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VA of WNY's newly renovated prosthetics facility to help serve more veterans

Ashley Hirtzel

The VA of Western New York Healthcare System held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its newly renovated Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service Department Thursday.

The upgrades include an additional 385 square-feet worth of Prosthetics and Orthotic Lab space, extra patient exam rooms, an expanded waiting room area and a new drive-up area for staff to bring prosthetics and equipment to the patient’s vehicle.

Certified Prosthetist Orthotist, CPO Eileen Beck says the new state-of-the-art facility will make it easier for the department to work collaboratively with other branches within the VA Healthcare System, as well as outside providers. She says the renovations have also helped increase patient privacy.

“We’re able to see prosthetic patients as walk-in patients so that when that they’re seen by other healthcare providers, such as vascular surgeons they’re able to come right down and be seen and fit and get this process started. Because of the renovation we’re able to use CAD/CAM technology and scanning technology, which rapidly increases the efficiency of our services we provide,” said Beck.

Beck says the upgrades also have the capacity to address the needs of veteran prosthetic patients at any age.

“It’s really important for veterans to know we now have the capacity to handle all of their needs. In the past we may have not had maybe the technology that we do now. So it’s really important for them to know that they can come to the VA, that it’s not an archaic system and that we do have the capacity to address needs both with the higher technology and also the efficiency of care is there,” said Beck.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
The VA of Western New York Healthcare System celebrated their newly renovated Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service Department.

John Bray says he’s been a patient in the prosthetics service department for over 20 years. He says the newly renovated facility has helped him get in and out of appointments quicker.

“It went from being sort of a dungeon like tool shed on dad’s farm to a nice up to date facility. It gives you more confidence seeing that it’s brighter and the technology is now on display. Instead of being sunk in a room and the technician disappears, you can see what’s going on, you can see what they’re doing with your pieces. So, it’s pretty cool,” said Bray.

In 2013 the VA of Western New York’s Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service Department assisted over 16,000 patients and provided more than 70,000 prosthetic related items. Beck says the renovations will allow the clinic to serve more veterans across western New York.