PHOTOS BY // MICHAEL GLEASON PHOTOGRAPHY
“Live for what tomorrow can bring, not for what yesterday took away.” Patients will find this message handwritten on a whiteboard in the Michigan Vascular Mobility Center – a message that identifies the purpose, focus and values the seven-year-old center lives by.
Flint resident Tom Brannon knows well what he left behind and how much better life is for him, thanks to the mobility center. He is grateful every day for the people “who saved my life,” he says.
Brannon was in a car accident several years ago. After years of trying to save his leg, vascular surgeons exhausted all options. His leg had to be removed. Brannon reached the lowest point of his life. Not only did he lose his leg, but he also lost his chain of party stores.
“I was a real mess. I contemplated suicide,” he admits. “I thought life was over for me until one of the vascular surgeons from Michigan Vascular Center told me about their newly opened mobility center. I think I was one of the first patients.”
He describes the team as a “great group of people. Their first and only concern is the patient; they wouldn’t let any insurance delays slow down their work.”
Brannon recently purchased American Shuttle, a transportation service based in Grand Blanc that takes people with handicaps to appointments and other places in the Genesee County area.
“I’m a handicapped person helping handicapped people,” he says with enthusiasm and pride. “Finding the Michigan Vascular Mobility Center has been a life changer for me. And people don’t even know that I have a prosthetic leg. I don’t limp at all. There is life after a prosthetic leg, and I thank Michigan Vascular Mobility Center for giving me this great life I lead today.”
Michigan Vascular Mobility Center was a dream of Michigan Vascular Center. The vascular surgeon team, striving to provide the best patient outcomes possible through best practice models, wanted to ensure patients received complete continuity of care for a lifetime. The missing piece? A mobility center.
Following surgery, patients were seeking prosthetic care elsewhere. The vascular surgeons wanted their patients to have the best opportunity to lead the life they wanted and deserved, and they felt continuity of care for a lifetime by the same medical team was critical. That is why it made sense to open the Michigan Vascular Mobility Center within the physician offices.
Ken Eick, certified prosthetist and director of Michigan Vascular Mobility Center, describes the vascular surgical team as “remarkable.” That is why he chose to join the center several years ago. He found the philosophy, patient care model and collaborative efforts between surgeons and the prosthetist the best around. And Eick has been in the prosthetic care business for 25 years.
“The surgeons here not only conduct the most advanced procedures to ensure the best functionality possible after an amputation, but their dedication and commitment to patients is second to no one,” he states. “Our number one focus is obtaining the best possible outcome for every patient we see.” That is why Eick is called in at the time of patient diagnosis and works with patients through every step of the process – from prehospitalization to post-hospital care and for the rest of the patient’s life. This early and continued involvement gives patients a sense of comfort and security at a very difficult time, Eick finds.
WE ASK PATIENTS, ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?’
NOT JUST ‘HOW ARE YOU FEELING?’
– KEN EICK –
He is proud to say the flow of patient care is smooth, easy, fast and efficient. A patient’s time is valuable, and with all services housed in the same facility, a patient can see all caregivers in one location. Eick himself completes all casting and prosthetic design in the on-site lab, which also reduces time delays. Also, if a patient has a question for a vascular surgeon, a member of the team will stop in during that visit. This immediate and constant teamwork is possible only in this patient care model, Eick notes.
“We ask patients, ‘What do you want to do?’ not just ‘How are you feeling?’ They may say, ‘I want to work in my garden, again,’ or ‘I want to be able to walk the sidelines comfortably when my son is playing football,’ or ‘I want to hunt, again.’ Our goal is to give that life back to our patients,” Eick emphasizes. “We always are asking ourselves, ‘What is best for this patient? What will give patients the highest outcome?’”
Eick is highly respected in the field and has participated in national advisory boards for manufacturers as well as beta testing new products introduced into the market. He also has been a guest lecturer at several physical therapy programs in the state, and provides physician education on prosthetics. In addition, he helped establish a prosthetic residency program at the center.
The Michigan Vascular Mobility Center is American Board of Certification accredited. It is housed inside Michigan Vascular Center, located at G-5020 W. Bristol Road in Flint. The vascular center also has offices in Lapeer and Saginaw for patient convenience. To reach any of the centers, call 810-732-1620 or visit www.michiganvascularcenter.com.
Affiliation with Amputee Associates Adds a Feather to the Center’s Cap
Another service that sets Michigan Vascular Mobility Center apart from other centers is its affiliation with Amputee Associates, a highly respected national organization with clinics across the country. Clinicians like Eick work with this association to learn best practices, discuss challenging cases and share information on latest technologies and advances in the field –all to maximize outcomes for amputees. “Networking with some of the best clinicians in the country provides our center with the best tools and resources available for our patients,” Eick notes.
Amputee Blade Runners Chooses Mobility Center as a Trusted Resource
The Michigan Vascular Mobility Center is proud to report its partnership with Amputee Blade Runners, a nonprofit organization that provides free running and sports prostheses for young amputees. These young athletes travel to Nashville, Tennessee, for their specialized fittings, but after learning about the Michigan Vascular Mobility Center and the exceptional standard of care it provides to patients, Amputee Blade Runners will now refer patients for fittings at the Michigan center if it is a more convenient location.