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Fellow of the Academy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please contact the Academy directly at (202) 380-3663 if you require more specific assistance than the frequently asked questions below provide. 

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

APPLYING TO BECOME A FELLOW OF THE ACADEMY

QUESTIONS ABOUT APPLICATION PROCESS

RENEWING YOUR FELLOW DESIGNATION


GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is a Fellow of the Academy?

The designation Fellow of the Academy is a signature recognition of the Academy. The achievement comes as a result of hard work, commitment to personal development and a dedication to excellence in the profession. This prestigious designation is earned by those with a demonstrated commitment to mastering their profession through sustained educational pursuits and a proven track record of service to both their community and the O&P profession.

What benefits do Fellows of the Academy receive?

Academy Fellow of the Academy and Fellow of the Academy with Distinction benefits include the following. 

  1. Authorization to immediately begin using the "FAAOP" credential with your signature block.
  2. A professionally crafted Olympic-style medallion, encased in a shadow box, perfect for display in a home or office setting.
  3. Recognition in the Academy TODAY and on the Academy website.

Am I eligible to become a Fellow of the Academy?

To apply for the Fellow designation, candidates must be Active members of the Academy for three uninterrupted years immediately preceding application. Visit the Academy's membership category page for more information.

Fellow candidates must be currently certified by ABC under one of the following criteria.

  1. Have taken and passed the ABC exam OR
  2. Attained ABC certification after 2004 without taking the exam and hold a formal degree or graduate diploma in a field that is recognized by the Academy. (See "I am a BOC crossover. Do I meet the certification requirement to become a Fellow?")

I am a BOC crossover. Do I meet the certification requirement to become a Fellow?

In an effort to unify O&P professionals under ABC certification, in March 2004, ABC temporarily allowed BOC-certified orthotists and prosthetists to apply for ABC certification. This period ended on June 30, 2005. More than 1,600 professionals elected to become ABC-certified and be held to the same standard as all other ABC-certified practitioners. These standards include meeting continuing education requirements and adhering to ABC's Code of Professional Responsibility.

If you took advantage of the March 2004 through July 2005 opportunity to gain ABC certification by paying a fee and fulfilling continuing education requirements in orthotics, prosthetics, or both, or if you otherwise gained ABC certification without taking the exam, you must have a formal degree or graduate diploma in a field that is recognized by the Academy in order to be eligible to become a Fellow of the Academy. Degrees or diplomas will be considered for approval on a case-by-case basis.

How long does my Fellow designation last?

The Fellow designation lasts for five years, during which time one must complete the requirements to apply for renewal in order to retain Fellow status. You must have maintained your Academy membership during your five years as a Fellow to be eligible to renew. (See "My five-year term as a Fellow of the Academy is about to end. How do I renew my status?")

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APPLYING TO BECOME A FELLOW OF THE ACADEMY

How do I become a Fellow of the Academy?

To become a Fellow of the Academy, one must meet basic standards in certification (See "Am I eligible to become a Fellow of the Academy?"), have been an Active member of the Academy for three uninterrupted years (See "What is an Active member of the Academy?"), have completed a predetermined amount of education credits. (See "What are the education requirements to become a Fellow of the Academy?"), and have made significant service contributions to the O&P profession. (See "What constitutes significant service to the O&P profession in the criteria to become a Fellow?")

Once these criteria are met, Fellow candidates must submit an application online or download an application and return it to the Academy by fax, email, or mail. The application requires a written account of the candidate's service record and must be accompanied by a Continuing Education Activities Report (CEAR), which can be obtained from the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics.

There is a one-time $300 Fellow application fee, $250 of which will be returned to applicants who are not granted Fellow status. (See "What happens to my Fellow application fee if I am not accepted into the program?")

The processing of incomplete applications, those missing a service record statement, or those submitted without a CEAR statement may be delayed. (See "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession?" and "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?")

Completed applications are reviewed by the Fellow Candidate Review Committee, comprised of three current Academy Fellows. The committee reviews applications on a monthly basis. (See"How soon will I find out if I have been accepted as a Fellow of the Academy?")

Do I need to fill out an application to be considered for the Fellow program?

Yes. Apply online or print out an application. All applications must be accompanied by an ABC CEAR statement and a written account of your service to the O&P profession. (See "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession?" and "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?")

I am currently a student/resident member of the Academy. When can I apply to become a Fellow?

You can apply to become a Fellow after three years of Active membership. You must be certified by ABC to apply. (See "Am I eligible to become a Fellow of the Academy?")

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What is an Active member of the Academy?

