Practitioner Ray Diaz recently cared for Mr. Harrell, a 50-year-old diabetic. He presented with a very unstable gait and had been previously diagnosed with left foot drop secondary to a stroke and leaving him with left side paralysis. Mr. Harrell would his arms for balance while ambulating, and had experienced a number of falls.
Certified Orthotist Ray Diaz
Ray fabricated a left double upright Ankle Foot Orthosis with extra depth shoes and custom accommodative inserts for Mr. Harrell. The AFO is used to control the instability in his lower limb by maintaining proper alignment and controlling motion and drop foot. The double upright AFO will be attached to the diabetic shoe which allows for edema and protects the diabetic foot from any shear forces. His chronic diabetic neuropathic condition requires extra depth shoes and custom diabetic inserts to accommodate his deformed feet. The AFO will also protect his de-sensitized feet from repetitive stress and irritation – something his current shoes were not providing.
Mr. Harrell has been wearing the double upright AFO for a few weeks now and it has boosted his confidence. He has been very satisfied with the progress he has made toward resuming his normal walking routine.
Mr. Harrell had a few words to describe his patient experience at Collier:
“Ray Diaz treated me with professionalism and was very kind to me. I can walk a lot better! Everything was done in a timely manner and he made me feel at home. I love my new shoes and brace! I am very happy I was referred to Collier.”
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.
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.