NH Governor Maggie Hassan’s Visit to Next Step

Our Manchester, NH office recently had the unique privilege of opening our doors to the Governor’s office, in order for the Governor to observe part of the prosthetic process and for our clients to share their stories and challenges with her. In the overview below, you can get a glimpse into our day with the Governor and learn more about the local prosthetics industry.

Matt Albuquerque, president of Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, Inc., led Governor Hassan on a tour of our facility and introduced her to several of our local clients. The tour also showcased bionic and prosthetic technologies and the work that occurs behind-the-scenes in our on-site fabrication lab.

The first client to meet Governor Hassan was Bill Dube, who uses the most advanced iLimb Hand by Touch Bionics called the iLimb Ultra.

Next, Governor Hassan was introduced to Carter, one of our most active and outgoing Next Step Kids. He had the privilege of showing her and her team his extraordinary progress over the years with a lineup of his past prosthetic and orthotic devices.

From there, Governor Hassan met Sean, a veteran and a manager within the Manchester airport’s Transportation Security Administration. Sean received his new waterproof prosthesis with the X3 Microprocessor Knee from Ottobock just a few weeks ago, and he already walks incredibly well on it.

Sean was able to provide the Governor his unique point of view as an amputee veteran, local resident, and working professional, about the challenges that face those returning from war and reentering the workforce after sustaining serious injuries. He shared how technological advancements of prosthetic limbs over recent years have allowed him to transition back to work and live a more fulfilling life.

Lastly, the Governor was introduced to Dick, an amputee veteran who wears the BiOM ankle system. Dick shared with Governor Hassan how his most recent prosthesis has improved the quality of his life as an active amputee. He also offered his perspective on improvements in prosthetic technology and the increased awareness of issues affecting the amputee community.

The Governor wrapped up her visit with a look at our on-site fabrication lab and had the opportunity to converse with Matt Albuquerque about issues facing businesses and healthcare facilities in New Hampshire. We are proud to be a well-established, New Hampshire-based small business, and we depend on the support of our local government and representatives to effectively serve our clients and community. It is an honor to be a resource and an authority on bionics and prosthetics for those in leadership as well.

We had a wonderful time with Governor Hassan and welcome visits from any government officials who wish to learn more about what we do, gaining firsthand insight from our amazing staff and clientele.

Guide to a Healthy New Year

At the start of each year, most of us vow to turn over a new leaf in at least one area of our lives. Whether the goal is to eat healthier, exercise more, quit smoking, or save money, the start of a new year generally fills us with the motivation to better ourselves. For amputees, and those who may face future limb loss, the implications of making these changes can be transformative.

While the stories of limb loss that are most often portrayed by the media are of those involving traumatic events, the reality is that the most common causes for amputation are underlying health issues, such as diabetes and cancer, that build over time and can often be avoided or minimized.

It is estimated that more than 60% of amputations are preventable.

If you or a loved one is currently living with limb loss, or at risk of future amputation, here are a few of the most important resolutions you can make for 2014 and beyond:

Quit Smoking

There are thousands of reasons to quit smoking. In addition to reducing your risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease you will also greatly reduce your chances of amputation or re-amputation. Smoking cigarettes has been associated with a re-amputation risk 25 TIMES that of nonsmokers.

Plus, smoking is expensive. So quitting will also help you knock that pesky “save money” resolution off your list for 2014.

Check Your Feet

Those suffering from diabetes are prone to circulation issues that can lead to skin ulcers and eventually, limb loss. If you are unsure of what to watch for, check out this step by step guide published by the Mayo Clinic.

Wear proper, well-fitting footwear. Yes, this is a great excuse to buy new shoes.

Schedule a Physical

Before you finish reading this article, call your doctor to schedule a physical. It’s the best first step you can take for a healthy year.

Be honest with your physician about your history and current health. If you don’t share openly and honestly, they won’t know what to look for.

Maintain a Healthy Diet & Exercise Regularly

Just 30 minutes of walking, five times a week is enough to improve your overall health, from decreasing the symptoms of diabetes and depression to increasing bone density to preventing cancer.

54% of amputations are the result of vascular disease. By maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, you will improve your overall cardiovascular health and significantly reduce your risk of limb loss from vascular disease.

A New Year is a great time to start taking the steps toward creating a healthier and happier life for yourself and your family. We encourage you to share your own resolutions and goals in the comments below.

You can learn more and access MANY new resources and tips on our Pinterest board: Preventing Limb Loss!

Happy New Year!