Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Making a Difference Through Exceptional Care and Quality Service


By Ashton Horn

Imagine facing a harrowing loss in life such as having a limb amputated. After facing such an event, life is permanently altered for the effected individual. According to the National Limb Loss Information Center, in the United States there are approximately 1.7 million people living with limb loss. Several challenges occur during recovery of limb loss, which requires assistance and attention from highly qualified staff. It is vital for the patients’ turnaround to receive exceptional care, and finding the right organization to help is a challenging experience. Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics (CPO) holds  3 patient clinics in the Quad Cities, and the staff ensures care above and beyond the basic treatment necessary for success in order to provide  patients  with the best possible outcome for restoring mobility and quality of life.

At Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics, Nick Crum, who is a Certified and Licensed Orthotist (CO) and Area Practice Manager, ensures quality care for each individual treated. He believes the quality of treatment effects the outcome of the patients’ lives in the long run. Crum states, “The most important thing for us to do is to build relationships with the our patients and their families. We need to gain their trust as an individual in order for us to help them succeed.”  Communication between each individual and family who seeks care with the organization is vital. “Gaining trust and having that relationship with the patient is just as important as the technical skills. It is really cool for us to get to know our patients and their families. What we do enhances what our patients are able to do within their interactions, families, community, and jobs.  We have compassion with what we do, and when they feel it, the outcome is better,” Crum states. Providing quality care is essential in any medical field, but the staff at Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics goes beyond what is required to enhance the lives of their clients.

Lori Heiman is a patient who has worked with Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics for twenty-five years, and she believes the staff is exceptional. “I really like working with these guys, they work with you until it is right. They even make house visits and drop off any needed supplies.” She believes the care she receives through Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics improves her quality of life. “They’ve helped me go back into the community, you know. When we lose a limb, it’s eerie to us and to other people, but with the workable limbs they provide, people sometimes don’t even know we have a prosthetic,” Heiman states. Anyone who loses a limb may become discouraged through the recovery process, and it becomes more difficult to find success in nearly all aspects of life. Heiman believes that working with Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics improves this aspect of recovery. “Sometimes you just want to give up. It’s not easy having to learn to walk again. It’s like a toddler learning to walk, it’s not fun, and some days it’s so hard and it just doesn’t go well. These guys understand that, and once they know you, they really help get us out of that so we can move on again. They really communicate with us, and they help us communicate so we can be better in other areas of life,” she states.

Board Certified CPO (Certified Prosthetics and Orthotics) Tara Ferencik also believes care and communication are keys to success. “You have to be sure you stay up-to-date on your knowledge of the field so that you can educate the patients and communicate better with them. You have to really care about your patients,” she states. Caring and reaching out to patients is one aspect of care at Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics, but vital elements of service also include the structure of the workshop, or fabrication lab, and the prosthetic devices.

Another important element of the care and quality of service at Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics is fabricating the prosthetic devices . Within a specially designed fabrication lab, several certified prosthetic technicians  work exceptionally hard to ensure proper fabrication  is customized to fit  each patient. Many types of prosthetic devices are designed, and each one is customized for individual patients. Some prosthetics even have unique designs per request of the patient. Focusing on what the patients’ needs and desires forms the foundation of determining the type of prosthetic device.. Understanding the patient’s functional level and the knowledge of what that individual needs to become mobile helps staff create the perfect device with an element of personality. “It’s really a craft, we have to know what we are doing here, and we have to make sure we get this right to help our patients become more self-sufficient and successful. There is an important process that we cannot deter from and it is crucial that we maintain and improve upon what we have developed over the years, ,” Crum states.

Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics was previously Quad City Prosthetics and Prosthetic Orthotic Specialists, and was founded in 1976 under Tara Ferencik’s parents, Ken and Rose Ferencik. Tara Ferencik states, “Quad City Prosthetics began under my parents, it started with one office, then it grew into seven offices through the late 1990s and early 2000s. We sold to Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics in March of 2005.” With 26 locations in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana, Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics is one of the largest Orthotic and Prosthetics companies in the Midwest and ensures treatment for many individuals who have different needs.

Each location carefully selects and employs staff dedicated to creating perfect prosthetics for each patient and who genuinely enjoy the field. Ferencik began in the field as a technician under her dad; she then fell in love with reaching out to people and with the work. “I’m really glad we’ve been around for a while, and I hope we can keep growing,” she states. “The most important thing in our success as an organization is to care for our patients and get to know them as people.” Quality care and communicating with patients is definitely an element that makes Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics stand out. Each staff member came to this field with a desire to help people. Crum began in ’98, and studied biological sciences as an undergrad. He developed an interest in physical therapy due to a love of helping people, and became involved with Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics. Crum is an employee who also emphasizes the importance of high-quality services, and hopes for the best in the area of growth and development for Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics. “The most important thing for us to do is to focus on our patients and their needs. The rest will follow.” The philosophies align with that of CPO co-founder, Don Goerzten, who also sees patients in the Quad Cities. Don has been an amputee himself for over 40 years and has been providing prosthetic care to other amputees for over 30 years.

Rest assured, anyone receiving treatment at Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics will have nothing less than the best in terms of care, quality, and exceptional service. Many medical organizations have specific goals in mind in order to improve the quality of life for their patients, but working with prosthetics requires an extra aspect of care through creating each patients’ new limbs. At Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics, there is a specially designed workshop with expert technicians who design the prosthetic devices, caring staff, and a quality of services reaching above and beyond what one may expect in treatment for themselves or family members. For more information, call Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics at 309-283-0880, or visit their website at www.cpousa.com.

For more information, call Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics at 309-283-0880, or visit their website at www.cpousa.com.

CPO will be hosting a free amputee clinic with world renowned microprocessor expert prosthetist, Kurt Gruben on Tuesday, August 17th from 8am-5pm. If you, or anyone you know, would like to have a 30 min one-on-one meeting with a once in a lifetime prosthetist, please call 309-283-0880.