Visit the membership categories page to learn more about about the types of Academy membership.

Active membership is open to individuals as identified below.

  1. Practitioners in orthotics and/or prosthetics, who are certified by and in good standing with the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC) prior to March 1, 2004
  2. Practitioners certified by and in good standing with the ABC commencing after March 1, 2004, and are a graduate of a practitioner program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP) [master's degree, baccalaureate degree, or certificate]
  3. Practitioners certified by and in good standing with the ABC commencing after March 1, 2004 who are not a graduate of a CAAHEP-accredited practitioner program and who have earned at least 75 credits for a single credential, or 100 credits for a dual credential (these credits must be approved by ABC and earned after January 1, 2004)
  4. Practitioners with a valid license from a state that requires graduation from a CAAHEP-accredited practitioner program as the minimum education standard to practice as an orthotist or prosthetist, who have earned at least 75 credits for a single credential, or 100 credits for a dual credential. These credits must be approved by the ABC, maintained on a five-year recurring cycle, and earned after January 1, 2004.

What is a Certificate Program for Professional Development?

Certificate Programs for Professional Development cover one topic in depth and consist of six to ten modules, each followed by a quiz to ensure comprehension of the subject.

Certificate Programs for Professional Development are offered at Academy One-Day Seminars, through the Online Learning Center, and at Academy Annual Meetings.

What happens to my Fellow application fee if I am not accepted into the program?

If you are not granted Fellow status, $250 of your $300 application fee will be refunded to you.

The non-refundable $50 portion of the fee will cover the cost of any future Fellow applications you may complete. If you reapply for the Fellow designation in the future, you will only be asked to pay $250.

Can I fill out the application online?

Yes, you can complete an online application. However, be aware that you will still need to submit an ABC CEAR statement, which can be emailed, faxed, or mailed. Applications without an accompanying CEAR statement will not be considered. (See "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?")

Can I apply by mail?

Yes. Print out an application and mail it, along with your ABC CEAR statement and statement of significant service, to the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists, 1331 H Street NW, Suite 501, Washington, DC 20005. (See "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?" and "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession?")

Can I apply by fax?

Yes. Print out an application and fax it, along with your ABC CEAR statement and statement of significant service, to (202) 380-3440 to the attention of "Fellow Program." (See "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?" and "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession?")

Can I apply by email?

Yes. Scan a copy of your completed application, your ABC CEAR statement, and statement of significant service and email as attachments to asuriani@oandp.org. (See "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?" and"How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession?")

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QUESTIONS ABOUT THE APPLICATION PROCESS

Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report (CEAR) to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?

Your CEAR statement lists all of the continuing education credits you have earned since you became certified by ABC. This includes courses you have taken at Academy One-Day Seminars, at Academy Annual Meetings and Scientific Symposiums, through the Academy's Online Learning Center, as well as any credits earned through non-Academy O&P organizations.

The Fellow Candidate Review Committee, which makes the final decision on whether a candidate is granted Fellow status, must review this report to verify that you have completed the education requirements to become a Fellow of the Academy. (See "What are the education requirements to become a Fellow of the Academy?"). It is possible to have attended sessions or acquired credits that do not qualify toward the Fellow minimum requirement even though they help you retain certification. The CEAR statement will be used to make this distinction and ensure you have met the Fellow-qualifying education standard.

To access your CEAR statement, visit ABC.

What constitutes significant service to the O&P profession in the criteria to become a Fellow?

In addition to the education requirement, there is a service requirement that you must meet in order to be accepted as a Fellow of the Academy. Candidates for the Fellow designation must have a proven track record of contribution toward the advancement of the O&P profession.

Doing any one of the following will meet the service requirement:

  • Authoring an accepted manuscript for the Journal of Prosthetics & Orthotics (JPO).

If you have published an article or study in the JPO, please indicate on your application the title of the article as well as the JPO issue number in which it appeared.

  • Chairing a symposium or instructional course at an Academy Annual Meeting.

If you have chaired a symposium or instructional course at an Academy Annual Meeting, please indicate on your application the title of the course as well as the date on which it was offered.

  • Making two presentations at Academy-sponsored programs over the previous five years.

Qualifying presentations include those given at Academy Annual Meetings or at your local chapter meetings. If you have presented twice at Academy-sponsored events over the previous five years, please indicate the names of the presentations as well as the presentations' locations and dates on your application. Please note that you cannot have made the same presentation both times. They must be two entirely different presentations.

  • Service as a residency director of a National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE)-approved residency site.

