News & Events

April 9, 2010

Contact: Lisa Watkins 
Phone: 800-553-3445 ext. 106 

 
GERSCHUTZ AWARDED THRANHARDT AWARD FOR VACUUM SUSPENSION RESEARCH

Ohio Willow Wood is pleased to announce that Maria Gerschutz, PhD, has been selected to receive the prestigious Thranhardt Award from the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA). This is the first time an Ohio Willow Wood staff member has received the national industry award.

Dr. Gerschutz’s paper Quantitative Evaluation of Elevated Vacuum Suspension System Effectiveness Under Dynamic Conditions” was selected by the AOPA National Assembly Clinical Sessions Workgroup as the best prosthetic abstract submitted for 2010. The paper will be presented by
Dr. Gerschutz at the 2010 AOPA National Assembly in Orlando, Florida, on September 30 at 9:00 a.m. The Thranhardt Award, which includes a cash award of $500, will be presented to Dr. Gerschutz at 8:20 a.m. prior to her presentation.

In 1995 J.E. Hanger Inc. donated $30,000 to establish the O&P Education Fund in memoriam of Howard R. Thranhardt.  The Southeastern Hanger Companies have endowed this honorarium fund in order to recognize individuals committed to advancing orthotic and prosthetic education and research. Topics may be technical, scientific, business-related, political or educational in nature. The award-winning Thranhardt Lectures have become the most popular education programs at both the AOPA National Assembly and the Academy Annual Meeting.  Attendees recognize that this programming is selected as the best abstracts submitted by the industry.

Ohio Willow Wood announced Dr. Gerschutz’s award achievement at its March 31 company meeting. Ben Elliot, general manager of Ohio Willow Wood, presented a matching cash award to
Dr. Gerschutz to commend her for the outstanding research which strengthens the legitimacy of elevated vacuum suspension.

Maria Gerschutz holds a doctorate in engineering with a focus on biomedical engineering. She joined Ohio Willow Wood in 2008 as an applied research engineer. Dr. Gerschutz is responsible for conducting and coordinating research on the applications and usage of Ohio Willow Wood’s prosthetic products within patient prostheses to gauge best use practices and impact on quality of life. Formerly of Kalida, Ohio, Dr. Gerschutz now resides with her family in Jamestown, Ohio.