Need a Prosthetic or Orthotic?
The owner of Prosthetic Plus in Marshfield, Wisconsin is an ABC Certified 30-year veteran of the business of fabricating artificial limbs. Lonny Damewood is a master craftsman, entrepreneur and innovator. He loves what he gets to do every day. From building a child’s new arm so he can play baseball again to building wounded veterans a new set of functional legs, every step of the process is done to perfection. Damewood and his 20 + employees ship out packages to clients every day whose lives are changed by what’s inside.
Damewood’s story starts with a typical High School career day. A guidance counselor handed him a list of potential vocations, and he scanned through the list until he came to prosthetics. Lonny enjoyed working in wood and metal shop in High School. He is a hands-on person, so prosthetics appealed to both his skills and his interests. Damewood became a certified CNA as a junior in high school. He decided nursing was not for him but still wanted a career in caring for people. Prosthetics was the natural next choice. He attended one of the very few prosthetic colleges; this school was in White Bear Lake, MN. After that, he took an internship for a whole $4.50/hr. in the tiny town of Fulton, MO. He worked there in a central fab with 30 other prosthetic technicians and got his first taste of the industry. From there it was a small company in Columbia, MO, then onto a larger company in Lenexa, KS. He wanted to work in a small-town medical facility with a prosthetic department closer to family. That search brought him back to Wisconsin to the Marshfield Clinic in 1995.
For the next 11 years, Damewood was able to work directly with practitioners and often able to assist with the fittings. This enabled him to see the process through from start to finish. It was very rewarding. Damewood said, “This experience was priceless as far as understanding the relationship between practitioner and patient.” This collaboration made him realize the critical importance of meeting deadlines and getting the jobs done right the first time. As stated by Damewood, “I got to see the other end of things, the greatest gift as a technician was to see how they work and how we do change people’s lives.”
In 2006, Damewood was ready to venture out on a business of his own. He started modestly slow, like most beginning entrepreneurs. However, he persevered and now ships products all over the United States of America. Today, we ship over 270 + finished devices every month. We build anything from partial feet to hips and wrist disarticulations to a full myoelectric shoulder and are constantly expanding our available products. The products we are proud to create may be an assemblage of plastics and metal to most people, but for a patient out there, it’s a treasure.
Damewood’s favorite part of the job is customer satisfaction. Lonny once designed a myoelectrical arm for a small child. This child wanted nothing to do with a prosthetic. When the practitioner who ordered the prosthetic demonstrated to the child how the fingers could grab a lollypop, the child’s outlook changed entirely. The child was amazed and excited to try it out himself. After the appointment, the Practitioner was happy to share the story with Prosthetic Plus. That type of story inspires Damewood to be an even better Prosthetic Technician and business owner. He reminds his technicians every day that the work they do has such an impact on a real person. The values of caring for the customer are instilled into each employee. Precision is demanded in every part throughout the process. Attention to detail is the way Prosthetic Plus’s reputation has been able to grow in the industry and sets the company apart from competition.
From Prosthetic Plus: I want to reach out to everyone that has been a part of nurturing the person and technician I am today. All who took a chance and believed in me and us; THANK YOU for I wouldn’t be here without all your support.