Since 2002, there have been at least 7,700 registered survivors of landmine incidents, with the number growing by approximately 30 per month. While the government of Colombia has made great strides in addressing the problem, the development of a local infrastructure to provide prosthetic treatment to survivors is lagging, and the government has asked for assistance from the international community.
Sikorsky and Hanger Orthopedic Group will provide assistance to the Colombian government by targeting gaps in the current state of care for amputee patients. Initial efforts will focus on training and development of in-country capabilities. Sikorsky is providing four scholarships to Colombian students to attend Hanger’s Certificate Program for Prosthetics in Newington, Conn., where they will complete an intensive nine-month course and internship that prepares them to become qualified clinicians trained in patient assessment, prosthetics fitting and fabrication. The students will then return to Colombia to work in the Central Military Hospital Prosthetics Laboratory.
In addition to the scholarship program, Hanger will team up with the returning students and staff to conduct a comprehensive in-country clinic to help alleviate the backlog of patients needing care. The clinic is scheduled for the summer of 2011 and will be funded by Sikorsky.
With 680-plus patient care centers in 45 states and the District of Columbia, Hanger Orthopedic Group is the world’s premier provider of orthotic and prosthetic patient care. By enhancing human physical capabilities, Hanger helps those with limb loss, paralysis, and debilitating orthopedic anomalies to become productive members of society after a devastating injury or illness. The goal of Hanger’s patient care division is providing personal independence, increased mobility and restored functionality. Additionally, Hanger has businesses in distribution, network management, and device development and commercialization. For more information, visit www.hanger.com.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide.