Chief Executive Officer
As Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of East Coast Orthotic and Prosthetic Corp, (ECOP), Mr. Benenati has over 25 years of experience in the O & P field, and possesses the knowledge and skills required to operate a successful, service-oriented corporation. An assertive, hard-working entrepreneur and Certified Orthotist, Mr. Benenati has helped build ECOP into a stable, responsive corporation by offering quality orthotic and prosthetic products quickly and efficiently with reduced costs and increased customer satisfaction. Moreover, Mr. Benenati has been able to establish solid business relationships in the tri-state area because of his commitment to ECOP’s patients and their needs.
Mr. Benenati is proud board member for Crutches 4 Kids and was honored by the organization in 2016 for his philanthropic efforts. He has been involved in Guardians of Healing medical missions, providing medical assistance and care to those who could not afford it in Haiti. He was also the 2017Humanitarian Award Recipient by the Children of China Pediatric Foundation (CCPF) and was recognized in 2016 by Alexandra’s Playground, a charity-organization that is near and dear to his heart. He was previously recognized by his alma mater, Dowling College, as one its “Top 40 in 40” graduates.
Mr. Benenati’s goal is to continue to make a difference in the lives of others through sound leadership, clinical expertise, mentoring, and most of all, the passion he brings to his work. Mr. Benenati and ECOP have been featured in the media on WNYW, WABC, NY1, News 12 Long Island, New York Newsday, and Crain’s NY, among other media outlets.
As President and a co-founder of East Coast Orthotic and Prosthetic Corp., (ECOP), he founded ECOP in 1997 with his brother Vincent A. Benenati. Mr. Benenati received his Bachelor’s of Science in BusinessAdministration from Long Island University, C.W. Post.
Mr. Benenati, who is an ABC/BOC-certified orthotic fitter, has over thirty years of experience in operations and production management. In addition to his extensive experience in operations, Mr. Benenati is also an expert in manufacturing and production flow, with an extensive background in the industry. He conducts various training seminars in cost effective inventory management systems and was instrumental in securing the purchase and implementation of Medico CAD/CAM. ECOP was only the 2nd company in the United States to use this advanced technological manufacturing method. Mr. Benenati’s dedication and leadership skills are evident from the organizational structure that he has built. He places a huge emphasis on continually mentoring ECOP’s clinical and non-clinical staff regardless of their position. Such mentoring has been a key factor in strengthening ECOP’s employee retention rate and overall employee morale.
A member of various associations including the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA), The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC) the Board of Certification (BOC), International and American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists (AAOP), Mr. Benenati keeps abreast of all the changes in the industry so that ECOP can adapt quickly to them.
Compliance & Quality Assurance Officer
Mary Louise Lea, R.D. joined us in July 2009 and has made an immediate impact on our business. A graduate from SUNY Oneonta, Mrs. Lea had her first clinical internship at C.W. registered dietician and has had extensive experience working in both hospitals and nursing homes, such as Hempstead Park Nursing and Rehabilitation, Hempstead General Hospital, South Oaks and Petit Fleur, in both clinical and administrative positions. She helped develop the QA department as a Clinical Nutrition Manager at Hempstead Park Nursing Home.
Mrs. Lea is responsible for in-servicing all our staff, as well as maintaining our Policy & Procedures Manual. She works closely with the American Board for Certification in Orthotics & Prosthetics (ABC), American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA), Medicare and Medicaid, as well as hospitals and nursing facilities to ensure overall compliance with rules and regulations.
Executive Vice President & Chief Transformation Officer
Mr. Ragusa joined ECOP in 2013 to provide thought leadership and innovative business solutions as ECOP seeks to enhance the value proposition to our customers and patients. He also leads the legal function including helping structure strategic relationships. Mr. Ragusa has been instrumental in implementing enhanced service delivery standards and operating improvements as ECOP.
Mr. Ragusa has been instrumental in implementing enhanced service delivery standards and operating improvements as ECOP continuously strives to improve its business model and service to patients and providers. Furthermore, he leads company efforts to promote greater discipline and accountability as a means to reduce delivery times and improve quality.
Mr. Ragusa spent almost his entire career as a senior executive in the insurance industry. Before joining ECOP, he was a corporate officer at AIG where he led the Federal Reserve Supervision Program. This enterprise-wide number one corporate initiative engaged over 1,000 employees across the globe to transform the organization in preparation for Federal Reserve Supervision.
Prior to AIG, Mr. Ragusa spent almost 28 years at MetLife, working in many broad roles across the organization and holding a myriad of positions and titles up to Executive Vice President (since 2005). Most recently, he led the Business Architecture group of US Business, where he oversaw efforts to simplify infrastructure, reduce complexity and improve the ease at which the company conducts business. Prior to that, Mr. Ragusa led the strategic architecture and business performance group of MetLife’s retail business. In that capacity he was responsible for improving business results, strategic planning, reengineering, sourcing, M&A and new business opportunities, market intelligence, and business analytics. From 2000 to 2008, Mr. Ragusa led many of MetLife’s corporate functions on a global basis, taking on additional areas as the years went by. They included: Corporate Compliance; Internal Audit; Corporate Real Estate; Procurement; Security and Safety; Special Regulatory Matters; Privacy; and Business Continuity. He led several transformations
From 2000 to 2008, Mr. Ragusa led many of MetLife’s corporate functions on a global basis, taking on additional areas as the years went by. They included: Corporate Compliance; Internal Audit; Corporate Real Estate; Procurement; Security and Safety; Special Regulatory Matters; Privacy; and Business Continuity. He led several transformations includingglobalizing and strengthening the ethics and compliance function; implementing best practices across the audit function; formulating a comprehensive space strategy; and transforming corporate procurement from transaction based order takers to a strategic sourcing asset.
Mr. Ragusa’s most notable previous positions at MetLife included Chief of Staff to two Chairmen and CEOs, Corporate Secretary, Chief Compliance Officer, and Assistant and Associate General Counsel. Mr. Ragusa played pivotal roles in many of MetLife’s most noteworthy transactions, including the sale of the company’s medical business, the acquisition of New England Financial, the transformation of MetLife from a mutual to public company and the acquisition and integration of Travelers Life and Annuity.
Mr. Ragusa played pivotal roles in many of MetLife’s most noteworthy transactions, including the sale of the company’s medical business, the acquisition of New England Financial, the transformation of MetLife from a mutual to a public company and the acquisition and integration of Travelers Life and Annuity.
Prior to joining MetLife, Mr. Ragusa worked as an attorney at Reavis & McGrath (now Fulbright & Jaworski). He graduated Fordham University, summa cum laude, and St. John’s University School of Law, where he was Managing Editor of the Law Review.
Mr. Mitchell joined East Coast Orthotic & Prosthetic in November 2011, ascontroller, to provide the financial perspective and leadership necessary for the continued growth and expansion of the company. In addition to creating and maintaining finance and banking relationships, he is also responsible for heading up other functional areas such as tax and risk management.
Mr. Mitchell joined ECOP with more than three decades experience as a senior financial professional with diversified experience in bothmulti-nationaland domestic organizations in various industries. He was consistently acknowledged and rewarded for creating and building controllership and finance functions during periods of both dynamic growth and retrenchment at these organizations. As he implemented leading accounting and finance functions and robust processes, he successfully established strong networks of banking relationships, skillfully negotiated loan transactions and led merger and acquisition activities.
Mr. Mitchell spent the majority of his career with Paxar Corp., a publicly traded multinational manufacturing company with operations in a multitude of countries on 4 different continents. While atPaxar, his positions and titles progressed from Division Controller to Corporate Treasurer. Mr. Mitchell helped fuel significant growth over the years, with revenues increasing from $40 million to well in excess of $600 million. Among his many contributions, Mr. Mitchell played integral roles in a number of strategic acquisitions, managed a syndicated bank group of 15 banks, negotiated bank/credit facilities totaling almost $1 billion, achieved significant savings through innovative process redesign and reduced the effective tax rate of the company from 40% to 28% via tax minimization strategies. Prior to embarking on his financial career in industry, Mr. Mitchell worked in public accounting. He graduated from Bernard M. Baruch College and subsequently earned his Master of Business Administration from St. John’s University.
Prior to embarking on his financial career in industry, Mr. Mitchell worked in public accounting. He graduated from Bernard M. Baruch College and subsequently earned his Master of Business Administration from St. John’s University.
Corporate Clinical Director | Prosthetist/Orthotist
Christopher Berger, C.P.O. is our Corporate Clinical Director at ECOP. He came to ECOP from Strong Hospital in Rochester, NY where he spent three years as a staff prosthetist and two as the senior certified orthotist/prosthetist. During his tenure at the University of Rochester, Mr. Berger expanded upon his depth and breadth of orthotics and prosthetics; his clinical expertise is to include all aspects of the disciplines.
