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In Memoriam - Dr. Fedder

September 7, 2010

DATE: September 7, 2010
FOR RELEASE: Immediately
CONTACT: Marketing Manager
(410) 581-6222

Dr. Donald O. Fedder, founder of The Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC) and BOC’s CEO from 1984 to 2006 died on August 28, 2010, at the age of 82.

“Don was an inspiration to so many people,” said BOC president and chief executive Claudia Zacharias, MBA, CAE. “He was a man of multiple achievements – as a pharmacist, a teacher, an advocate, a leader in O&P, a researcher, a husband and father. It was important to Don to give back, and he took joy in doing so. In many ways, Don Fedder was a model of public and community service. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to talk with and learn from him, and I feel privileged to play a part in the stewardship of his legacy. We will miss him.”

Fedder began his career as a pharmacist after graduating from the University of Maryland's pharmacy school in 1950. His pharmacy in Dundalk, Maryland, was the first in the state to carry home health medical equipment and orthotics, which led to his development of an orthotic practice during the 1960s. After 20 years, he sold the pharmacy, planning to focus on orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) matters. He became a consultant to the National Board for Orthotic Certification, and in 1974 he was also recruited to his alma mater's School of Pharmacy faculty. As a clinical instructor there, he became active in the school's Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) program. His research concentrated on how modifiable behavior could make a difference in health, reducing disease risk, increasing patient compliance with medicines, and improving relationships between patients and health care providers. He also founded ENABLE-MD: The Center for Community Outreach, which trained health care workers to help high-risk populations with chronic diseases achieve and maintain control of their illnesses. The innovative program earned him community recognition and the University of Maryland, Baltimore's 2005 Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Award.

Returning to college in his 50s, Fedder earned both master's and doctoral degrees from the Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 1984, he founded BOC to facilitate increasing the professionalism and the capacity of the O&P arena to meet the needs of the community.

BOC recently honored Fedder through the opening of a new headquarters wing bearing his name. The Don Fedder Suite expanded BOC's Owings Mills, Maryland, offices by more than one-third. “This organization,” Zacharias noted at the dedication of the Fedder Suite, “was built on Dr. Fedder's belief that all O&P practitioners should be required to pass comprehensive, psychometrically sound examinations that demonstrate competence.”

Fedder was recognized as a Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association and the Society for Public Health Education and a Senior Fellow at the Center on Drugs and Public Policy. He also served multiple terms as president of the Maryland Public Health Association. In November 2009, Fedder retired from the Maryland School of Pharmacy as a professor emeritus.

Well-known for his support of the arts and the Baltimore community, Fedder believed in learning as a life-long process. He often remarked that just as his students learned from him, he learned from them.

“Don was the heart and soul of BOC for many years,” said Sharon Nichelson, CMOF, chairwoman of BOC's Board of Directors. “He was a thoughtful and giving individual, committed to enabling community access to care. Locally and nationally, he had a profound impact on thousands of healthcare professionals, students – and, ultimately, the patients.”

Colleagues at the University of Maryland's School of Pharmacy have created a graduate fellowship in PHSR in memory of Fedder. Contributions to the fellowship can be sent to Janice Batzold at jbatzold@rx.umaryland.edu (telephone 410-706-1711).

Since 1984, the Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC) has provided credentials demonstrating the competence and proficiency of O&P professionals. BOC offers NCCA-accredited certification programs in five disciplines: orthotics, prosthetics, pedorthics, orthotic fitting, and mastectomy fitting. BOC's facility accreditation program partners with Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetic, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) suppliers to meet standards set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and improve business practices. BOC credentials celebrate and recognize the competence, professionalism and safe practice environments of BOC-certified practitioners and BOC-accredited facilities.

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