Össur Academy Personnel


Our Össur Academy team has a strong professional commitment to render the best possible services to our customers. Comprised of well educated professionals, all team members are dedicated to the goals of the Össur Academy: "To further the level of education and quality of prosthetic and orthopedic knowledge among professionals, patients and their families".

Prosthetics


Justin Pratt, CP

Director of Clinical Education - Prosthetics

Justin is an ABC Certified Prosthetist who completed his P&O program in Pittsburgh, PA in 1994. He holds a B.S. in Intelligence Analysis from APU which he completed in 1996. Continuing his work on prosthetics, he has been a lab technician, progressing to a Practitioner’s Assistant then he pursued his certification with ABC. Acquiring CP status in 2004, Justin continued as a Certified Prosthetist with Progressive Prosthetics in VA Beach, VA until joining Össur as a Regional Clinical Manager in 2010. Since joining Össur, he has proven successful as a Clinical Specialist as well as a National Clinical Manager of Bionics. In April of 2015, Justin was appointed the role of Director of Össur Academy. Throughout his career, he has worked with a patient population that was very diverse and dynamic. He provided treatment to a population ranging from children, active adults, athletes, geriatrics, and members of the US Military’s Special Warfare units. He joined Össur with a vast knowledge of products, fabrication techniques, and unique approaches to patient management and business management.

Kurt Gruben, MSBE, CPO

Sr. Clinical Specialist, Prosthetics

Kurt is a Senior Clinical Specialist in the Ӧssur Global Academy, specializing in Bionic Technology. He is an ABC certified CPO of 21 years, 13 of them while working at Ӧssur. Kurt has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Universities of Illinois and Iowa, respectively. Kurt is a graduate of the Northwestern University Prosthetic Orthotic Center with clinical experience in both prosthetics and orthotics. Kurt currently resides in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, with his wife and three children.

David Mitchell, CPO

Clinical Specialist, Prosthetics

David has worked in O&P for 22 years, first as a lab tech in 1996, then as a resident in 1998, before ultimately becoming certified in early 2000. Since that time, he has worked for several independent practices and Hanger in the southeast before joining Össur in 2012. He received his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Delaware, and he graduated from Northwestern University Prosthetic and Orthotic Center in 1997. He is ABC certified in Prosthetics and Orthotics and is also licensed in the state of Georgia. He resides in northeast Georgia with his wife and daughter.

Greg Brauntz, CP

Clinical Specialist, Prosthetics

Greg is an ABC Certified Prosthetist and Mechanical Engineer who began his career in the Aerospace and Engineering Design Industries. After leaving Engineering, he was introduced to O&P by family in Ohio where he grew up. After a short time as a technician, Greg returned to school for Prosthetics in 2011 and completed his education at Northwestern University. This was followed by six years in clinical practice in Denver, CO where he often worked directly in the OR with Limb Salvage, Vascular, and Plastic Surgeons, as well as Physiatrists and Physical Therapists to help enhance patient outcomes.

His ability to bring together a well-rounded healthcare team resulted in outstanding patient outcomes, business growth, and consultation for Amputee Life Care Planning. Before joining Össur Americas as a Clinical Specialist, his focus on enhanced patient outcomes, optimized socket design, and utilization of new technologies enabled him to motivate patients to dream bigger. His high energy and knowledge of Össur products adds to a great team who all share the goal of helping patients Live Life Without Limitations.

Wayne Fichtel, C.P

Clinical Specialist, Prosthetics

A.B.C. Certified since 1994, Wayne began his career in Orthotics & Prosthetics as a technician at the S.I.U. School of Medicine in 1987, followed by completion of the Northwestern University program and a clinical residency at the Cleveland Clinic. His work includes the private, institutional, and manufacturer realms. He has worked internationally in humanitarian efforts, and was clinical manager of Touch Bionics’ patient care facility in Scotland. He has presented to the field, to allied health professionals, and to students in prosthetic, physical therapy and physician training programs.

“Every Ossur Clinical Specialist has an experience-based appreciation of the challenges facing our clinical customers and a genuine determination to support their patient care efforts, just as we’re supported by the entire Össur organization. We use global resources to provide local support. It’s a great way to work, and it’s a great team to be a part of."

Steven Hoover, CP, LP, COA

Clinical Specialist, Prosthetics

Steven Hoover, CP, LP, COA brings a unique perspective to prosthetics, being an amputee for over 45 years, and working in the field for over 25 years. In addition to having been a technician and clinician, he has also worked as Technical Service Manager and Education Director in the manufacturing realm. He is passionate about patient care and has done humanitarian work around the globe. Steve’s mission in prosthetics has remained the same throughout; to bring the best technology to bear to help patients achieve whatever goals they desire!

