VIDEO: New Amputee Clinic to Provide Prosthetic Care for Veterans on Guam

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Guam – This year the Department of Veterans Affairs and Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii have cooperated to organize an amputee clinic at the VA Guam Community Based Outpatient Clinic.

This is the first clinic of its kind in any of America’s Pacific islands including Hawaii.

The clinic is the brainchild of  Aaron Williams, Chief of Prosthetics at the Veterans Affairs in Honolulu, who came to Guam in 2009 and saw the need for Guam to have an amputee service. The lack of an amputee clinic is made more stark considering Guam has the highest rate of military enlistment per capita. Prior to this year, amputee patients would have to wait for a vendor that would visit Guam, but the lack of a resident specialist proved problematic.

Williams says that prosthetics patients are now able to be treated on island with facilities and technology on par with the mainland.

One satisfied patient, Vietnam Veteran Francisco Materne, explained his approval of the new clinic, “They are great. A lot better than the first prosthetic I got in Hawaii. they really care.”

Although the shared costs between the Veterans Affairs and Tripler Army Medical Center will be 1.5 million per year, the overall costs saved by having prosthetics care taking place on island has saved taxpayers $770,000 in the first 7 months of 2014.

Williams has been reaching out to the Naval Hospital to provide this service to active duty members as well.