Prior to his position in Rochester, Mr. Berger worked in private practice where he completed the residency program required to become an ABC certified practitioner, becoming a CPO. As part of his ongoing education, Mr. Berger worked at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he was responsible for the orthotic and prosthetic care of children. In addition to an outstanding academic and clinical career, Mr. Berger has given lectures at Strong Hospital’s Rehab department, the Nazareth College School of Physical Therapy, the University Of Buffalo Department Of Orthopedics, as well as ECMC’s Outpatient and Inpatient Physical Therapy departments. Furthermore, Mr. Berger is a frequent guest speaker at the Department of Orthopedics at New York’s Columbia University. Mr. Berger has extensive experience in both upper and lower extremity prosthetic design, fitting and fabrication. His continuing education in those areas has been well documented. Recently he has done clinical work with the Utah arm for trans radial, trans humeral, shoulder disarticulation and four quarter shoulder amputations. He also has extensive clinical expertise in the fitting of microprocessor controlled systems for lower extremity amputees. He has experience with advanced technologies to include, computerized knee systems, and computerized ankle systems and myo-electric systems. Mr. Berger has also done extensive work with the orthotic patient population with a myriad of orthotic patients to include stroke, paralysis, orthopedic patients, scoliosis and all orthotic and prosthetic issues related to diabetes.
In addition to the aforementioned accomplishments, Mr. Christopher G. Berger is the resident director at ECOP. He continually mentors young, aspiring clinicians in their clinical work, but also guiding them through their research interests. His research interest at this time is based on patient outcomes related to hydrostatic transtibial socket design and vacuum assisted socket systems.
Mr. Berger visited Germany and was trained in a new procedure to fit prosthetics known as “Endo-Exo Prosthesis” which uses surgically implanted prosthetics with an externally fitted outer prosthesis. The Endo-Exo Prosthesis permits full mobility of the stump on all levels. ECOP is the first company to utilize this new technological design on an American patient. Mr. Berger has been featured in the media on in Newsday and Buffalo’s YNN, among other news outlets and publications
Prosthetic Team Lead | Prosthetist/Orthotist
Anthony is a licensed prosthetist and orthotist, and a Member of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists with over 35 years of clinical experience. Prior to joining our practice he was a Director in a privately held prosthetic and orthotic laboratory with offices in New York and New Jersey. He began his professional career while serving as an orthotist in the United States Air Force before returning to his family’s practice in 1985. He served as a member of the Board of Directors and is a Past President of the New York Orthotics and Prosthetics Association.
Having trained and worked in Texas, Germany and New York, and indoctrinated with a strict adherence to the classic principles of fit, function and form, Anthony offers extensive technical and clinical experience with patient focused, value driven solutions through effective design and selective application of technologies.
While his practice concentrated on lower limb prosthetics he also specializes in the comprehensive orthotic management of pediatric and adult neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disorders.
He is certified to fit advanced technologies including sub-atmospheric ( elevated vacuum) socket designs, integrated microprocessor and myoelectric controlled limbs, stance control knee ankle foot orthoses and various scoliosis bracing including the Rigo Cheneau Orthosis.
After over 35 years of working in the profession, he remains passionate about his work and is excited about what future technology can offer to the profession and to the patients we serve. He adheres to a practical philosophy that as a profession we not only make limbs and braces, we make people walk and restore function. He remains committed to that philosophy.
According to the The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO), a prosthetist/orthotist is defined as: "a health care professional who uses evidence-based practice to provide clinical assessment, prescription, technical design, and fabrication of prosthetic and/or orthotic devices.What does an orthotist and prosthetist do? ›
Orthotists and prosthetists design and fabricate medical supportive devices and measure and fit patients for them. These devices include artificial limbs (arms, hands, legs, and feet), braces, and other medical or surgical devices.What skills do you need to be a prosthetist? ›
Orthotists and prosthetists must have excellent communication skills. They must be able to communicate effectively with the technicians who often create the medical devices. They must also be able to explain to patients how to use and care for the devices. Detail oriented.How long does it take to become a prosthetist? ›
After graduating from high school, it takes between six to eight years to become an orthotist or prosthetist. The amount of time it takes varies based on the program of study and length of residency.