Aaron Jacobsen, CPO

Clinical Specialist, Prosthetics

Aaron joined Össur’s clinical team in 2017. He was introduced to Orthotics and Prosthetics in 2001 as a technician while finishing a Bachelors of Science in Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Nebraska. He went on to work as a research engineer at the University of Washington, performing research on trans-tibial amputees. Aaron later received his Bachelors of Science from the University of Washington in Prosthetics and Orthotics and worked in clinical practice for nearly 10 years before joining the manufacturer side of the industry at BiOM. He resides in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife and 3 children.

Zach Smith, CPO, LPO

Clinical Manager, Prosthetics

Zach was attending college majoring in Industrial Hygiene and a minor in education when his father at the young age of 47 lost his right leg due to infection. After seeing his father’s mobility restored, he instantly became interested and passionate about prosthetics. Zach explored the prosthetics field and switched his educational path, completed a technician program in Pittsburgh PA and successfully worked as a technician for 2 years. Subsequently, he moved into a prosthetics assistance role, returned to college and obtained his Orthotic & Prosthetic Certification in 1999. While attending college and initially working as a technician, Zach also served in the Army reserves for 6 years. Zach’s formal education included attendance at Penn State University, Westmoreland College, M.S.A.H technicians program and E.T.S.U.

After practicing as a O&P clinician for several years, Zach co-founded Victory Orthotics & Prosthetics in 2001 located in East Tennessee. Zach and his colleagues grew the practice to 4 locations that serviced 3 level 1 hospitals and a large Veterans Administration hospital. In addition to daily clinical care, management, marketing, business development and the plethora of responsibilities of a small business owner and operator Zach was a guest lecturer for local Rehab facilities, Amputee support groups, physical therapy and physical therapy assistance programs as well as a local orthopedic DO residency program. Victory continues to thrive under his brother’s direction while Zach has transitioned into a clinical position with Össur. Zach is a lower extremity prosthetic specialist with proficiency and expertise with Cad/Cam, socket technologies, vacuum systems, MPK technologies as well as low and high activity amputee care. Zach is honored and excited to share his passion and experience in prosthetics within his clinical position with Össur Americas.

Tyler Hocz, CPO, LPO

Clinical Specialist, Prosthetics

Tyler Hocz, CPO, LPO is a certified Prosthetist/Orthotist who has earned his B.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences with a minor in Biomedical Physics from the University of South Florida. Tyler then went on to complete his Orthotic & Prosthetic degree from St. Petersburg College. Throughout his 9 years of clinical practice, Tyler has worked in different regions of the country and has provided treatment to a wide variety of patient populations including athletes, geriatrics, children, and active adults. His focus on enhancing patient outcomes through the utilization of innovative technologies has greatly contributed to the success of his patients.

Dan Irlbeck MS, CPO

Clinical Specialist, Prosthetics

Dan Irlbeck MS, CPO Dan is an ABC Certified Prosthetist and Orthotist who began his career in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. While working with athletes of all calibers he became interested in the profession of O&P. He earned his BS and MS degrees in Exercise Science/Athletic Training from The University of Iowa and received his Orthotic and Prosthetic education from Northwestern University in Chicago. He has been a certified clinician since 2004 and has lived and practiced in the Denver area since 2005.

His background in athletics and sports medicine gives him an affinity to help his patients overcome biomechanical dysfunctions as well as restoring independence and self-confidence to adults and children who have suffered a limb loss to amputation, injury or congenital birth abnormality. His rehabilitation background allows him to approach each case with critical thinking and high expectations of positive outcomes. Dan is honored and excited to contribute to such an innovative industry leading company with the goal of helping people live Life Without Limitations. He enjoys all that Colorado has to offer with his wife and 4 children.

Orthotics


Katie Swanson, CHES, CFo

Director of Education, Global Academy

Katie currently leads the Education Team within Global Academy. She joined Össur Americas in 2004 and has since held various roles in Sales, Marketing & Academy. She graduated from Western Washington University in 2001 with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Health Education. She is an ABC Certified Fitter of Orthotics. In 2018, she completed her Master's Degree in Educational Technology from Boise State University. She takes a special interest in online training and blended learning. She strives to make product (Prosthetics & Bracing) training engaging & accessible for Össur employees and customers. Katie resides in Seattle, WA with her husband Mitch and son Maxwell.

