FODAC Announces Partnership with PHI to Recycle and Reuse Prostheic Limbs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press contact: Lizbeth Dison
Friends of Disabled Adults and Children Form Partnership with
Prosthetic Hope International, Inc.
Project Established to Recycle, Reuse Prosthetic Limbs
Stone Mountain GA – (16 January 2014) – Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC), a non-profit organization providing over $10 million annually in durable medical equipment (DME) and supplies to the disabled community, announced today that it has formed a partnership with Prosthetic Hope International, Inc. (PHI), an Atlanta-based non-profit organization providing rehabilitation care for people who need prosthetic and orthotic (P&O) services. The partnership’s main mission is to recycle and reuse prosthetic limbs and components, distributing them to prosthetists, educators and researchers both domestically and abroad for the benefit of those without the resources to secure prostheses (artificial limbs) or orthoses (orthopedic braces).
“So many unused artificial limbs end up in landfills because people don’t know what to do with them,” said Rob Kistenberg, founder and president, PHI. “Overseas, there are thousands of people who have lost limbs due to war, civil conflicts, accidents, disease and natural or man-made disasters. These patients don’t have the resources for medical materials and services for adequate treatment. Locally, we also have patients who, because of insurance limitations or benefit delays, may need assistance with prosthetic rehabilitation. PHI’s partnership with FODAC will allow us to reach into both local and international communities and provide the materials and services these patients need to again fully engage in life.”
The partnership will provide FODAC a place to effectively recycle the prostheses and orthoses it receives in donations, as well as a resource for P&O items needed for shipments overseas. In turn, PHI will have access to a wider distribution network for its P&O supplies as well as shipping resources, broadening the reach of both organizations and making sure needed materials get to more of those patients in need.
Much of the DME FODAC supplies to the disabled community comes via donations, with a large amount coming from private donors, who are looking to provide a “second life” to items like wheelchairs, crutches, and shower benches that are no longer being used. Occasionally, FODAC receives donations of prosthetic limbs, usually either from patients who are upgrading their old devices or from family members cleaning out an estate.
FODAC’s program has been recognized nationwide as a model for recycling DME; each year, the organization keeps 200 tons of materials out of landfills by refurbishing and redistribution of usable equipment, or recycling parts for repair services. But the prosthetic limbs presented a problem.
“We would get these prosthetic limbs in gently-used condition, but we didn’t have a mechanism to efficiently and effectively recycle or reuse them,” said Chris Brand, president and CEO of FODAC. “Prosthetic limbs are expensive to obtain, and we always have clients in need who would be grateful to receive them, but we just had no way to refurbish them to redistribute.”
Brand was introduced to Kistenberg, who is also the co-director of the Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics program at The Georgia Institute of Technology School of Applied Physiology, through a mutual acquaintance at Tools for Life, Georgia Tech’s Assistive Technology Program. The two men soon discovered that each organization filled a service void for the other, meaning that, working together, the two organizations could provide a more complete response to the needs of the disabled worldwide.
“FODAC started sending donated prostheses to PHI,” explained Kistenberg. “We would refurbish and recondition the limbs to be redistributed. What parts we couldn’t use, we could keep in inventory for repair work. We had a new source for materials, and FODAC had a place to recycle these limbs.”
In addition to enhancing FODAC’s recycling program, the partnership also offers both PHI and FODAC more opportunities for on-going support programs.
“While FODAC has an effective system for collecting and distributing HME, we needed a partner to improve our abilities in the P&O area, especially when working on disaster relief programs,” explained Brand.
“FODAC has a long history of providing resources and support to the disabled community domestically and internationally,” said Kistenberg. “This partnership will help create a world where no one who needs an artificial limb has to go without one.”
Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) helps people with injuries and disabilities of all ages regain their mobility, independence and quality of life. The non-profit organization provides more than $10 million annually in refurbished home medical equipment (HME) and home modifications in Georgia and across the United States, all at little or no cost to the recipients. A pioneer in re-use, FODAC keeps 200 tons of materials out of landfills each year by refurbishing and reissuing over 400 HME items every month, and is recognized nationally for best practices. For more information, visit www.fodac.org.
About Prosthetics Hope, Inc.
Prosthetic Hope International (PHI) is a US 501(c)3, non-profit organization committed to providing rehabilitation care for people who need prosthetic and orthotic (P&O) services by developing, operating and supporting P&O clinics; by networking with other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO); and by partnering individuals in need with service providers all over the world. PHI’s goal is to restore independence, mobility and self-sufficiency, thereby enhancing overall quality of life for people who need an artificial limb or an orthotic device—in short, for anyone who needs hope.
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