Category Archives: Patient Care

How to help your patient find a prosthetist

Choosing a Prosthetist

A Guide for Medical Professionals

Referring a patient to Collier means they will receive ongoing care recommendations as they work towards their rehabilitation goals. After a patient is referred, our job is to evaluate the fit and function of the prosthesis. We can then discuss options that will allow them to find the prosthetic configuration option that will allow them to reach their goals as well as the information their insurance company will require.

Are your amputee patients overwhelmed and frustrated with the process of getting their prosthesis?

Are they currently in a prosthetic socket that is uncomfortable and difficult to wear?

Does your patient feel secure and safe with how their prosthesis functions?

Are they able to use their prosthesis to achieve their goals in life?

If you have a patient that currently has an ill-fitting prosthesis or one with components which do not provide optimal fit or function, they will need a new prescription. New documentation needs to reflect the patient’s current and potential physical condition, their K-level and problem with their current device. Past documentation should be in place for existing patients which speeds up the process.

Document

Evaluation Checklist for Physician

  • Physical Exam
  • History of Amputation
  • Functional Deficits
  • Functional Level
  • Motivation to use prosthesis
  • Describe the condition of the residual limb
  • Patient’s past experience with prosthesis

If a replacement prosthesis is needed, describe the condition of current prosthesis or component and your recommendation based on your functional level evaluation.

Diagnose

Confirm the K-level. Centers for Medicaid services physician letter.

K1 – Functional Level 1

The patient has the ability or potential to use a prosthesis for transfer or ambulation on level surfaces at fixed cadence.

K2 – Functional Level 2

The patient has the ability or potential for ambulation with the ability to traverse low-level environmental barriers such as curbs, stairs or uneven surfaces. Typical of the limited community ambulator.

K3 – Functional Level 3

The patient has the ability or potential for ambulation with variable cadence. Typical of the community ambulator who has the ability to navigate most environmental barriers and may have vocational, therapeutic or exercise activity that demands prosthetic utilization beyond simple locomotion.

K4 – Functional Level 4

The patient has the ability or potential for prosthetic ambulation that exceeds basic ambulation skills, exhibiting high impact, stress or energy levels. Typical of the prosthetic demands of the child, active adult, or athlete.

Collaborate

The Collier prosthetist collaborates with the rehabilitation team, physician(s), therapist, patient and family members to provide improved prosthetic care for each patient. This collaboration will help develop short and long-term goals through their journey to better help them improve their prosthetic progress and outcomes.  During this transparent process with the team, the patient becomes well educated through the thorough communication with all members. Collective input from all team members creates a clear plan for better patient outcomes, which leads to higher patient satisfaction with improved functional results.

Why should you choose a Collier Prosthetist? Patients are our First Priority.

Collier Prosthetic Patient Care — How to Choose a Prosthetist

 

We understand that every patient is unique, physically and psychologically and we have the experience and compassion to guide them through this journey.

We have gathered some resources that might help your patients when they have questions that might be beyond your scope of service.

The Amputee Coalition on preparing your limb for a prosthesis

Upper Limb Loss Questions

Certification Boards

The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthotics (ABC)

abcop.org
info@abcop.org
703-836-7114

The Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC)

bocusa.org

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Collier Orthotics Hospital On-Call Services

Collier O&P is committed to having a practitioner available for after hours, weekends, and Holiday services. For our team to serve you effectively and timely please consider the time frames below for our practitioners to provide superior patient care.

Hospital on-call services for orthotic patients.

1. Early morning orders received by phone before 12:00pm will be serviced from 11:30 to 1:00pm.

2. Orders received by phone after 12:00pm will be serviced by end of business day.

We can fit your patients for any of the following off-the-shelf products with same day service:

  • Spine
  • Hip
  • Knee Orthoses
  • Minerva CTO
  • Cervical Post-Op Management
  • AFO
  • Helmets
  • Fracture Management

Custom TLSO’s: Our team is committed to a 24 hour turn around on TLSO devices.

