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Karen Edwards Blogger

Profile of Women in O&P Leadership - June 2016

Posted by Karen Edwards | June 20, 2016

Welcome to the June edition of the ÖWLI blog. Hope this blog finds you well and that you are reading this on a sunny beach somewhere! We at ÖWLI are still hard at work planning more events for our members, one of which (the OWLI Book Club) is underway as we speak! Check out our book club page on Facebook (search for OWLI Book Club) and join in the online discussion of "The Confidence Effect," by Grace Killelea.

ATTENTION ALL FEMALE O&P OWNERS AND MANAGERS! The Össur Women's Leadership Conference is being held in Orlando Sept. 15-17 and you are invited to join us for a Business Owners/Managers Roundtable Discussion on Sept. 15 from 10am-12pm, just prior to the start of the conference! We invite you to join your peers for an enlightened discussion on business strategies, changing the landscape of women in O&P, women's role in advocacy, and getting our patients involved in social media and other informational sources. See the calendar below for conference and registration info.

This month we continue our Profile of Women in O&P Leadership series in which we highlight a woman who is a leader in the O&P profession. This month we highlight Angie MacGregor, CPO, Licensed Prosthetist/Orthotist, and Clinic Manager of Hanger in Dallas, TX.

Name and current title: Angie MacGregor, ABC CPO; Texas Licensed Prosthetist/Orthotist; Clinic Manager Hanger, Dallas, TX

Hometown: Heber-Overgaard, Arizona

School: Arizona State University and Northwestern University

Number of years in O&P: 17

Current Leadership Positions:

  • Clinic Manager and CPO, Hanger Clinic, Dallas
  • Physical Medicine and Rehab Residency O&P Instructor for Dallas hospital residents
  • Fitness instructor and Mentor, Rae's Hope Inc.

When did you know you wanted to be a CPO?
For as long as I can remember I knew that I wanted a career in healthcare. I considered physical therapy when I was in my early teens, but when my older brother suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury, I gained exposure to the O&P field.  Since it was summer break I was able to spend a lot of time at the facility where he went through rehabilitation.  I watched my brother make slow progress in physical therapy every day. When this person called an "orthotist" came in and fit him with a custom KAFO his gait improved immediately.  I knew that I wanted to help improve the quality of life for others by allowing them to become more physically mobile and independent with the use of orthotic and prosthetic devices.

What contributions have you made to the field?  I've grown the current office I manage over the last nine years. In 2009 we received the J.E. Hanger Award of Excellence in Clinical Excellence.  We now service a larger geographical area and more patients with more diverse needs. I've contributed to the O&P education of local PM&R residents.  As part of their curriculum they observe the clinical and technical aspects of O&P in our clinic.  The medical residents also attend a weekly amputee clinic where I work with the director of rehabilitation to continue the long-term care of amputees and ensure their prosthetic needs are met. I provide continuing education to occupational and physical therapists and keep them aware of advancements in O&P.  Recently, I gathered support from many, including patients and physicians, to rescind the Medicare proposal restricting access to prosthetic limbs and returning amputees to 1970's standards of care.

What obstacles have you overcome to achieve your success?  Adjusting to living in a large city was challenging after living in a small town until I was eighteen. It's hard for anyone to leave their family, but I felt like I was leaving an entire town that was my family and a way of life. I learned to become more independent and self-reliant.  The obstacles that come with being a female in a heavily male dominated field are one's perception. I learned that if I'm not intimidated by the fact that there are more men than women then it's not an issue.  I feel the same about being a minority. Nobody is going to limit my advancement because I'm Hispanic if I don't let them. I think I've limited the obstacles I've had by having the right attitude and the stumbling blocks along the way are there to mold you into the person you're meant to become.

What risks have you taken that have paid off?  I moved to a large unfamiliar city three different times for personal growth and advancement. Moving from Tempe, AZ to Chicago was a big change, but I knew it was temporary, so it wasn't as daunting as when I went to Atlanta to do my residencies. Later, when I was given the opportunity for a leadership position in Dallas I was fearful. Although I had researched the city, I didn't know anybody and had only been here once for the interview. Each risk paid off, and I'm so thankful that I took them. Chicago and Atlanta are amazing cities that I was sad to leave when the time came. Dallas is also an incredible city that I have loved to call home for the last nine years. I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone because the experiences I've had along the way have helped me grow.

How do you define success?  You are successful not only when you achieve your goals but when you know that you are doing the things required to reach them.  We can achieve success at any stage in our lives and careers.  Success is when you have the self-awareness to know what is most important to you and the courage to go after it. Failures along the way are part of that success.

What is the key to your success?  I've found that truly listening is essential.  Not just to gain knowledge, but to really understand the wants and needs of others.  There are times that instead of listening, we are waiting for our turn to speak.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to gain a strong foundation in leadership during my undergraduate years at Arizona State University. Dr. Christine Wilkinson directed the Leadership Scholarship Program, "LSP", which prepared me for a leadership role.  The principles I learned in LSP help guide my decisions and actions. My mom and dad are always supportive and encouraging. They continue to share their wisdom and give me guidance. My husband John, large family and friends have been there for me as well. The Lord has led me on this path and given me everyone and everything I need to be successful. 