If you serve as residency director at an NCOPE-approved residency site, please indicate the name of the site on your application. To verify your residency site is NCOPE-approved, visit www.ncope.org. To pursue NCOPE approval for your residency site, please visit the NCOPE Residency Development Program page.

  • Contribution to the O&P profession via significant (40 hour minimum) community service, documented in writing by the Fellow applicant.

Examples of the work of Fellow applicants who have successfully met their service requirement using this criterion include but are not limited to: traveling abroad or domestically to offer services pro bono to victims of natural disasters; speaking about the O&P profession at local elementary, middle, and high school career days; volunteering with veterans to ensure satisfaction with their O&P products; building mentor relationships with persons interested in O&P careers; and raising the profile of the O&P profession through public policy or legislative activities.

Any service of this kind must be clearly documented in writing and submitted along with the Fellow application. (See "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession?")

  • Minimum of 40 hours volunteer service within the Academy, documented in writing by the Fellow applicant.

Examples of the work of Fellow applicants who have successfully met their service requirement using this criterion include but are not limited to: serving as a chair of one of the Academy's scientific societies serving on the executive board of their local Academy chapter, serving as a committee chair or council member and volunteering to record sessions at Academy Annual Meetings or chapter meetings to be posted on the Online Learning Center.

Any service of this kind must be clearly documented in writing and submitted along with the Fellow application. (See "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession?")

How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession?

Clearly document in writing any community service or volunteer service within the Academy and submit it along with your Fellow application. (See "What constitutes significant service to the O&P profession in the criteria to become a Fellow of the Academy?")

If you have published an article or study in the JPO, please indicate on your application the title of the article as well as the JPO issue number in which it appeared.

If you have chaired a symposium or instructional course at an Academy Annual Meeting, please indicate on your application the title of the course as well as the date on which it was offered.

If you have presented twice at Academy-sponsored events over the previous five years, please indicate the names of the presentations as well as the presentations' locations and dates on your application. Please note that you cannot have made the same presentation both times. They must be two entirely different presentations.

If you serve as residency director at an NCOPE-approved residency site, please indicate the name of the site on your application. To verify your residency site is NCOPE-approved, visit www.ncope.org. To pursue NCOPE approval for your residency site, please visit the NCOPE Residency Development Program page.

What are the education requirements to become a Fellow of the Academy?

All applicants to the Fellow program must have completed two Certificate Programs for Professional Development. Certificate Programs for Professional Development consist of seven to ten modules on a specific subject, each followed by a quiz to ensure comprehension of the covered topics. (See "What is a Certificate Program for Professional Development?")

Successful completion of Certificate Programs for Professional Development will be reported to ABC. To prove your successful completion of two Certificate Programs for Professional Development, please submit a Continuing Education Activities Report (CEAR) from ABC along with your Fellow application. Applications submitted without an accompanying CEAR statement will not be considered. (See "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?")

To obtain your CEAR statement, please visit ABC.

How do I meet the education requirements necessary to be eligible to become a Fellow of the Academy?

Certificate Programs for Professional Development are offered in a variety of formats. They can be accessed through the Academy's Online Learning Center, at the Academy's annual One-Day Seminars, and in an abbreviated format during the Academy Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium. (See "Can I meet the education requirements necessary to become a Fellow at the Academy Annual meeting?")

How soon will I find out if I have been accepted as a Fellow of the Academy?

The Fellow Candidate Review Committee considers applications monthly. It should take no more than two months to find out if you have been accepted once you have submitted all application materials.

What are my responsibilities as a Fellow of the Academy?

As a Fellow of the Academy, you must continue to pursue the service to the O&P profession and commitment to the highest levels of education that you previously demonstrated in order to earn this elite designation. You must also remain an Active member of the Academy and an ABC member in good standing.

In order to ensure that you retain your Fellow status beyond the initial five-year term, familiarize yourself with the two pathways for renewal. Over the course of your five-year term, you will have to complete the requirements for the renewal pathway of your choice. (See "My five-year term as a Fellow of the Academy is about to end. How do I renew my status?")

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RENEWING YOUR FELLOW DESIGNATION

My five-year term as a Fellow of the Academy is about to end. How do I renew my status?

To qualify for renewal, you must meet the requirements of one of two possible pathways. (See "What is Pathway One for renewal?" and "What is Pathway Two for renewal?")

The majority of Fellows who renew will qualify under Pathway Two. To qualify for renewal under Pathway Two, you must meet both an education and service requirement.

