Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC), a nonprofit organization that provides durable medical equipment (DME) and supplies to the disabled community, announced that it has formed a partnership with Prosthetic Hope International (PHI), a nonprofit organization that provides O&P rehabilitation care. The partners will recycle and reuse prosthetic limbs and components and distribute them to prosthetists, educators, and researchers domestically and abroad to help low-income prosthetics patients.
“So many unused artificial limbs end up in landfills because people don’t know what to do with them,” said Rob Kistenberg, MPH, CP, LP, FAAOP, PHI founder and president. “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. In turn, PHI will have access to a wider distribution network for its O&P supplies as well as shipping resources, broadening the reach of both organizations.
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 redistributing 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.”