February 2010

Market Mechanics

Lower-extremity companies dig deep to help earthquake victims in Haiti

Celebrities may be getting most of the publicity, but businesses throughout the lower extremity medical community are donating money, products and services to help the victims of the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti.

The 7.0 quake is estimated to have killed more than 200,000 people, injured at least another 250,000, and left 1.5 million already impoverished people homeless. As fractures and other lower extremity injuries became infected and gangrenous due to lack of proper medical care, volunteer surgeons reported performing as many as 70 amputations per day, making prosthetic products a particularly dire need.

In response, the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists voted to make a $5,000 donation to the Red Cross toward immediate assistance for the earthquake-ravaged country. The AAOP also committed to working long-term with groups such as Healing Hands for Haiti (HHH) that will be providing O&P care in the country.

Bethesda, MD-based Hanger Orthopedic Group launched a nationwide prosthetic-limb drive in partnership with Physicians for Peace and Heather Mills. Donated prosthetic limbs are being collected at Hanger’s patient care centers and will then be shipped directly to Physicians for Peace. They will be distributed through Physicians for Peace’s partner network of Healing Hands for Haiti and St. Vincent’s School for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince.

Hanger and its philanthropic organization, The Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation, also pledged to provide a direct cash donation of $25,000 and a $225,000 in orthopedic devices, including limb immobilizers and fracture boots, to two charitable organizations currently providing care in Haiti—Physicians for Peace and Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere).

Even those Hatians who were lucky enough to escape serious injury are still reeling from the loss of homes, possessions and loved ones. Most are so poor that walking is their primary mode of transportation, which means a pair of shoes can be a welcome gift.

To make that happen, Mequon, WI-based Dr. Comfort Shoes has donated more than $1 million worth of shoes and inserts to the people of Haiti, working with the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission to ensure distribution through medical clinics and orphanages.

In addition, New York City-based Eneslow launched an effort to collect gently worn footwear, that will be distributed in Haiti by the charity Soles4Souls.

Physicians for Peace www.physiciansforpeace.org
Project HOPE www.projecthope.org
Northwest Haiti Christian Mission www.nwhcm.org
Soles4Souls www.souls4soles.org

JMS honors injured soldiers’ spirit

JMS Plastics Supply is honoring soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan by donating a portion of its red, white and blue Spirit product sales to the Wounded Warrior Project.

The WWP helps seriously injured soldiers, many of them new amputees, transition from active duty to rehabilitation and retirement while maintaining an active lifestyle.

The project will receive from Neptune, NJ-based JMS a portion of sales from its patriotic-themed J-Foam Spirit EVA and JMS 500 Spirit materials. The J-Foam EVA is designed for the middle layer or top cover for many foot orthoses and cushioning for prosthetic devices. The JMS 500 is the company’s line of high molecular weight, high density polyethylene plastic sheets and plates, used for foot orthoses or leg braces in addition to body jackets.

Delcam debuts orthotic website

Salt Lake City-based CAD-CAM developer Delcam has established a new website dedicated to custom orthotic insoles, at www.orthotics-cadcam.com.

The new website includes detailed information on the Delcam Digital Clinic and Digital Laboratory, with solutions for practitioners, laboratories, and patients. The site also features detailed descriptions of each product, and an online form to request a demonstration.

The practitioner subsection outlines the company’s custom orthotic insole digital manufacturing process: scanning with the iQube foot scanner, modeling with OrthoModel software, milling with OrthoMill software, carving, and managing workflow with OrthoManager software. The laboratories subsection itemizes the advantages, according to the company, of the Delcam Digital Laboratory over traditional plaster casting. The patient subsection offers a user-friendly explanation of the digital manufacturing process.

Each subsection also features links to company news, searchable case studies, videos and event information from the main Delcam website.

Otto Bock backs Paralympic exhibit

Otto Bock Healthcare’s support of the upcoming Paralympic Games will be on display in the form of an exhibition on the history of the event and the movement behind it.

The exhibition is being created by the International Paralympic Committee, with which Otto Bock has partnered since 2005. The German prosthetics company, whose U.S. business is based in Minneapolis, will continue to partner with the IPC through the 2012 Games in London.

Titled “Spirit in Motion – Discover What Moves Us,” the IPC exhibition will be placed in the middle of Whistler for the duration of the Games, from March 12 to 21. It will provide visitors with information about the Paralympic Movement and Paralympic Games History, including specific details on sports, athletes’ stories and background knowledge on technology. Visitors will also be able to try ice sledge hockey, in an original sledge manufactured by Otto Bock.

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