In order to renew your Fellow designation, you must fill out the renewal application. All renewal applications must be accompanied by an ABC CEAR statement and, in a majority of cases, a written account of your service to the O&P profession. (See "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?" and "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession for renewal?")

To obtain your CEAR statement, please visit ABC.

You also must have maintained your membership in the Academy over the course of your five-year term as a Fellow.

What is Pathway One for renewal?

Current Fellows can renew under Pathway One if they have served as faculty for a Certificate Program for Professional Development.

Faculty for Certificate Programs for Professional Development are selected by the Clinical Content Committee, usually after the candidate has published one or more studies on a topic that is deemed by the committee to be particularly salient, innovative, or is thought to be extremely relevant to the future of O&P.

Candidates chosen to be faculty for a Certificate Program for Professional Development must design and serve as primary author of each of the program's modules, determine the modules' selected readings, and develop the examination questions that will evaluate the program participants' proficiency in module topics.

A small fraction of Fellows are able to serve as Certificate Program for Professional Development faculty, and therefore it is rare to qualify for Fellow designation renewal under Pathway One.

What is Pathway Two for renewal?

Pathway Two is the traditional standard to qualify for renewal.

To qualify for renewal under Pathway Two, you must meet both an education and service requirement.

How do I meet the education requirement for renewal under Pathway Two?

Fellow renewal candidates must have completed one Certificate Program for Professional Development over the previous five years. Certificate Programs for Professional Development consist of seven to ten modules on a specific subject, each followed by a quiz to ensure comprehension of the covered topics. (See "What is a Certificate Program for Professional Development?")

Certificate Programs for Professional Development are available in a variety of formats, including the Academy's Online Learning Center, at the Academy's annual One-Day Seminars, and in an abbreviated format during the Academy Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium. (See "Can I meet the education requirements necessary to become a Fellow at the Academy Annual meeting?")

Successful completion of Certificate Program for Professional Development will be reported to ABC. To prove your successful completion of one Certificate Program for Professional Development, please submit a Continuing Education Activities Report (CEAR) from ABC along with your Fellow renewal application. Renewal applications submitted without an accompanying CEAR statement will not be considered. (See "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?")

To obtain your CEAR statement, please visit ABC.

Can I meet the education requirements necessary to renew my Fellow designation at the Academy Annual Meeting?

It may be possible to meet the education requirement to renew the Fellow designation at one Academy Annual Meeting.

To meet the education requirement, you must complete one Certificate Program for Professional Development or its equivalent. (See "What is a Certificate Program for Professional Development?")

It is possible to complete the equivalent of one Certificate Program for Professional Development at an Academy Annual Meeting. Each qualifying module offered at the Annual Meeting counts as two modules, or 25 percent of the total requirement for one Certificate Program for Professional Development. Therefore, if you attend four qualifying modules, you can complete the equivalent of one Certificate Program for Professional Development at an Academy Annual Meeting.

Qualifying modules will be marked as such in the schedule of events provided to Annual Meeting guests. Please note that not every session offered at the Annual Meeting will count toward the Fellow program's education requirement for renewal, and that, depending on each year's specific meeting schedule, there may not be enough opportunity to complete a Certificate Program for Professional Development.

Again, please consult the Annual Meeting's schedule of events to determine what modules will count toward the renewal education requirement.

How do I meet the service requirement for renewal under Pathway Two?

In addition to the education requirement, there is a service requirement that you must meet in order to renew your status as a Fellow of the Academy under Pathway Two. Candidates for renewal of the Fellow designation must have a proven track record of contribution toward the advancement of the O&P profession.

Doing any one of the following will meet the service requirement:

  • Authoring an accepted manuscript for the Journal of Prosthetics & Orthotics (JPO).

If you have published an article or study in the JPO, please indicate on your renewal application the title of the article as well as the JPO issue number in which it appeared.

  • Chairing a symposium or instructional course at an Academy Annual Meeting.

If you have chaired a symposium or instructional course at an Academy Annual Meeting, please indicate on your renewal application the title of the course as well as the date on which it was offered.

  • Making two presentations at Academy-sponsored programs over the previous five years.

Qualifying presentations include those given at Academy Annual Meetings or at your local chapter meetings. If you have presented twice at Academy-sponsored events over the previous five years, please indicate the names of the presentations as well as the presentations' locations and dates on your renewal application. Please note that you cannot have made the same presentation both times. They must be two entirely different presentations.

  • Service as a residency director of a National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE)-approved residency site.

