FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Katherine Cohee Taylor
Communications and Marketing Officer
Physicians for Peace
Long-term prosthetic and rehabilitation center to be created on-site
at the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) in Deschapelles, Haiti
Norfolk, Va. (2/19/2010) — Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc. (Hanger) and its philanthropic organization
The Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation announced yesterday the launch of the Haitian Amputee Coalition
in partnership with Physicians for Peace, Shepherd Spinal Center, and the Harold & Kayrita Anderson
Family Foundation and the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS). The Haitian Amputee Coalition is creating
a long-term prosthetic and rehabilitation center on-site at HAS, an undamaged local hospital with a high
clinical reputation located 60 miles from Port-au-Prince in Deschapelles, Haiti.
To be staffed by volunteer U.S. prosthetic experts from Physicians for Peace and Hanger Orthopedic
Group and in conjunction with local Haitian medical professionals, the Haitian Amputee Coalition
prosthetic and rehabilitation center at HAS will be functional by the end of February.
“Prior to the devastating earthquake, there were an estimated 800,000 disabled people in Haiti,” said
Ron Sconyers, President and CEO of Physicians for Peace. “That number has obviously skyrocketed;
there are now even more amputees in the country without access to specialized treatment. This new and
permanent facility will provide the critical and rehabilitative care these children and adults so urgently
More than 8,000 lbs of prosthetic fabrication equipment and machinery have been shipped to
Deschapelles with an additional 5,000 lbs to be on the ground this week. A mobile prosthetic care unit
donated by Otto Bock Healthcare, a global manufacturer of prosthetic products and services, will enable
the delivery of care to those who are unable to be transported to HAS. Additionally, the Haitian
Amputee Coalition plans to create a training program to educate local Haitians to become prosthetic
practitioners and technicians for the provision of long-term care in Haiti.
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The development of the Haitian Amputee Coalition formalizes Haiti relief efforts that have already been
underway by Physicians for Peace and Hanger Orthopedic Group. Physicians for Peace has been
working in Haiti since 2005 as part of its “Walking Free” program. Shortly after the earthquake,
Physicians for Peace responded with a fundraising drive to support its two partners in Port-au-Prince,
both of which were reduced to rubble. Recently, Physicians of Peace sent checks of almost $27,000 each
directly to these partners, Healing Hands for Haiti and St. Vincent's School for Handicapped Children.
Additionally, Hanger’s 670+ patient care centers nationwide are serving as collection sites for a
prosthetic limb drive to benefit amputees in Haiti, in conjunction with Physicians for Peace and activist
charity campaigner Heather Mills. Dozens of cities, agencies and companies are now sponsoring local
drives and Physicians for Peace has become the “go to” agency to donate desperately needed mobility
equipment. The organization’s 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse is now overflowing, and it has partnered with
Arpin Van Lines and Hampton Roads Moving and Storage for additional storage capacity. These items
will be shipped via container to Haiti over the coming weeks.
To learn more about the Haitian Amputee Coalition, visit www.haitian-amputee-coalition.org. To make
a financial donation or to volunteer expertise in Haiti, visit www.physiciansforpeace.org.
ABOUT THE PHYSICIANS FOR PEACE WALKING FREE PROGRAM
Throughout much of the world, amputee victims of land mines, earthquakes, motor vehicle accidents,
industrial and agricultural accidents, birth defects, disease, and war receive little or no medical
treatment. Physicians for Peace designed the Walking Free Program to assist such victims by
establishing sustainable prosthetic and rehabilitation centers in developing nations worldwide. Efforts
include prosthetic and orthotic production, clinical and academic education programs, direct patient
care, surgical and medical management, and public education. The Walking Free Program has had much
success conducting dozens of research, education, and training missions. Additionally, we have helped
more than ten thousand patients with prosthetic and orthotic needs, providing millions of dollars in
prosthetic and orthotic in-kind contributions, including rehabilitation and surgical supplies and
ABOUT PHYSICIANS FOR PEACE
Physicians for Peace is an international private voluntary organization that mobilizes healthcare
educators to assist developing nations with unmet medical needs and scarce resources. Through
effective, hands-on medical education and training, clinical care and donated medical supplies,
Physicians for Peace creates long-term, sustainable, replicable, and evidence-based projects to help
partner nations build medical capability and capacity to help themselves. Volunteers for the 501(c) (3)
nonprofit organization have conducted medical missions in more than 50 countries.
With its headquarters in Norfolk, Va., Physicians for Peace has programs in 22 countries and offices in
Manila, the Philippines; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Asmara, Eritrea. In 2009, the
organization celebrated its 20th Anniversary.
For more information, go to: www.physiciansforpeace.org