Face to Face: Gary Dodge, CTPO

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Gary Dodge received a ground-up introduction to the O&P profession—by sweeping floors at Dodge & Lundquist, a Seattle, Washington-based prosthetics clinic owned by his father Morris Dodge, CP, and Bob Lundquist, CP. At just six years of age, Dodge would accompany his dad to the clinic on weekends, and by the time he was 14 years old, he would catch a bus downtown after school so he could work there part time.

1. Who has motivated or inspired you in your life and/or professional pursuits?

My father and Bob inspired me the most, as well as some of the people that they had working there. They truly were craftsmen—from the leatherwork they did and even the carving or pulling of the old wood sockets.

2. How has your career progressed?

I started sweeping floors and making PVA bags for my dad. My dad and Bob had the techs they had working for them—George Jodry, Manuel Medina, and a guy that just worked with leather, Martin Kapokin—show me how to laminate and work with leather lacers, fork straps, and hip belts. After high school, I challenged the technician boards and took both the orthotic and prosthetic exams at Delgado Community College (New Orleans, Louisiana).

After becoming an O&P technician, I worked in an Alaska facility for a few months and then returned to Seattle. I worked during the years at three or four different places around Seattle including two years at the University of Washington (UW), (Seattle), prosthetics department. During that time, I saw an advertisement for a job in Saudi Arabia and thought, "Who would want to work there?" I called just out of curiosity. The next thing I knew I was boarding a plane for Saudi Arabia. I spent two years in the Saudi government's Ministry of Aviation and Defense O&P department; that's where we would see above-knee sockets made of aluminum. I haven't seen one since. That's also where I met my wife; she was working as a registered nurse. We both made lifelong friends in that place, some real fine people.

We returned to Seattle, and I talked my way back into UW for another 16 years.

I have been married for 26 years with two wonderful kids; they are my inspiration.

3. Please describe what your company does.

Puget Sound Innovations, Tukwila, Washington, is a full-service fabrication facility that my business partner Juan Lozano and I started six years ago this July 6. We have a combined 50 years of experience in the field. We can handle just about all fabrication needs, for both prosthetics and orthotics.

4. What are your personal and/or professional goals?

My goals are to run a successful fabrication facility. For a personal goal, I would like to do some more traveling with my wife in the near future.

5. How do you set yourself apart from competing businesses and practitioners in your area?

Well, as technicians we are all about the same. We like to work with our hands and like to take a project from start to finish. What sets me apart from other technicians is that I have seen many different ways of making a prosthesis—probably more than most other technicians. Some have seen wood sockets and aluminum sockets, but how many have actually worked on them as I have?

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