Fillauer’s Mission to Empower and Educate in Ukraine
Embarking on a Mission of Hope and Empowerment
As a family-owned business deeply rooted in the field of prosthetics, Fillauer is led by a lineage of expert prosthetists. We recently embarked on a mission that transcends business – it is a journey of hope, connection, and empowerment. Our destination was the city of Lviv, Ukraine, where the need for specialized prosthetic care has never been more critical.
Our story begins late summer of 2023 when we were contacted by UNBROKEN, Ukraine’s National Rehabilitation Center to provide upper limb prosthetic training. Michael Fillauer, CPO/L, President of Fillauer Companies, represents the fourth generation of a 109-year legacy in prosthetics and orthotics manufacturing. Driven by a passion to empower clinicians and patients, Michael, along with Nathan A. Sprunger, MS, CP, Clinical Educator, embarked on this journey to Ukraine to understand how we could most effectively assist and train a nation in need.
During this visit, a significant meeting occurred with the Mayor of Lviv. Michael reflected on their shared commitment to aiding soldiers with top-tier functional prosthetics: “We are both very interested in building our relationship and helping soldiers have access to the best products available. The conflict is in the back of everyone’s mind, and everyone knows someone who is involved. I am truly honored for the opportunity to meet with Mayor Sadovyi and the people from Ukraine who are committed to fighting for their homeland.”
Expanding Commitment through International Collaboration
Our commitment to Ukraine’s cause expanded on December 1st when Fillauer participated in a conference organized by the Government Office of Sweden and Swecare. This event focused on restoring Ukraine’s healthcare system. Kevin Moore, President of Fillauer Europe, emphasized in a panel discussion, the crucial role companies like ours play in reintegrating Ukrainian amputees into society with functional and effective prosthetic solutions. Following the conference, we had the honor of welcoming Viktor Liashko, Ukraine’s Minister of Healthcare, and Jakob Forssmed, Sweden’s Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health, at our European headquarters in Stockholm. This meeting was a testament to our mutual dedication to securing the best prosthetic care for the Ukrainian people.
Promoting Innovation and Education in Ukraine
Shortly after this important meeting, our team, led by Michael Fillauer, Nathan A. Sprunger, Christoffer Ramirez, CPO, R&D Manager, and Kevin Moore, embarked on a second visit to Ukraine. Central to this trip was a four-day workshop at the UNBROKEN National Rehabilitation Center. Our team shared knowledge and skills with Ukrainian professionals, addressing the critical shortage of prosthetic specialists in the country. This workshop, attended by 22 Ukrainian professionals from various regions, was not just about teaching skills, it was about igniting a spark of innovation and hope. As Nazar Bahniuk, a local prosthetist, put it, “The increasing demand for high-quality artificial limbs due to the war is urgent. We’re embracing best practices to enhance our capabilities and train more specialists.”
Michael Fillauer’s words from this trip echoed the sentiment of our ongoing commitment: “Engaging with soldiers and the prosthetic team here in Ukraine, I feel a profound sense of obligation to support their efforts.” Kevin Moore also spoke about our vision for the future: “We’re here not just to share knowledge but to forge lasting connections. Our aim is to establish a sustainable educational relationship with UNBROKEN, opening doors to new possibilities in patient care and challenging them to find the best solutions, whether in socket design or component selection.”
Looking Ahead: Building a Sustainable Future in Ukraine
As we reflect on our journey to Ukraine, we recognize that this is just the beginning. We understand the importance of supporting and guiding Ukrainians in a long-term, comprehensive education program for prosthetists. We recognize that as a company alone, we can’t achieve this, but with collaborative efforts and the help of industry peers, it’s possible to assist Ukraine in establishing a long-term program that can certify prosthetists. This initiative will lay the foundation for sustainable development and exceptional patient care and patient outcomes.
CONNECT WITH US
Learn more about the Fillauer team!
For more information on our products, browse through our Product Library. Or contact us if you have any questions.