Five Questions for Chris Jones, CPO
Chris Jones, CPO, is president and co-owner of Rebound Prosthetics, Denver, Colorado, a full-service prosthetic facility that serves some of O&P's most courageous patients. Jones, who says his patients are his main professional motivation and inspiration, is a lifetime outdoorsman who grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River in Alton, Illinois. There, he spent much of his time hiking, cycling, fishing, and water skiing. He also began snow skiing almost 30 years ago, and told The O&P EDGE that Colorado's powder days were one of the driving forces that brought him to settle in the West in 1995.
Jones is also a history buff. On display at Rebound are nearly 30 historical prostheses that date from the pre-Civil War era to the 1980s. He calls them "wonderful teaching aids" that demonstrate how history directly affects the present and tends to repeat itself. He told The O&P EDGE, "Prosthetists tend to claim ownership of different designs and shapes, but if you look back through old drawings, writings, and photographs, you will see much similarity to today's designs.... I'm certain that in 20, even 40 years, we will be able to look back and see where those 'new' technologies came from and trace their similarities through the years."
1. How did you become interested in O&P?
I was working toward my physical therapy degree and was introduced to the field by a friend of my sister. I cut short a ski trip to shadow a prosthetist for a couple of days to see what he did.... What I experienced captivated me from the start.
2. What has motivated or inspired you in your life and professional pursuits?
Once I began practicing, I would have to say that my patients inspired and motivated me. One whom I admire most is Maj. David Rozelle, the first amputee to return to Iraq after sustaining a transtibial amputation. Another is Tom White, MD, who is an accomplished marathoner, distance runner, and coach. After 25 years of running on an injured leg, he opted for a transtibial amputation, then ran the New York Marathon nine months later. His mile pace is now under eight minutes. And there's Sgt. Edward O'Neil, Army Special Forces, who sustained a horrific leg injury from an IED [improvised explosive device]. His leg was salvaged but not able to function well, and he decided an amputation would make him more viable in his chosen career. Due to his nature and his training, he has made tremendous advances in a very short period of time and will return to his former job with the Special Forces. The personal gratification for me is knowing I had a hand in improving quality life for these and all my other patients.
3. Please describe what your company does.
Rebound Prosthetics is a full-service prosthetic facility that's privately owned and operated by me and my wife. Aside from providing patient care, we have an on-site lab where all design and fabrication is performed. I believe in keeping everything under one roof to ensure quality in the finished product and to make sure each project is completed in a timely manner.
4. What are your professional goals?
When you run a business like ours, your personal and professional goals tend to blend together. We treat our patients as friends and family and tend to have rather close relationships with them all. Our goals have always been the same: to maintain close ties with our patients while providing the most advanced and appropriate prostheses for them. I never plan to sit back and relax too much because that's when you get sloppy and your attention to detail withers.
5. What advice would you give to someone just entering the O&P profession or starting his or her own business?
Hard work and having a sound business plan are key, and don't be afraid of tightening your belt either because anything worthwhile doesn't come easy. Proper training and a creative approach to problems is a must.