Many students in the University’s prosthetics and orthotics program dream of working with wounded veterans. Today, they heard words of encouragement from one such veteran while receiving a pledge of support from U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn). Blumenthal is co-sponsoring a bill that would provide grants to colleges and universities to develop more technologically advanced prosthetics.
“The University is at the cutting edge of advancing technology, providing advanced care to our veterans, and making sure we give the best this nation has to offer to our wounded veterans,” Blumenthal told the students. “The bill includes specific grant money for centers of excellence, like the University of Hartford.”
Blumenthal was joined by Greg Caron, a Marine veteran who lost both of his legs in a bombing while serving in Afghanistan. Caron, a Purple Heart recipient, told the students why their work is so important.
“When I’m in my prosthetics, I have the capability to do everything. I’m very independent,” said Caron. “My wife has to help me when I am in my wheelchair.”
Blumenthal and Caron also told the students not to forget about the psychological pain many of their patients will be enduring.
“They depend on people like you to get them better and resume normal lives. People like you, who are there caring for them, make all the difference in the world,” said Blumenthal. “Part of what you’re going to do is not only fit them with the best possible artificial limbs, but also give them hope.”
Caron, who says he went through a period of depression after being injured, shared advice on working with patients who do not yet have that hope.
“Please tell them it gets better,” Caron said. “It’s not the end of the world.”
The University of Hartford, one of just nine schools in the U.S. that offer a Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics in the country. Students who enroll as freshman can complete their bachelor's and master's degrees in five years. There is also a two year master's program available for students who have already earned a bachelor's and who have completed prerequisites. Please visit the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions website for more information.