition of America
(ACA) 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.
The Orthotic and Prosthetic Assistance Fund
(OPAF) is a nonprofit organization, a 501(c)(3) public charity,
established and incorporated by the Orthotics and Prosthetics National
Office. Dedicated initially to providing financial and in-kind support
to the 1996 Paralympics, the Fund now generates its own initiatives
through partnerships with individuals, organizations, and institutions
engaged in raising public awareness of physical disability; and
improving the quality of rehabilitation medicine, science, and
is an Internet portal dedicated to providing comprehensive information
and services to the orthotics and prosthetics profession. The vision of
oandp.com is to make as much information as possible freely available to
both professionals and consumers, toward the goal of improving the
quality of care provided by O&P professionals and the quality of
life of their patients.
A new website dedicated to serving the needs of O&P technicians. Resources include a web forum for the discussion of technical issues, a classified section and educational information.
St. Petersburg College P.O. Box 13489St. Petersburg FL 33733-3489727-341-4772