For us to be successful and meet your expectations, orders are to be called in by 3:00pm. This will allow a 3-hour window to get the patient evaluated, casted/measured and their device manufactured for guaranteed next day delivery. For after hours care please call 510-502-3515.

 

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Practitioner Paul Easterwood – Certified Orthotic Assistant & Certified Pedorthist

From creative baker to creating orthoses

Paul’s journey from orthotic tech to his dream job of helping patients at Laurence and Collier O and P.

Paul was a full time assistant baker and head cake decorator in 2002. The hours were early — he remembers the alarm clock going off at 3am and thinking, is this what I want to do with my life?

In the summer of 2002, I met Bob Jensen and he hired me as an orthotic technician. The work was part time at first – after I finished my day at the bakery I would drive to Laurence Orthopedic and begin my shift modifying and fabricating custom arch supports. My background in art made this a pretty natural transition for me, and I found the job challenging but fun. After a few months, I was hired full time as an orthotic and prosthetic technician and left my job at the bakery.

I would study foot anatomy books and ask questions about everything. I really wanted to understand why I was doing what I was doing, what function did this modification serve? How does this affect how the foot orthotic feels on the patient’s foot?

Over the next few years I worked with the technicians at Laurence, learning how to fabricate AFO’s, knee braces, spine braces and prosthetics of all kinds.

I was constantly learning something new and developing my own techniques for fabricating devices. Our fabrication was pretty efficient in those days but I still thought we could to better, I created a workflow board and job tracking to get the lab more organized. With fabricating knowledge, I started shadowing the clinicians at Laurence helping with patient care. I found this was what I truly loved to do. I took a certified fitter course, took my board certification exam and became a certified orthotic fitter.

I continued to fabricate as well as see patients. Most of my time was spent seeing patients and overseeing fabrication as the lab supervisor. I still wanted more so I went back to college. Nights and weekends were spent going to class and falling asleep with books. I then went on to take my boards in 2008 to become a Certified Orthotic Assistant to further my patient care scope of practice.

At this point my focus was almost all on patient care, casting, fitting and follow up of my patients, going to clinics and assisting in the formulation of design for the devices I was providing. I was seeing a lot of people with ankle and foot dis-function — it is something that is complex and challenging. It is satisfying to me if I can help someone regain a function or reduce some pain with their daily activities.

With a lot of my focus on the foot and ankle I attended the Francis Tuttle Pedorthic Program.

In 2017 I took my board certification and became a Certified Pedorthist. I still like to fabricate but my heart is for helping people by making a small difference in someone’s life and seeing how it affects them is what drives me. I have patients that were once active; hikers, runners and even some marathon runners they have come in, now dragging their foot as they walk, hoping that anything will help. I talk to them about their goals, “What do you want this brace to do for you?” most of the time the answer is walk without stumbling. Some of those people have returned to their active lifestyle, as much as they tell me I’ve helped them it’s gratifying for me to see how much it helps them.

I look forward to working tougher cases in ankle and foot orthotics. I love to teach people what I know, so ultimately having a bigger team to teach and learn from is what I look forward to over the next few years.

You can contact Paul Easterwood at our Oakland Office at 510-658-2062.
Collier Family of Companies
Sacramento, Pleasant Hill, Oakland
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Now part of the Collier Family – Laurence Orthotics and Prosthetics

Laurence Orthopedic is now associated with Collier Orthotics and Prosthetics.

Laurence Orthopedic was established by Matt Laurence in 1946 and has been providing prosthetic and orthotic patient care services to the Oakland and the East Bay communities for over 70 years.
Laurence Orthopedic specializes in orthotic treatment for scoliosis and clubfoot and state-of-the-art prosthetic services for veterans with limb loss.

Director of Prosthetics George Villarruel talks about the Collier-Laurence transition.

My name is George Villarruel, Director of Prosthetics at Collier-Laurence Orthotics and Prosthetics. I want to speak about the additions-acquisition of Laurence Orthotics and Prosthetics into the Collier Family. This will allow us to service new accounts and to spread our philosophy of compassion and service to the orthotics and prosthetics communities. We feel we can provide excellent service to the pediatric and adult populations in need of an orthotic or prosthetic device.

Continue to our website for help with your orthosis or prosthesis.

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Local Orthopedist Volunteers with Operation Rainbow, Healing Patients Around the World

Operation Rainbow provides life-changing medical care to more than 80,000 children and young adults, including more than 18,000 surgeries in 19 developing countries.

Millions around the world live everyday with the pain caused by congenital birth defects and accidents. In the poverty-stricken countries where many of these children live, public healthcare is lacking and families are too poor to address illness or injury as it arises, and they have given thousands of patients the opportunity for a better life.

Generous donors and volunteers are key in helping us change their lives for the better. Last year, Operation Rainbow performed more than 460 free surgeries and treated more than 6,500 other patients for orthopedic and other medical conditions not requiring surgery. The Operation Rainbow team completed 11 medical missions to communities in Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Haiti and the West Bank. Part of their mission is to educate local health professionals to encourage medical self-sufficiency.

All team members are volunteers who participate without compensation on their own time. Without the generous donation of supplies from vendors and assistance from friends and family they couldn’t do this work. And there is so much work to do.

You can help educate others about Operation Rainbow by sharing this message, donating or volunteering.

http://Operationrainbow.org

Jon Boone works at Roseville Kaiser orthopedic department as The Senior Orthopedic Technician. He has referred patients to Collier for many years and we have donated orthopedic bracing supplies to the Operation Rainbow since 2009.

“Other than my first mission that was ‘eye opening ‘, the most memorable was our mission to Haiti following the earthquake in 2010. Many children had lost everything… their homes and families and still they would sing songs and help each other as they recovered from injuries. Being able to take my skills and apply it helping those less fortunate makes all the time and expense worthwhile,” says Boone.

Jon’s first mission was to Ecuador in 2009. Since then, he has made 16 missions to Ecuador, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Mexico. His next mission is to Honduras.

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Congratulations to JR Brandt! BOC announces their First Newberry Award Recipient

Former Collier Practitioner JR Brandt is named inagural recipient of the BOC 2017 Newberry Award for Extraordinary Service.

Rick Todd COF, managing partner at Collier Orthotics & Prosthetics, has many great things to say about JR when interviewed by BOC, and the positive impact he had on their growing business.

Why does JR deserve this award?

Because he is knowledgeable in Orthotics and Prosthetics, BOC accreditation standards, Medicare standards and his outstanding service with patients. He has the ability to give of himself and teach in the area of Orthotics and Prosthetics as well as everyday life. JR has the ability to communicate with physicians and physical therapists on difficult cases. He works for the overall interest of the business and outcome as a whole, not income alone. Follow up is assured in all of the above areas. JR is an amazing family man and great friend, even if I didn’t always want to hear what he had to say.

You can read the press release here.

How did you meet JR, and what has been the impact of his service throughout your career?

I originally met JR in 1992 when I was a Bledsoe sales representative in Northern California.  JR ran the Shriners Orthotic and Prosthetic practice in both San Francisco and then in Sacramento.  When dealing with JR in regards to product purchases he was very respectful of my position even though I was just a salesman peddling products to Shriners.  He always treated me with the utmost respect and every time I saw him he had some funny story to tell me, as well he was full of information and willing to teach.

I did not see JR for many years except at an occasional trade show.  When I would bump into him it was just like I had seen him in the past.  He was friendly, great to talk with and like a long lost friend and always full of knowledge.

In 2012 I was in the midst of growing my first orthotic practice. I started to work with Jim Hewlett in regards to accreditation through BOC and applying for my first Medicare license. At that time I found out that JR was working with BOC as well as Jim Hewlett and doing site surveys.  We rekindled our relationship.  Jim let me know that JR was interested in getting back to seeing patients again, and that he would like to do patient care. I then hired JR as the director of Orthotics for my company.

