The Hanger Foundation announces the recipients of the 2021 Diversity scholarships

AUSTIN, Texas – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – As part of its continued commitment to diversity and inclusion in Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P) and its commitment to help recruit under-represented students of color into the profession, The Hanger Foundation has announced today the 2021 recipients of the Hanger Foundation’s inaugural diversity scholarships.

Six graduate students from three universities were each awarded a two-year scholarship to help supplement the cost of their Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics (MSPO) programs. In addition to receiving the scholarship, all recipients will be offered a two-year mentorship, with the option to pursue a residency at the Hanger Clinic. Congratulations to the following recipients:

  • Taushima “Shima” Nixon (Alabama State University)

  • Kayla Tillman (Alabama State University)

  • Felicia Farrar (Northwestern University)

  • Althea Fordyce (Northwestern University)

  • Juan Argueta (University of Hartford)

  • Isabella “Noelle” Medina (University of Hartford)

“I am proud to accept the Hanger Foundation Diversity Fellowship, ”said Althea Fordyce, Northwestern University student and scholarship recipient. “This scholarship affirms that I am accepted into a space where historically few African American women venture. ”

Each researcher was selected by their respective university for their outstanding academic performance, community service and passion for diversity within the O&P profession.

“As the only historically black college and university (HBCU) with a P&O program, Alabama State University (ASU) plays a crucial role in addressing the lack of diversity among certified practitioners in the field, ”said Scott Bretl, director of the prosthetics and orthotics department. , College of Health Sciences at ASU. “We are delighted to award the scholarships to two black / African American women as they continue their educational journey into clinical practice. Certified P&O practitioners are currently only about 28% female, with a small percentage being Black / African American. The marked differences between practitioner and patient demographics are most evident in the South, so it is fitting that the ASU program seeks a change that would have a positive impact on health disparities and inclusive care for women. patients. Our two fellows (Taushima “Shima” Nixon and Kayla Tillman) demonstrated in their application a unique perspective and a keen awareness of this representation gap and what it means to them and a significant portion of our patient population. We are happy that they are starting our program this fall and engaging in relevant conversations throughout our program. ”

In September 2020, Hanger, Inc. pledged to take concrete action to address systemic racism nationwide, interrupt stigma, and ultimately create a more inclusive profession. One of the five areas of focus was to attract more diverse applicants to O&P graduate programs. The Hanger Foundation Diversity Scholarship Program was established in January 2021 with a founding donation from Hanger, Inc.

“It is an honor to align with the Hanger Foundation on the important work of improving access to the MSPO degree, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that O&P clinicians better represent the patient populations they serve ”, said Hanger President and CEO Vinit Asar. “We are proud of these six exceptional individuals, who are the future of our profession, and we look forward to hearing their unique perspectives and talents within the O&P industry as we help build a more inclusive profession. to better serve all.

The mission of the Hanger Foundation is to advance our communities by supporting organizations that help people with physical challenges live their lives as fully as possible. To learn more about the scholarship program, our empowerment grants and how you can get involved, visit:

About the Hanger Foundation

The Hanger Foundation was founded in 2009 by Hanger, Inc., a leading provider of orthotics and prosthetics patient care services and solutions. Hanger’s legacy of charitable giving began over 160 years ago. For many years, clinicians and Hanger employees have regularly and generously donated millions of dollars in care and financial contributions to a variety of causes, including difficult cases in their own communities. In 2009, Hanger formalized and increased its philanthropic action by creating a non-profit organization, the Hanger Foundation. For more information visit:

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