Davidson Meets with Disabled Soldiers

copyrighted. 2008 Susan Gaetz.

Peter Davidson, Prosthetist, Great Plains Rehabilitation Services (GPRS), recently traveled to Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, TX for a workshop on Military Amputee Advanced Skills Training. The training was held at the newly constructed Center for the Intrepid. Davidson was one of 80 people from the United States and Canada, and the only person from North Dakota, to receive this exclusive invitation.

The Center for the Intrepid is a rehabilitation center that provides therapy for military service members who have experienced debilitating injuries. The Center for the Intrepid allows servicemen and women to remain on active duty, if they desire, and helps them to return to their pre-injury level of activity. The facility harnesses state-of-the-art technology to provide military amputees with improved rehabilitation resources. The center accomplishes this through the use of advanced prosthetics, computerized and video monitoring, biomechanical studies and advanced physical training therapy methods.

The center also includes diagnostic, treatment, rehabilitation and training functions including physical, occupational, social, mental and nutritional health. It houses areas for fitting, testing and adjusting advanced prosthetics and provides areas for clinical research.

Davidson's unique experience was made possible through the Challenged Athletes Foundation, an organization with which Davidson does a great deal of work, as a prosthetist with GPRS. The Challenged Athletes Foundation began the Operation Rebound Program, a program that benefits hundreds of soldiers after they leave rehabilitation, by providing training for them to pursue a life in fitness and sport.

Davidson's experience during the three-day workshop was very intense and hands-on. "We were right there in the middle of the action with the soldiers, working with them on their rehabilitation," Davidson says. He goes on to say, "These patients taught me so much more about amputees and what they are capable of. I am looking forward to taking the information learned and applying it to patients here in North Dakota."