Have you used a mentor? Who helped you along the way?  So many people have been there for me and continue to be. As busy as he is, Kevin Carroll, the Vice President of Prosthetics for Hanger Clinic always answers his phone. "Dis is Kevin". He answers tough questions that are clinical and beyond with a positive perspective.  Early on when I was trying to get some exposure to the field, Ron Whiteside, CO and Reese Evans, CPO in Phoenix gave me exposure to both clinic and hospital settings and confirmed my desire to enter the field.


What is your perception of being a woman in the O&P field?  I think women in our field are viewed as dynamic. We spend time using our hands to fabricate but also provide a unique compassion to our patients. Oftentimes that emotional component is even more of a benefit than our physical capabilities. My office consists of all women practitioners, and I am proud that we represent the progressive direction of the O&P field.

How have things changed for women in the field during your career?  Women have taken more and more leadership roles since I entered the field. I've been with my company for over 15 years and when I was hired there were far fewer women managers and in higher leadership. There were also fewer female instructors in our schools. Össur gives the statistic that women have increased from 10% of practitioners registered with ABC to 20% in the past ten years. This is a positive change for women entering the field as they have far more role models today.


What advice would you give to a new practitioner and/or to young women entering the field?  Remember that your actions may affect the perception of women. Oftentimes, people will see you as a "female clinician" not just a clinician. When you succeed we all succeed and when you don't, some will generalize and judge us all. Set high goals for yourself, don't settle by meeting expectations. Strive to be better, not just for yourself and for women, but for your patients.


How can we get more women in leadership roles within O&P?  We need to put more focus on recruiting young women that have leadership potential early on. Generally speaking, our field is not well-known. Many of us became aware of our profession because of a personal experience. More exposure will increase the number of young women interested in our field. This will enable us to recruit more women who can bring their leadership skills to our field.

What leaders do you admire?  Mother Teresa was an amazing leader that believed in giving individual attention to people in need. She's been described as a "serving" leader and remained humble as she made world change.


THANK YOU to Angie for sharing her insights with us and for being a great example of a leader in our profession! We will be highlighting one female O&P leader each quarter, so please email us names of women you think we should feature!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:  Reserve a spot on your schedule for the following upcoming ÖWLI events…


June 17-24, 2016:  ÖWLI Online Book Club Discussion. We are currently underway with our new twist on the book club with a week-long online discussion on Facebook, allowing you to answer discussion questions on your own time over the week. This quarter our book is "The Confidence Effect" by Grace Killelea. The "Confidence Effect" helps women speak out, take risks and assume leadership positions. Feel free to join the group on Facebook at "OWLI Book Club."

Aug. 8, 2016, 12-1pm EST:  ÖWLI Webinar. Our topic this quarter will be "Networking 101" led by Allison Matejczyk, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Ellevate Network where she is responsible for generating new business with national and global companies and overall management of existing corporate relationships. With a BS in Finance from The Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, Allison went on to work among top executives at leading financial and wealth management institutions throughout her career. Prior to joining Ellevate, Allison served as Executive Administrator to a C-Suite Executive at Citigroup and Bank of America, and was AVP of Sales & Marketing for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

Sept. 15-17, 2016:  Össur Women's Leadership Initiative Conference, Orlando, FL. We are truly excited to offer our first Women's Leadership Conference! Please join us for an education and networking event at Össur's Orlando facility.  This three-day conference will focus on issues relevant to female O&P practitioners as well as leadership development. 13.75 CEU's will be offered for eligible courses and topics include leadership development by former Black Hawk fighter pilot Elizabeth McCormick, career development led by a panel of female O&P owners and managers, and the chance to network with your female peers and colleagues. Best of all, the event is free and includes all meals (including a super fun dinner outing on the Friday)! Register TODAY as spaces are limited to 50 attendees and we only have a few spaces left! Click here to register:  //

Oct. 14, 2016, 12-1pm:  ÖWLI Webinar Series. Our topic this quarter is "Personal Branding" led by Kristy Wallace, President at Ellevate Network where she is responsible for business operations, product development and strategic partnerships. With an entrepreneurial mindset and an aptitude for building businesses from the ground up, Kristy is backed by more than 15 years of experience in generating thriving revenue centers, including corporate strategy, product development, revenue forecasting, hiring, training, marketing, pipeline development and contract closings.


Thanks to all of you for supporting ÖWLI, yourself and other women in the O&P profession!

Until July,

Karen Edwards

Director, Össur Women's Leadership Initiative


ÖWLI Quote of the Month (Angie's favorite quote):  "Whether you think you can or you can't, you are right." – Henry Ford


Talk to us!! Your feedback is welcomed and encouraged! Please let us know what you think of our initiative, share your ideas, share your victories, or just say "hi" by emailing us at And follow us on Twitter @OWLIOssur.