The Hanger Clinic is a longtime company founded in 1861 by the first amputee of the Civil War, J.E. Hanger. Today there are over 700 clinics nationwide with 19 in Washington State. The focus of this story is the specialty clinic in Gig Harbor.
Prosthetist Ryan Blanck joined Hanger Clinic in 2013. Born in Olympia, Blanck has known the Puget Sound area since childhood. He oversees the one-of-a kind facility in Gig Harbor, providing what can only be described as a ‘new life’ for amputees who seek help adjusting to the reality of missing a limb. The clinic offers patients a unique solution with the ExoSym™ device and care program.
The ExoSym™ device is a lighter, thinner and stronger version of the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis (IDEO) first invented by Blanck for the military at the Brook Army Medical Center in Texas in 2009. More than 500 service members received the IDEO and many were able to return to active duty and deployment.
At the Gig Harbor clinic, most of the patients are civilians that come from places near and far seeking the program and care that Blanck’s team provides. One of the challenges he has encountered is that few insurance companies will pay for the devices or the rehabilitation services, a situation that he hopes will change as more and more success stories appear.
All of us in Pierce County, and the hundreds of men and women who have tragically lost a limb and found new hope in the Hanger Clinic in Gig Harbor, thank Blanck and his team for their dedication and hard work in this incredible endeavor. It’s great to have this specialty clinic located in Pierce County!
You can learn more about the Gig Harbor clinic, Hanger Clinic corporate, and ExoSym™ by visiting their website: www.hangerclinic.com/exosym