“The members and staff of the NAAOP are the most dedicated and passionate group I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the advocacy world. Peter Thomas and George Breece bring a wealth of knowledge, focus and influence that enable us to effectively advocate for changes in public policy that benefit those with limb loss, limb difference and the clinical professionals who serve them. Our members shape our vision for the future and our team executes on that vision. It is an honor to represent this community.”
- Maggie Baumer, JD
The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics is a non-profit trade association dedicated to promoting public policy that supports the interests of the O&P community. Since 1987, the NAAOP has helped to shape positive results in healthcare legislation and regulation through strong government relations advocacy and education of policymakers. The NAAOP also provides O&P patients, practitioners and business owner members with ongoing representation in Washington.
To be a strong, unifying advocate, representing the interests of the O&P patient and practice communities specifically championing causes concerning patient access, funding, and outcomes through leadership in national and state policy formation. We will be the collective voice of our constituents by achieving high quality patient standards through support and empowerment of the clinician-patient partnership.
NAAOP was founded by the dedication, energy, and passion of a small group of orthotic and prosthetic practitioners who wanted to do something about the lack of research dollars being put into O&P. These individuals along with NAAOP’s founding staff sought to advance the O&P patient’s well-being and protect the O&P profession. Additionally, many of the founding members, staff, and directors knew orthotics and prosthetics from a personal perspective either as patients themselves or through family members who used the professional services of Prosthetists and/or Orthotists. NAAOP’s founding and current Executive Director, George W. Breece, grew up with two people who had amputation[s]. Peter W. Thomas, NAAOP’s General Counsel, had both legs amputated following an auto accident, and has walked with two prostheses since age ten.
NAAOP’s first successful initiative was to advocate for research dollars for O&P. This resulted in the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research at the National Institutes of Health. Peter Thomas was an original member of the National Advisory Council for the NCMRR of the NIH. O&P research is the principle focus of the center. Another milestone that put orthotics and prosthetics on a national forum was Peter Thomas’s role as Chairman of the Subcommittee of The Patient Bill of Rights.
Healthcare Legislation and Regulation
NAAOP’s focus is the O&P patient. Our members advocate for better evidence, better education of practitioners, greater and better technology for the O&P consumer, and greater access to care. NAAOP defines these goals as critical for O&P comprehensive patient care and presents them as such to policy makers, which include federal and state elected officials. Health care policy development is complex and dynamic. NAAOP’s presence in this process is both legislative and regulatory. At each point in the health care policy development process, active involvement from the O&P profession is vital. Your professional perspective illustrates what works and what is in the best interest of the O&P patient. This website has been design to provide the resources for you to become informed, involved, and to contact us.
Education and Advocacy
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NAAOP’s voice represents all constituents in the comprehensive O&P patient care process. We represent the individual clinicians, fitters, technicians, clinician owners, and select manufacturers and suppliers that are dedicated to advanced O&P technologies and outcomes.
The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics is an agent for the advancement of the O&P community through self-advocacy. NAAOP does this by supporting and empowering the clinician-patient partnership. To achieve our goals, NAAOP continually endeavors to strengthen its collaborative ties with other consumer and professional associations serving the disability community and also by continuing to develop our role as a facilitator and coordinator of grassroots advocacy efforts.
Unity in the comprehensive O&P patient care process, among partners, and as a grassroots community promotes public policy effectiveness.