Ryan Berry, ATC

Össur Academy Manager, Bracing & Supports

Ryan comes to the Academy after having served Össur Americas as the Wisconsin Orthopedic Territory Manager since 2008. He completed his undergraduate and graduate coursework in Kinesiology and Health Education respectively from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ryan is a nationally certified and state Licensed Athletic Trainer who began his career with the UW Sports Medicine program in Madison-WI where he served in various outreach and senior clinical roles in the Department of Orthopedics.

After leaving the UW, Ryan founded a Safety and Medical Management Company providing contract and consulting medical services to business and industry as well as CME to medical and safety professionals. Ryan has served in the profession of Athletic Training as past state and district Governmental Affairs Coordinator, and is currently the Vice Chair of the AT Affiliated Credentialing Board at the Department of Safety and Professional Services for the State of Wisconsin. Ryan resides in Appleton Wisconsin with his wife Melissa and their two boys Hunter and Brayden.

Andrew Orsillo, ATC, CFo

Sr. Clinical Specialist, Bracing & Supports

Andrew is a Certified Athletic Trainer; he received a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Food and Nutrition Science from Florida State University. While at Florida State he was a member of the Athletic Training Staff for the 1999 National Championship Football team. Before returning to Mississippi State University to earn a Master's Degree in Sports Administration Andrew worked for Tallahassee Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy. Andrew has had the opportunity to work with athletes ranging from high school state champions to both MLB and NFL. He joined Össur in 2012 as a Regional Clinical Manager and currently resides in Tallahassee, FL.

Harmony Silverman, ATC, CSCS

Clinical Specialist, Bracing & Supports

Harmony is a Certified Athletic Trainer who completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology at San Diego State University in 2009 with an emphasis in Athletic Training. Before joining Össur, Harmony worked for seven years at a DJO, with her most recent role as a Product Specialist, training staff globally. Previous to her position with DJO, Harmony also worked in a physical therapy clinic developing outreach programs. An avid surfer and snowboarder, she has volunteered for several seasons at Woodward West, an extreme sports training facility, and donates her time teaching surfing to underprivileged and disabled children in her community.

John Matthews Jr., ATC

Clinical Specialist, Bracing & Supports

John is a Certified Athletic Trainer who completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training along with a minor in Biology at Salem State University in 2015. Before joining Össur in 2018, John had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of athletes/patients in a variety of settings ranging from high school, collegiate, outpatient care and manufacturing. John also served in the United States Coast Guard for 12 years. He currently resides in Boston, MA and enjoys golfing and playing basketball.

Jason LeFebre

Clinical Specialist, Bracing & Supports

Jason is a Registered Orthopedic Technician who has completed his Bachelors Degree is Public Safety from Florida State College at Jacksonville in 2014. Before joining Össur in 2016, Jason had the opportunity to work within one of the largest level two trauma hospitals for almost ten years working closely with complex fracture care, trauma care, orthopedic & spine bracing for adult and pediatric patients. He currently resides in Deland, Fl and enjoys spending time with his sons and on the water.

Academy Orlando


Chris DiGioia, CP

Clinical Specialist, Prosthetics

Chris earned a Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Science from Georgia State University in 2005 and completed the Prosthetics program at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in 2010. Since becoming an ABC Certified Prosthetist in 2013, he has exclusively utilized out-sourced manufacturing. He has worked with a wide variety of patient populations including athletes, geriatrics, and children in addition to having a special interest in Osseointegration. He resides near Orlando, FL.

Michael Shelburne, CP

Director of Custom Solutions

Michael received his undergraduate degree in physiology from Indiana State University. He completed his Orthotic & Prosthetic degree at St. Petersburg College. After Orthotic & Prosthetic school, he completed his residency at Prosthetic Design Inc. (PDI)/ Dayton Artificial Limb Clinic (DALC) in Dayton, OH. While at PDI/DALC, Michael became proficient in using CAD and 3D design software in prosthetics. Michael had the opportunity with Scott Sabolich Prosthetics and Research in Dallas, TX to become their Clinical Director and Chief Prosthetist. He spent three years working directly under Scott mastering the Sabolich Socket, fabrication processes, and becoming an expert on hard to fit patients. Since joining Össur, Michael has worked to standardize the fabrication processes at Össur Custom Solutions. Currently resides in DeLand, FL with his wife, Danielle, and son, Brooks.