Veterans Serving Veterans: Working as one ex-soldier to another becomes personal
Northwest Indiana Catholic

One veteran helping another – Ron Pawlowski and Al Palinski know something about that. Both men are veterans and have tended to the needs of veterans.

Pawlowski is president of Calumet Orthopedics & Prosthetics, a 62-year-old business started by his late father Walter, a World War II veteran. Following Palinski’s discharge from the military, Calumet began treating him in 1962 after he lost his left leg to a land mine in the Korean War.

Following his initial treatment, Palinski agreed to continue his military service by caring for hospitalized veterans.

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Geoff Pawlowski Attends AOPA National Assembly

Geoff Pawlowski, CP, attended the 2014 American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association's (AOPA) National Assembly held Sept. 4-7 in Las Vegas.

Geoff joined more than 2,000 other prosthetic and orthotic professionals participating in business and clinical education programs, scientific programs and manufacturers' workshops featuring the newest products and latest technology for the prosthetics and orthotics profession.

Keynote address speaker was Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a dancer whose leg was shattered at the Boston Marathon bombings. Haslet-Davis has now become an advocate for other amputees. "I feel really passionately about the rights of amputees as well as the advancements in prosthetics," she said. "I know that the only thing that makes me disabled is not the fact that I don't have two feet, it's the fact that what I'm using isn't advanced enough to make me do the same thing that the person next to me with two feet can do."

Calumet Practitioners Attend Scientific Symposium

Ron Pawlowski, CPO, and Geoff Pawlowski, CP, attended the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists 40th Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium in Chicago, Feb. 26- March 1.

The annual meeting provides an opportunity to attend educational and technical sessions, which help further enhance patient care. In addition, the Pawlowskis were able to visit with manufacturers to learn about new and existing products for orthotic and prosthetic patients.

Geoff also attended Northwestern University Prosthetic-Orthotic Center's ERGO (Education, Research, Gait, and Outcomes) Soiree co-hosted by the Academy Gait Society. Besides an opportunity to tour the research, testing and fabrication laboratories of NUPOC, Geoff also was able to attend poster presentations, which included: "Instrumented Prosthetic Systems for Measurement of Forces & Moments," "Clinical Outcomes Measures in Prosthetics & Orthotics," "Accelerometer Systems," "Instrumented Walkways," and "2-D Motion Analysis in Everyday Clinical Practice."

He was also able to view demonstrations on "Instrumented Gait Analysis," "Rapid Prototyping," and "Dilatancy Procedure."

Geoff Pawlowski Joins Calumet as a Certified Prosthetics Practitioner

Geoff Pawlowski, CP, is the third generation of Pawlowskis to become a certified prosthetist after receiving his formal training from the Blended Learning Certificate Program at Northwestern University's Prosthetic-Orthotic Center (NUPOC), Chicago, and becoming certified by the American Board of Certification for Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics (ABC). Those certified by ABC are considered leaders in the profession and provide the highest quality of patient care, along with excellence in research and orthopedic design.

Geoff has worked for the family firm of Calumet Orthopedic & Prosthetics Co., since 1997, first as an assistant fabrication technician, and then as business manager.

"One of the advantages I have is I've worked in this industry for many years and I have a broad technical background. It made sense for me to pursue certification to move forward and to oversee the process from the first meeting of the patient to final fitting," Geoff said.

He anticipates the future to be very exciting for the profession and the patients. "We are on the cusp of even more advancements in technology. The manufacturers are anxious to teach practitioners and in turn, we can educate our patients about the many mobility options available," he said.

Geoff also is a graduate of Purdue University where he earned a degree in organizational leadership and supervision, with an emphasis on marketing.

His grandfather, Walter Pawlowski began the business in 1953. He was followed by his son and Geoff's father, Ron Pawlowski, CPO. His mother, Micki Pawlowski, is the firm's vice president and co-owner. Geoff and his wife, Angela, reside in Valparaiso. They have one child, Leon.

Calumet Patient Featured in National O&P Trade Magazine

The story of an amazing Calumet patient, Virginia G., is featured in the May 2012 issue of the national trade magazine O&P Edge. The 87-year-old Virginia's traumatic amputation took place in 2008 because of a workplace accident. She has been Ron Pawlowski's patient since that time. Click here to download a pdf or visit to read the full story on pages 76-78 of the May 2012.


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