The Master of Science Program in Prosthetics and Orthotics (MSPO) traces its roots to the Newington Orthotic and Prosthetic certificate program. In 1997 the Hanger Orthopedic Group (now known as Hanger, Inc.) acquired the Newington program. The certificate program that prepared professional orthotic and prosthetic practitioners continued. A decade later it began to incorporate academic coursework at the University of Hartford with the clinical training. It was a mandate from the National Commission on Orthotics and Prosthetics, however, that all prosthetics and orthotics educational programs be elevated from post-baccalaureate certificate programs to master's entry, that ultimately led to the creation of the Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics program in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions. In the fall semester of 2011, the initial cohort of students began a first-of-its kind degree program at the University. In the years since, these students have learned to design, fabricate, and fit prostheses and orthoses for patients who have lost limbs or have other disabling conditions of the limbs and spine.
The strength of the MSPO program lies in the unprecedented level of collaboration between the academic community and the skilled prosthetics/orthotics practitioners and instructors. Hanger, Inc. is the world's premier provider of orthotic and prosthetic patient care services. For nearly 150 years, Hanger has maintained a tradition of excellence in clinical expertise, research expertise, and patient satisfaction. One of the distinguishing features of Hanger Clinic (a subsidiary company) is its commitment to education through its many partnerships and the willingness of the company's leaders and clinicians to share ideas about the latest developments in technology, clinical techniques, and innovative business practices. This allows students to have integrated clinical experiences as well as clinical affiliations in a number of settings such as group practices, private patient-care facilities, hospitals, research centers, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities. Our partnership with Hanger Clinic provides educational and clinical training for our students as well as professional preparation that embraces innovation, strives for excellence, and is marked by a commitment to patient care communities.