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".


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.

Nathan Wagner, CPO, LPO, OTR/L

Director, Clinical Training, Prosthetics

Nathan is an ABC certified prosthetist/orthotist, and NBCOT accredited occupational therapist for Touch Bionics/Össur, Inc. His prosthetic and occupational therapy backgrounds combine for a comprehensive fitting and training knowledge of upper extremity prostheses. This knowledge and position allow him to fit and train patients in the most advanced upper extremity technology available. He received a B.S. in occupational therapy from Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, and his prosthetic and orthotic certificate from Newington Certificate Program in Newington, Connecticut.

Kurt Gruben, MSBE, CPO

Clinical Manager of Market Access

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.

Tom Bowers, CP

Senior Clinical Manager - Össur Solutions

Tom began his career in the prosthetic industry as an O&P technician at Lawall Prosthetics and Orthotics in Philadelphia, PA. He is a graduate of La Salle University having studied Integrated Science, Business and Technology with a focus in Biomedical Engineering. He earned his master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and is ABC Certified in Prosthetics. He spent several years in clinical practice at Lawall and served as the Head of Prosthetics for Scranton Orthopedics. Tom’s interest in prosthetic theory, design and technological advance brought him to LIM Innovations where he aided in the process of clinical education, design, fabrication and operation. He now joins Ossur as a Clinical Specialist focusing on the Northeast Region of the USA. His goal is to collaborate with clinicians to achieve quality clinical outcomes in a timely and efficient manner. His main interests include Clinical Education and Outcomes, Bionics, Socket Interface Technology, Digital Modification, Fabrication Technique, Practice Management and Systems Thinking.

David Mitchell, CPO

Senior Clinical Manager - 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.

Wayne Fichtel, CP

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."

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.

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.

Jeremy Farley, CPO, LPO

Clinical Support Specialist, Prosthetics

Jeremy is an ABC certified prosthetist/orthotist. He received a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, NY and a degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics from the University of Texas, in Dallas, TX. Jeremy’s background in engineering works in conjunction with his training in prosthetics to provide a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of upper limb prostheses. This allows him to fit patients with the most advanced technology available and to educate prosthetists in the selection, fit, and function of upper limb prosthetic componentry.

Luis Mora, CP

Clinical Specialist, Prosthetics

Luis is an ABC Certified Prosthetist, father, husband, son, and friend to many people. You will often hear him remark, “the field of prosthetics chose me.” He has lived with limb loss for all but 14 years of his life. He is a proud graduate of California State Dominguez Hills Prosthetics certificate program. He has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a minor in Biology. His clinical experience is varied and includes work in the private, institutional and manufacture sectors. He brings a passion for teaching and physical activity to Össur. He is delighted that his job affords him the opportunity to improve people's mobility, so they can live their Life Without Limitations.

Chad McKown, CP

Clinical Specialist, Prosthetics

Chad is an ABC certified prosthetist who graduated from West Virginia University in 2007 with a BS in Exercise Physiology. Following graduation, he worked as a personal trainer but was undecided on a career path that he wanted to pursue long term. By coincidence, one of his clients owned a private O&P practice locally and invited him to shadow for a week. After a week of shadowing at the clinic, Chad immediately knew that he wanted to pursue a career in prosthetics. Chad graduated from the prosthetics program at Northwestern University in 2009 then continued his clinical work with Anatomical Designs in Uniontown, PA then Hanger Clinic in Morgantown, WV before joining Össur as clinical specialist in January 2023. Chad has passion for health and wellness and is honored to be a part of an industry leading company whose main goal is helping people live life without limitations. He currently lives in Morgantown, WV with his wife and three children.

Pete Simpson, CPO

Clinical Specialist, Prosthetics

Pete a certified Prosthetist/Orthotist who began his career as a volunteer at a busy clinic in downtown Denver.  After seeing the positive effect that the O&P field had on patient’s lives, he went on to work as a full-time prosthetic/orthotic technician. He then pursued his B.S. in Prosthetics & Orthotics from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Following graduation in 2010, he completed residencies in Colorado and Idaho. Working in Idaho’s Treasure Valley, he established himself as a clinician driven by compassion and the desire to help improve his patient’s lives through collaboration with their rehab teams. He currently resides in Boise with his wife and sons.

Bracing & Supports

Heather Hoover

Director of Academy, B&S

Heather has an undergraduate in Journalism from Penn State University and went on to complete her master’s degree from Drexel University in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum. Joining Össurin 2008, she has held various roles in Academy and Product Marketing to include internal/external education, launching numerous products with go-to-market messaging and leading B2B/B2C initiatives. Her passion is to help provide solutions to customer problems by utilizing the latest technology and re-imagining education.

Ben Frost

Clinical Education Specialist, B&S

Ben is a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. His 14-year career in outpatient orthopedics has been focused on sports injury rehabilitation and postoperative care as well as degenerative disease interventions. Ben has been excited about the increasing trends and advancements in Bracing and Supports and their role in improving functional healing outcomes and tertiary prevention strategies.  Ben has enjoyed the challenge of implementing skilled care, evidence-based therapy to improve the lives of his patients and now looks forward to bringing his skills to the Bracing and Supports space.

Giles Leeming

Clinical Content Specialist, B&S

Having trained in both Prosthetics/ Orthotics (BSc (Hons) and Podiatry (BSc (Hons), Giles worked as an Orthotist in National Health Service in Sheffield UK. He joined Össur in 2008 focusing on product and customer support, as well as training and educational activities for the bracing and supports portfolio. Giles is now focused on digital training and educational activities, recently joining the Össur Academy Global – Bracing and Support team to develop how we support our customers and products virtually. Based from the Össur UK office in Manchester, he provides a European focus alongside the team based in Foothill Ranch.   

Danielle Man

Education Program Manager, B&S

Danielle earned her biology degree from Boston University and completed 2 years of PhD study and research in sociobiology at Northeastern University. She has worked for over a decade in education and instructional design, and specializes in creating digital learning opportunities. Danielle’s passion is coaching and training on presentation best practices: designing, delivering, and evaluating.

Össur Academy Orlando, Össur Solutions

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.

Össur Academy Dublin, Upper Limb