If you serve as residency director at an NCOPE-approved residency site, please indicate the name of the site on your renewal application. To verify your residency site is NCOPE-approved, visit www.ncope.org. To pursue NCOPE approval for your residency site, please visit the NCOPE Residency Development Program page.

  • Contribution to the O&P profession via significant (40 hour minimum) community service, documented in writing by the Fellow renewal applicant.

Examples of the work of Fellow renewal applicants who have successfully met their service requirement using this criterion include but are not limited to: traveling abroad or domestically to offer services pro bono to victims of natural disasters; speaking about the O&P profession at local elementary, middle, and high school career days; volunteering with veterans to ensure satisfaction with their O&P products; building mentor relationships with persons interested in O&P careers; and raising the profile of the O&P profession through public policy or legislative activities.

Any service of this kind must be clearly documented in writing and submitted along with the Fellow renewal application. (See "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession for renewal?")

  • Minimum of 40 hours volunteer service within the Academy, documented in writing by the Fellow renewal applicant.

Examples of the work of Fellow renewal applicants who have successfully met their service requirement using this criterion include but are not limited to: serving as a chair in one of the Academy's scientific societies; serving on the executive board of their local Academy chapter; serving as a committee chair or council member; and volunteering to record sessions at Academy Annual Meetings or chapter meetings to be posted on the Online Learning Center.

Any service of this kind must be clearly documented in writing and submitted along with the Fellow renewal application. (See "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession for renewal?")

How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession for renewal?

Clearly document in writing any community service or volunteer service within the Academy and submit it along with your Fellow renewal application.

If you have published an article or study in the JPO, please indicate on your renewal application the title of the article as well as the JPO issue number in which it appeared.

If you have chaired a symposium or instructional course at an Academy Annual Meeting, please indicate on your renewal application the title of the course as well as the date on which it was offered.

If you have presented twice at Academy-sponsored events over the previous five years, please indicate the names of the presentations as well as the presentations' locations and dates on your renewal application. Please note that you cannot have made the same presentation both times. They must be two entirely different presentations.

If you serve as residency director at an NCOPE-approved residency site, please indicate the name of the site on your renewal application. To verify your residency site is NCOPE-approved, visit www.ncope.org. To pursue NCOPE approval for your residency site, please visit the NCOPE Residency Development Program page.

Am I eligible to renew my Fellow designation?

Verify that you have met the membership requirements and remain an ABC member in good standing before submitting a renewal application. (See "Am I eligible to become a Fellow of the Academy?")

Most Fellows will apply for renewal under Pathway Two. To renew under Pathway Two, you must have completed one Certificate Program for Professional Development and have fulfilled the service requirement.

Print out an application.

Request a copy of your Continuing Education Activities Report (CEAR) from ABC. Email this report to the Academy at fellow@oandp.org, fax it to (202) 380-3447, or mail it to the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists, 1331 H Street NW, Suite 501, Washington, DC 20005. Renewal applications without an accompanying CEAR will not be considered. (See "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?")

Make sure that your renewal application includes a written account of your service to the O&P profession through volunteerism, mentoring, promotion of the profession, or other contributions. (See "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession for renewal?")

Can I apply for renewal online?

It is not currently possible to apply for Fellow renewal online.

Can I apply for renewal by mail?

Yes. Print out a renewal application and mail it, along with your ABC CEAR statement and your statement of significant service, to the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists, 1331 H Street NW, Suite 501, Washington, DC 20005. (See "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?" and "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession for renewal?")

Can I apply for renewal by fax?

Yes. Print out a renewal application and fax it, along with your ABC CEAR statement and your statement of significant service, to (202)380-3447 to the attention of "Fellow Program." (See "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?" and "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession for renewal?")

Can I apply for renewal by email?

Yes. Scan a copy of your completed renewal application, your ABC CEAR statement, and statement of significant service and email as attachments to fellow@oandp.org. (See "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?" and "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession for renewal?")

What other materials must I submit to the Academy to renew my Fellow designation?

Along with your completed renewal application, you must submit an ABC CEAR statement and statement of significant service. (See "Why do I need to submit an ABC Continuing Education Activities Report to apply to become a Fellow of the Academy?" and "How do I demonstrate my service to the O&P profession for renewal?")

Additionally, you must include payment for the Fellow renewal fee of $75. This can be paid by check, Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.

If you choose to pay by check, make the check payable to the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.

The renewal form will include credit card payment information. However, if you so choose, you can also make a credit card payment over the phone by calling (202) 380-3663.

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Contact

The American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists
1331 H Street NW, Suite 501 Washington DC, 20005
(202) 380-3663
info@oandp.org