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VA and Navy partner to open prosthetics lab in Southern California

By JEANETTE STEELE | The San Diego Union-Tribune | Published: May 16, 2017

SAN DIEGO (Tribune News Service) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will open a new prosthetics lab in Oceanside to serve the estimated 7,000 veterans and military patients who need amputee or prosthetics care in North County.

The facility, which will hold a grand opening Thursday, is at the existing Oceanside VA medical center.

The prosthetics clinic is a partnership of the VA and the Navy, which has a major amputee center at the naval medical center in Balboa Park.

That means the Oceanside facility will serve VA patients and also active-duty service members, retirees and family members.

The site consists of a 1,330-square-foot lab for comprehensive prosthetic care.

The lab has all of the equipment necessary to fabricate state-of-the-art prosthetic arms and legs from start to finish, VA officials said.

The site will also issue more run-of-the-mill requirements such as canes, crutches, walkers and wheelchairs.

The lab will be managed by the VA’s prosthetics service. VA staffing will include a full-time prosthetist and two support people. The Defense Department will also have a prosthetist, two physical therapists and one technician on site.

Initially, the VA and Defense Department will provide care for their respective patients, but the plan is to merge services.

All appointment scheduling and medical records will remain separate.

jen.steele@sduniontribune.com

©2017 The San Diego Union-Tribune
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The prosthetics lab at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
ADRIAN CADIZ/U.S. AIR FORCE

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