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Call to duty: O&P Woman of the Year pushes recognition of the clinician

Call to duty: O&P Woman of the Year pushes recognition of the clinician O&P Woman of the Year pushes recognition of the clinician

Ashlie WhiteAshlie White isn’t an O&P clinician but, as the daughter of a prosthetist, she grew up in the profession. After beginning a career in documentary work and journalism, she went to work at her family’s O&P clinic, eventually landing at the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association, where she serves as director of health policy and strategic alliances. 

“I was always called back to the patient advocacy of the work,” she said. “The exposure to the change that O&P brings to the patients’ lives was the thing I recognized early on that I wanted to be part of.” 

White was recently named O&P Woman of the Year by the Orthotic and Prosthetic Group of America. White spoke with HME News recently about the responsibility she feels to push for change. 

HME News: Your background is in communications. How does that serve you in your current role? 

Ashlie White: I’ll start by saying there is not enough knowledge about the profession in the public. You see the commercials about the Paralympics and you assume people understand that there are individuals living out there with limb loss but many people have no idea how that care is provided every day. Our task is to articulate the value of that care and the value of access to care. There’s a lot of care and health care that’s provided by O&P clinicians that isn’t just about delivering the device. 

HME: What would you say is your top priority? 

White: The first and most important goal is recognition of the O&P clinician as a health care provider. As long as payers – both private insurers and government – do not recognize the care being provided, then access for the patient is limited to whatever value is assigned to the technology. Distinguishing O&P care from DME in statute is what the Medicare O&P Patient-Centered Care Act does, and the policy position from an advocacy perspective is about making sure patient access to O&P care is protected under the Medicare benefit. 

HME: What does this recognition mean for you? 

White: I feel it’s a call to duty as much as a recognition. I’m of the mindset, how do I push harder? What’s the next big thing that needs to happen to make access better and make visibility of the profession stronger? This is a really big responsibility and it’s a call to me to step up and make sure I am living what I’m preaching.


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