The Hanger Corporation and the Ivan R. Sabel Hanger Foundation celebrated Hanger’s century and half of service to amputees and individuals with disabilities at its annual education meeting in February. The capstone of the meeting was the gala dinner, at which the achievements of individuals and teams were recognized, and partners were honored.
A moving tribute was offered to Hôpital Albert Schweitzer and the members of the Haiti Amputee Coalition which have collaborated in responding to the needs of the many amputees from the January 2010 earthquake. Two years after that tragic disaster, the Hanger Klinik at HAS had provided more than 1,000 new prostheses, and has become the largest provider of prosthetics and orthotics in Haiti.
The Haiti Amputee Coalition brings together the Catholic Medical Mission Board, Physicians for Peace, the medi for help Foundation, and the Donald and Kayrita Anderson Foundation to fulfill the Hanger commitment to Empowering Human Potential in Haiti at Hôpital Albert Schweitzer.
More than 70 Hanger employees have served at HAS as technicians and trainers; many of them were in the large audience at the gala, and were recognized for their service. The primary technical work at the HAS site is now performed by four Hanger-trained technicians, with supervision from specialists from Hanger and the medi for help Foundation in Germany.
A special event at the gala was the arrival of an avatar of J. E. Hanger, the first known amputee of the US civil war, who had been frustrated by the rudimentary equipment available to amputees, and started a workshop to construct new limbs which were more comfortable and functional. Mr. Hanger (a current Hanger employee and amputee, dressed in period costume) expressed his admiration for the generations of Hanger employees who had helped the organization to grow to a nation-wide and international company.
Ivan Sabel, President of the Hanger Foundation, noted that the effects of the earthquake are still present in Haiti and that the demand for prosthetics continues. In addition, the Hanger Klinik staff are beginning to develop orthotics services in order to meet the needs for many people in Haiti who have not had access to such support.