Four local residents will be the beneficiaries of free joint replacements Saturday, as The Christ Hospital
is participating in Operation Walk USA
for the second straight year.
“Two of our physicians came to us and said, ‘We ought to be giving back to our community like we do when we go across internationally,’ ” says Herb Caillouet, executive director of musculoskeletal services at The Christ Hospital. "They had been a part of Operation Walk International
and had gone to other countries to do the same procedures there. So since it had never been done here in Cincinnati and as a market share leader in joint replacement surgery in Cincinnati, we wanted to be able to give something back to the city and to the citizens of the Tristate area.”
So far, one hip and three knee replacements are slated for Saturday’s efforts, in which everyone from surgeons and nurses to food service staffers will give of their time to provide quality care that's completely free of charge, throughout both the surgery and recovery processes.
“It’s a way for everybody to share their skills and talents with the community, to share our commitment with them and to them,” Caillouet says.
The recipients are more than grateful. Last year, for example, a man lost his job because of psoriatic arthritis and hip problems he was having.
“He couldn’t continue to work as a trucker, so they moved him into a warehouse role to continue, but he couldn’t continue it and he actually dropped out of the job market,” Caillouet says.
But after his joint replacement surgery, his walking improved, and he's now back in the workforce.
“He’s come back to the hospital and spoken, literally thanked the entire leadership group for the difference that their giving of their time has made in his personal life," Caillouet says. "The goal here is to find somebody who otherwise can’t afford it, that if it were done for them, they could reenter productive life, work-life, being a family member, a parent, a spouse, and to do so in a very productive way. These are life-changing events.”
• If you're a patient in need and who qualifies for a joint or hip replacement, sign up here
. The 2015 Operation Walk USA application will be available beginning in January.
• If you're a vendor and would like to become involved with Operation Walk USA, contact Herb
to discuss how your products might be of use to recipients throughout the process.
• Contact Herb
if you're interested in volunteering with the aftercare process. For example, patients may require assistance cleaning their homes and securing transportation to and from therapy or follow-up visits.