JR was an open book and not only was he a fantastic practitioner; he is very accomplished in our field.
Watch the presentation, JR says Thank You.

He was helpful in all the Medicare and accreditation rules, and if he didn’t have the answer he has a relationship with someone who did.  He was also very helpful in the setup of our second Orthotic and Prosthetic facility. He understood from his Shriner days, the function of utilizing space in a manufacturing area. He was also helpful in finding the appropriate products and tools to set up a state of the art manufacturing facility. In the early days of this new business he had the ability to streamline systems, bring employees together, and communicate with physicians about patients and product philosophy, as well as the biomechanics that went along with this.  JR has the ability and interest to get the best outcome of all situations, and give of himself as a mentor and a teacher to my staff.

Not a day goes by without thinking how he is doing in his present situation. JR was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on September 4th 2016 and underwent seven rounds of intense chemotherapy. He was a candidate for a Bone Marrow Transplant at Stanford University Hospital and after an exhausting international search a 10/10 donor was located. On March 30th JR received his transplant and after 100 days of living at Stanford he is finally home recovering and in remission. He still has a long road to go in recovering his blood counts, energy and general wellbeing but he is as always in good spirits and we at Collier continue to wish him and his family well.

His smile and jovialness is missed by all at Collier Orthotics and Prosthetics and we hope to be able to see him soon.

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Collier Practitioner Team of Specialists


Bilingual Practitioner
CCS Paneled

Director of Prosthetics
George Villarruel

Read George's Bio Here

George@CollierOandP.com

Sacramento: 916-979-9729
East Bay: 925-943-1119
Oakland: 510-658-2062

Bilingual Practitioner
CCS Paneled

CO: Certified Orthotist
Ray Diaz

Read Ray's Bio Here

Rdiaz@CollierOandP.com

Sacramento: 916-979-9729
East Bay: 925-943-1119
Oakland: 510-658-2062

CCS Paneled

BOCO, CPA
Orthotist & Assistant Prosthetist
Dennis Johnston

Read Dennis' Bio Here

Dennis@CollierOandP.com

Sacramento: 916-979-9729
East Bay: 925-943-1119
Oakland: 510-658-2062

COF, Managing Partner
Richard W. Todd

Read Rick's Bio Here

Rick@CollierOandP.com

Sacramento: 916-979-9729
East Bay: 925-943-1119
Oakland: 510-658-2062

COF, Managing Partner
Michael Todd

Read Michael's Bio Here

Mike@CollierOandP.com

Sacramento: 916-979-9729
East Bay: 925-943-1119
Oakland: 510-658-2062

Therapeutic Shoe & Orthopedic Soft Goods Specialist
John Kawakami

Read John's Bio Here

John@CollierOandP.com

Sacramento: 916-979-9729
East Bay: 925-943-1119
Oakland: 510-658-2062

Bilingual Practitioner
CCS Paneled

CPO
Certified Prosthetist & Orthotist
Brian Lee

Read Brian's Bio Here

Brian@CollierOandP.com

Sacramento: 916-979-9729
East Bay: 925-943-1119
Oakland: 510-658-2062

COF
Certified Orthotic Fitter
NIck DeGabriele

Read Nick's Bio Here

Nick@CollierOandP.com

Sacramento: 916-979-9729
East Bay: 925-943-1119
Oakland: 510-658-2062

COA, C. Ped, COF

Paul Easterwood

Read Paul's Bio Here
Sacramento: 916-979-9729
East Bay: 925-943-1119
Oakland: 510-658-2062

CPO

Greg Huckert

Read Greg's Bio Here
Sacramento: 916-979-9729
East Bay: 925-943-1119
Oakland: 510-658-2062

The Collier practitioner team work with you and your care team to ensure the most successful outcome for your goals. With offices in Sacramento and Pleasant Hill, we serve patients throughout Northern California. If you are frustrated with your prosthetic, do’t hesitate to ask one of our practitioners – there may be options available to reduce pain and get you back to your daily activities.

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