Prosthetic Laboratories of Rochester, Inc.
When Amy Paulios runs races, as she did most recently at the Boston Marathon, she pays attention to the faces handing out the water. Races don't happen without the volunteers, she thinks. She knows that not only as a runner, but also as a volunteer for everything from a local road race to the medical tent at the Wisconsin Ironman.
Amy believes in paying it back. That thinking motivated her in 2012 to join the ABC exam team, which writes and constructs the certification exam. After attending some meetings and interacting with "intelligent, fun people who are dedicated to the cause", Amy found herself hooked and decided that being an ABC volunteer would be a long-term commitment for her.
As a CPM examiner, Amy sees a lot of new O&P professionals. She appreciates meeting those who aspire to provide sound, thorough, quality care for patients – someone who might think creatively to find the best patient solution. These are the types of practitioners who mirror ABC's mission. "It's not just about filling a prescription," says Amy. "It's about making educated decisions about patient care – decisions that are different for everybody."
Amy challenges students at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) doctoral program in Physical Therapy to embrace this thinking. She sees students who are eager to put what they've read in books into practice, so she strives to bring real-life examples, including patient models, into her lectures. For Amy, teaching is a way to pass on knowledge to someone eager to go out and make a difference in a patient's life. "I get a ton of gratitude from interacting and helping people learn."
O&P doesn't consume Amy's entire world. Amy makes a point of taking time out to appreciate one element that got her into O&P in the first place – a love of the arts. She volunteers at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Arts to remember what drew her to the profession and to enjoy beauty on a regular basis.
Her energy also propels her in a different direction as head coach of the McFarland Spartans softball team, where she encourages her team (including her daughter) to remember the value of teamwork with a strong, positive attitude.
"I may not always have the monetary resources, but I can give my time and energy", enthuses Amy. "I have such strong respect for people who volunteer and the dedication, the hours and the brainpower that go into it."
Amy points out that she is one of the newest members of ABC's volunteer ranks and that other people have been volunteers for decades. "I'm not sure that people really understand how much happens behind-the-scenes – and how it simply wouldn't work without them."