The University of Maine at Presque Isle's Alumni Board of Directors has announced that Cory LaPlante, the owner and CEO of Northern Prosthetics and Orthotics, has been named the recipient of its 2013 Distinguished Recent Alumni Award. LaPlante—who also was just named the U.S. Small Business Administration's Young Entrepreneur for 2013, for both Maine and the New England region—will be presented with the award during the University Day luncheon at Noon on Wednesday, April 10, in the Campus Center.
A member of UMPI's Class of 2005, LaPlante earned his Bachelor's degree in Business Management and later completed his post graduate education in prosthetics from the University of Connecticut, where he graduated as salutatorian. He later completed his residency program at Maine Artificial Limb and Orthotics in Portland as the senior staff resident.
In 2007, LaPlante founded his business Northern Prosthetics and Orthotics in Presque Isle. His state-of-the-art facility has been specifically designed to provide specialized patient care in prosthetics and orthotics. It also provides the region with a close-to-home option, especially important for patients who may find it difficult to travel long distances for these services. In establishing his business, LaPlante secured contracts with local hospitals and insurance companies, as well as a five-year U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs contract in 2010, the very first prosthetic contract with the VA established in Aroostook County. LaPlante currently employs a staff of 10.
While running his business is a full-time job, LaPlante also makes time for career training. His business serves as an accredited clinical site for UMPI's Athletic Training and Physical Therapist Assistant programs, which provides students with important hands-on learning experience before they begin their professional careers.
LaPlante is co-founder and Past President of the Prosthetic and Orthotic Society of Maine and he co-founded the Aroostook Amputee Support Group. He also is a graduate of UMPI's Young Professionals Institute and participated in the highly selective Hanley Center for Health Leadership's Health Leadership Development Program. In addition, Laplante was just notified that he is the recipient of the prestigious U.S. Small Business Administration's Maine Young Entrepreneur award for 2013, as well as the SBA's Young Entrepreneur New England Regional award. He will be honored at an SBA ceremony in Bangor this June.
In nominating LaPlante for the UMPI alumni award, a team of professors in UMPI's College of Professional Programs said: "Cory continues to be the goal-oriented achiever he was as an undergraduate at UMPI. He continues to 'build out' through his demonstrated capacity for life-long learning, his passion and commitment for the County and his patients, and his energy and enthusiasm for positive change."
LaPlante and his wife reside in Presque Isle; they have two sons and a third child on the way.
"Since graduating from the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Cory has exemplified to our current students what anyone with passion and dedication can accomplish upon graduation," said Keith Madore, Director of Alumni Relations. "Cory has made, and continues to make, excellent statewide contributions to the field of prosthetics and orthotics. If the past is any indication of the future, the State will be well served by him for years to come. The University is proud to call Cory one of our own."
The Distinguished Recent Alumni Award is given to a graduate who has been out of college between 2-12 years and has distinguished himself or herself in his or her career or service to community. Past honorees include Scott Boucher '00, Craig Cormier '06, Bryan Thompson '03, Erika Valtinson '05, Neal Labrie '97, Michael P. Johnston '02, and Alana Margeson '00. This is the eighth time the award will be presented during University Day, an event that heightens student awareness of the work being done by peers and how that work applies to service and the professional life of a community.