We would like to extend a sincere thank you to retiring board member, Larry Word, CPO, FAAOP, for his eight years of service as both a board director and 2019 president. Larry shepherded several big changes for ABC during his presidency including a new logo and the administration of the first ever combined orthotic and prosthetic written exam.
To recall Larry’s words after his presidency, “When asked to write some questions for the orthotic associate’s exam twenty plus years ago, I had no thoughts of someday serving on the ABC Board of Directors or having the honor of serving as President. I did know that the credentials I had earned were important to me and that I would continue to volunteer when called upon.” This sentiment is one that was a driving force for Larry and is certainly shared by the two O&P professionals joining ABC’s Board this year. And that’s not the only thing they have in common— both are O&P educators whose academic experiences bring new perspective to the Board.
Ashley Harris Mullen, PhD, MSAT, CPO of Pearland, Tex. is a long-time champion for education and certification, demonstrating that most recently as a participant in the ABC & NCOPE Practitioner Clinical Training and Assessment Conference in March. Before discovering O&P, Mullen began her career in secondary education but returned to graduate school to pursue a degree in athletic training. After obtaining her MSAT from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she applied for a job in O&P in 2009. That job spurred a desire to earn post-baccalaureate certificates in orthotics (Univ. of Hartford, Newington Certificate Program, 2011) and prosthetics (Northwestern University 2013). In 2016, she returned to school to earn her PhD in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies, then worked full-time as a faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine School of Health Professions while working part-time as a clinician at Hanger Clinic. Mullen earned her Certified Prosthetist Orthotist credential from ABC in 2015 and is currently an Assistant Professor and Program Director of the O&P Program at Baylor. Her list of accolades and contributions to the profession include several teaching and leadership awards, research studies, authoring and co-authoring numerous publications, O&P course development, volunteer service with the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE), the AAOP Texas Chapter and Texas Society for Orthotic and Prosthetic Professionals. And if that wasn’t enough, Mullen is also a Double-Gold Medalist with US Figure Skating, a childhood passion which she tries to maintain on the weekends when not spending time with her family.
Ava S. Herbrick, CPO of Southern California is another stellar addition to the Board. She began volunteering with ABC in 2006 as an Orthotic Clinical Patient Management (CPM) Examiner and has since served as a member of the Orthotic Exam Team and Practitioner Practice Analysis Task Force, as well as participating in ABC’s Summit on Competency Assessment. Herbrick has a BS in Health Science from California State University Long Beach and a MS in Instructional Design and Technology from California State University Fullerton. She received her orthotic education from Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center and her prosthetic education from CSU Dominguez Hills. Herbrick earned her Certified Orthotist credential from ABC in 1995 and Certified Prosthetist Orthotist credential in 2000. Since then, she has worked as an O&P clinician for Shriners Hospital for Children, Los Amigos Research and Education Institute and Valley Institute of Prosthetics and Orthotics. Herbrick began teaching in 2017 as an O&P Clinical Instructor at CSU Dominguez Hills. In addition to being an instructor for the CSUDH MSOP program she has been a guest lecturer at several universities/colleges.
“We are very excited to welcome these two dedicated and talented educators to the ABC Board,” says Cathy Carter, ABC Executive Director. “Both Ava and Ashley bring new voices to the board of directors, and I look forward to their participation and valuable input.”