OPERF | Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation

OPERF Mission

The Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF) was established to raise the standards of education and research in the O&P profession. Practicing O&P professionals founded the organization to meet the ever-changing needs of the field.

OPERF will award grants to promote research in the profession with the goal of providing the best possible care to patients in need of O&P care. The Foundation will also assist students currently attending or entering O&P education programs by providing competitive grants and awards as they pursue careers as O&P professionals, faculty or researchers in the field.

For additional information about OPERF, click here.

2015 OPERF Research Awards Announced

The Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF) is now soliciting applications for the 2015 OPERF Award Program. The Award Program, now in its sixth year, is intended to encourage and stimulate research at all levels in the orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) profession. Thanks to generous donations, up to $37,000 in research awards are being offered in 2015. Awards ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 are now available. For details go to the Research Awards webpage.

OPERF Announces the winner of the Carlton Fillauer Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Prosthetics Science and Practice

The first Carlton Fillauer Prize was awarded to Phillip M. Stevens, MEd, CPO, FAAOP at the 40th Academy Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium.

The Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF) is honored to present the Carlton Fillauer Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Prosthetics Science and Practice. This award, sponsored by the Fillauer Companies Inc., recognizes prosthetists who have actively engaged in clinical care, research, and publication. The $5,000 unrestricted cash prize is presented biennially. See the Fillauer Prize webpage for details and application instructions.


OPERF has launched the OPERF Student Challenge, an opportunity for students to collaborate, create, and organize fundraising activities to contribute to the profession's educational growth. Participating CAAHEP-accredited O&P programs will compete to raise the highest amount of funds to donate to OPERF. The Academy has graciously offered to match any challenge donations up to $500 per school. The school that wins the OPERF Student Challenge will be announced by the OPERF chair at the Academy Annual Meeting.

Students will be tasked with organizing and implementing fundraising activities at their schools. Those interested in leading these efforts should contact their program director to be put in touch with the faculty representative for the challenge. In its first year, the challenge will begin in September with a limited number of schools participating. Thereafter, the challenge will begin on February 1 and conclude on January 31 of the following calendar year.

OPERF Receives Major Donation from ABC
ABC's $100,000 donation will fund resident and student awards

The Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF) is pleased to announce a $100,000 donation from the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics, Inc. (ABC). The funds will be used beginning in 2015 for awards to residents and students.

"This incredibly generous donation demonstrates ABC's dedication to excellence in orthotics and prosthetics," said Don Katz, MHA, CO/L, FAAOP, chair of OPERF. "We are thrilled to partner with ABC to enhance the opportunities that OPERF can offer to students and residents."

The ABC student scholarship and resident travel awards will be awarded beginning in 2015 and the generous donation will guarantee that they continue to be awarded for a minimum of five years. Full details of the award programs will be announced in the coming months.

"ABC, like OPERF, is committed to promoting education and development in O&P. We are proud to partner with OPERF to sponsor these awards that will foster the success of future practitioners," said Curt A. Bertram, CO, FAAOP, president of ABC.