2021 COPL Pilot Grant Recipients Announced

The Board of Directors of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) and the Center for Orthotic and Prosthetic Learning and Outcomes/Evidence-Based Practice (COPL) has selected its 2021 COPL Pilot Grant recipients.

Congratulations to:

  • Joshua Burns, PhD, Feasibility of smart ankle-foot orthoses with embedded wearable sensors to measure real-world function and compliance in childhood
  • Cole Cheney, MD, Sciatic Block in Contralateral Limb for Treatment of Refractory Phantom and Residual Limb Pain; a Triple-Blind Randomized Crossover Controlled Trial
  • John Chomack, MS, Advanced Wearable Fitness Tracker for Individuals with Transtibial Amputation: A Feasibility Study Using the Oura Ring
  • Michael Dillon, PhD, Closing an evidence-practice gap: exploration of the barriers and facilitators influencing use of telehealth for orthotic/prosthetic services in the United States of America
  • Graci Finco, CPO-L, Wearable Sensors in Prosthetic Practice: Can Walking Symmetry Supplement Clinical Measures to Assess Fall Risk?
  • Szu-Ping Lee, PhD, Socioeconomical Disparities on Post-Amputation Outcomes in Individuals with Lower Limb Amputation
  • Edward Garrett Jr., MD, Investigating Mobility and Prosthetic Utilization Outcomes in Patients with Lower Limb Amputation and Vascular Comorbidities Under Physician-led Collaborative Care Model
  • Cody McDonald, PhD, Racial bias in orthotics and prosthetics
  • Taavy Miller, PhD, Do corrective scoliosis TLSOs fabricated using 3D scanning show a greater percentage of in-brace curve correction compared to TLSOs fabricated from a traditional casting method of image capture?
  • Andrew Sawers, PhD, Improving documentation of falls in people living with lower limb amputation: Reconstructing fall events with the Lower Limb Prosthesis User Fall Survey
  • Fanny Schultea, CPO-L, Controlled Intervention Study of Community-Based Rehabilitation for People with Amputation in the Houston, Texas Area
  • Shane Wurdeman, PhD, Care patterns and total cost of care associated with diabetic foot ulcer and lower limb amputation among Medicare beneficiaries: A 5-year cohort analysis

“AOPA is thrilled to be able to improve the current level of original orthotics and prosthetics evidence-based or outcomes research by providing funding through COPL,” said Eve Lee, MBA, CAE, Executive Director of AOPA. “This year showed incredible growth in COPL Pilot Grant Program submissions. The number of submissions grew by 75 percent and in turn, the number of proposals recommended for funding by the COPL Board and reviewers tripled. In the end, eighteen proposals were recommended by at least one reviewer, but of those, 12 clearly stood out.”

In order to fund the 12 projects, the COPL Board asked AOPA to pursue additional funding, equaling $239,537.50. AOPA allocated $95,000 for the 2021 COPL cycle and received key sponsorship dollars from the American Board for Certification (ABC), the Brown Foundation, and the Board of Certification (BOC).

“ABC is pleased to support the Center in its mission to promote research and education in O&P. We are especially hopeful that the evidence-based and patient-oriented research will lead to improved patient outcomes. The alignment of ABC’s and the Center’s missions and goals for the profession couldn’t be clearer,” said Anthony C. Ward, CPO, ABC President

“BOC is proud to be a key funder for the 2021 COPL Pilot Grant Program Cycle. We will sponsor a study titled, ‘Racial Bias in Orthotics and Prosthetics,’ which aligns with BOC’s values and is important to our professional community,” said Bradley “Brad” Watson, BOCO, BOCP, LPO, BOC Board Chair

Since its inception in 2009, COPL has awarded funds totaling 2.5 million for O&P research. COPL was founded to support research objectives which include advancement of knowledge and technologies in orthotics and prosthetics, enhancement of evidence-based medicine research capabilities, and patient-oriented outcomes designed to ensure that the needs of patients are best served.


About the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA): Through advocacy, research, and education, AOPA improves patient access to quality orthotic and prosthetic care. AOPA, based in Alexandria, VA, is the largest non-profit organization consisting of more than 2,000 O&P patient care facilities and suppliers, dedicated to helping O&P businesses and professionals navigate the multitude of issues surrounding the delivery of quality patient care.