Travis Deem works on a trans-tibial prosthesis in the lab of Omni Prosthetics and Orthotics in Urbana.
By Colleen Lehmann
The building is rather benign from the outside, considering some of the miracles performed inside. Even if you’re looking for Omni Prosthetics & Orthotics at 502 South Vine Street in Urbana–as I was–you might drive past it before noticing the sign, or the large delivery van.
Walk inside, and you enter a comfortable, tranquil waiting room, complete with soothing water feature. Probably a good idea, considering clients may be experiencing a fair amount of physical or emotional discomfort due to their injuries.
But it’s what is being done beyond the lobby that is the true inspiration. In the back a Santa’s workshop of artificial limbs, devices with state-of-the-art electronics, and all manner of braces and (if you so desire) snazzy decoration allow wounded and/or maimed folks the hope of functioning again, to some degree or another. To that end, in the treatment rooms, those prosthetics and orthotics are being custom fitted to patients, with special attention paid to their pre-injury lifestyle and activity level.
True to the company’s slogan—“Where your quality of life comes first”—owner Bob Devlin of Tuscola and his team embrace positive patient outcome as the driving force behind the custom prosthetics and orthotics they provide. Omni is a family-owned business—among the staff are wife and co-owner Jocelin who works in the business office and Bob’s father, Bill Devlin, does orthotic fittings—and family is a concept applied to the clientele who come through the door.
“I always tell our staff to treat the patients like they were your grandma; that the devices we create are for their own family member. That’s the best way to guarantee you’ll always do your very best—you can’t let Grandma down,” quipped Bob Devlin.
Omni Prosthetics and Orthotics has been a presence in Urbana since 2003, and within the last year a satellite office was opened in Mattoon at 201 Richmond Avenue. Again, that move was made with patient convenience in mind.
“There was a facility in Effingham providing similar services and the owner passed away. Many of those patients were coming to us, and it is quite a distance to travel, so we decided to open the office in Mattoon to help bridge the gap and lessen the burden on them,” said Devlin.
Devlin has a strong, lifelong tie to Effingham. It was there he was born and raised, and that his life’s calling was discovered. While attending St. Anthony High School he took a health occupations class and, as part of the curriculum, job shadowed a number of medical professionals, including Effingham prosthetist David Procter.
“I was really fascinated by what he did—the mechanics of creating devices to help people walk and/or function again. It just clicked with me, and I ended up working there all through high school, while going to college, and for a time after receiving my degrees before deciding to open my own practice,” said Devlin, who attended Lake Land College, then Eastern Illinois University for undergraduate studies before going on to Northwestern University where he enrolled in and completed both the prosthetic and orthotic programs.
Devlin is a certified and licensed prosthetist and orthotist, and associate Jessica Drake a board-certified orthotist and board-eligible prosthetist. Drake has a similar background—having gone through LLC, EIU and Northwestern and trained with Procter at his Effingham clinic. On the orthotics side of the business, they carry a complete line of off-the-shelf orthotics that are customized for patients, able to “brace” patients literally from head to toe.
–Full story in The Tuscola Journal Jan. 29, 2014 edition