News and Changes
Assistive Devices Program (ADP) policy
In the News
Algonquin Orthopaedics recently was featured in the local business newspaper. For a text version of the following article click here.
A few years ago,
Cameron Renwick was working as an orthotist in Toronto when he noticed an alarming trend.
"I was seeing a lot of people from as far away as North Bay," explains Renwick,
a Certified Orthotist. "Clients were delaying treatment until they absolutely had to
give in. We could hav provided much more help had we seen them earlier." Renwick, who
grew up in Toronto but spent considerable time at the family cottage on Rebecca Lake, just
outside of Huntsville, approached his board of directors wit a proposal to open a
satellite clinic in Muskoka. Orthopedic Appliance Research Ltd. (OAR) of Toronto, agreed
to Renwick's relocation, and the clinic opened in December of 1996.
As well as custom leg braces, Renwick will also custom fit upper extremity bracing for repetitive strain injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee and foot orthotics, and "off-the-shelf" goods like knee sleeves and ankle supports. Algonquin Orthopaedics can supply any orthosis required. Virtually all devices are fabricated on site with specialized custom fittings provided. While fabrication times vary, some devices can be supplied while the customer waits and others may take a week or two. Renwick stresses that follow-up advice and service is vital, and he strives to establish a long-term relationship with his clients.
Renwick is part of a small group of professionals across Canada, numbering about 300. The certification process is lengthly and demanding, and as a result, orthotists are in demand. About 100 applicants apply each year for eight positions in the two-year post-graduate course, offered at only two locations in Canada, one in British Columbia and the other in Toronto. Upon successful completion of the admission requirements, there is a two-year academic and clinical portion, then a 22-month internship. Once that is complete, the candidate sits for six hours of written exams, and two days of oral and practical testing. Finally, the designation of Certified Orthotist is granted to the successful student. Before the C.O. program, Renwick received his diploma as a Registered Orthotics and Prosthetics Technician, and worked at the BloorviewMcMillan Rehabilitation Centre as well as volunteering at the Hospital for Sick Children.
Renwick reports that his service has been well received in the past two years, and business has doubled. He states that the medical community in the area has been very supportive. "Approximately 54 percent of referrals are from doctors, 20 percent from therapists, and the rest from advertising and word of mouth." "Doctors and therapists are very in tune to input. It's been a very welcome environment of come into. We work closely with G.P.s therapists and specialist physicians. Not suprisingly, Renwick recieves a lot of support from local shoe stores as well, working with them to fit clients with special needs.
Looking forward, Renwick would like to see a clinic set up in the area where patients are met by all of the local specialists. He redicts it will save time and health care dollars, and make treatment easier, particularly for those people with impiared mobility. Algonquin Orthopaedics offers a free initial consultation, and he and his staff will assist clients with any requriements from insurance companies or government ministries. The office is located at 228 Main St. west in Huntsville.
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