VA-CSUDH CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE

orthotics and prosthetics sign

The VA/CSUDH Center for Orthotics and Prosthetics was built by the VA Long Beach Healthcare System and opened in August 2009. Congresswoman Laura Richardson and senior officials from the VA Long Beach and California State University Dominguez Hills conducted a gala opening and ribbon cutting.

Introduction

The California State University Dominguez Hills Orthotic and Prosthetic Education Program was thrilled to move into a new, state of the art 10,200 square foot facility at the Veteran Affairs Long Beach Healthcare System in August 2009.  CSUDH has been clinically and academically affiliated with the VA Long Beach Healthcare System for over 20 years.  The VA Long Beach is a major medical training facility serving Southern California.  With this move, the CSUDH O&P Program is continuing to accept students from all states, but also is establishing programs to accommodate the educational needs of current and future VA employees and to assist in VA research initiatives.  The VA’s generosity provides CSUDH students with custom classrooms and laboratories, and gives them access to state of the art medical training and the highly regarded VA Instrumented Gait Laboratory at Long Beach.

The new training facility was custom built by the VA inside an existing building at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System.  The school is comprised of two classrooms, two technical laboratories, an instructional demonstration room, dedicated patient examination room, a gait analysis area, a computer resource room, a library, and faculty offices.

The Need

The collaboration between the VA and CSUDH addresses two distinct national issues: 1) war casualties from military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 2) individuals and their families who are living with one or more chronic-illnesses that have caused secondary health conditions affecting mobility, i.e. – stroke, limb amputations, nerve impairment, and muscle and tissue loss. Thousands of troops have been seriously wounded in action during the war in Iraq, which include many reservists who have employers awaiting their return. Many cannot return to their previous duties at work due to disabling injuries, i.e. loss of limbs.  Without access to immediate and proper multi-faceted rehabilitation, it is difficult for individuals to make a speedy transition into a substantive quality of life and rehabilitation to work. Also, Over 1.2 million individuals live with limb loss/absence in the United States.  Physicians perform more than 185,000 amputations each year in the United States – 507 a day. The number of amputations is expected to rise due to the complications of diabetes. (Amputee Coalition of America and the American Diabetes Association).  The Prosthetic and Orthotic practitioners who are trained in the VA/CSUDH Center for O&P Education will directly serve the veterans and general population who require prostheses or orthoses.