After spending so much time at the Baltimore (Linthicum) office, and attending a number of Coffee with Dankmeyer functions at the Sinai office, Heather Iman, Cumberland's Patient Services Representative, asked if 3DPO could make a trip there to lend her a helping hand! As we know, 3DPO never passes up an opportunity to travel. Heather warned him that they would be spending some time doing a little extra housecleaning before she decorates the office for the holidays. Mark Treasure, Cumberland's Prosthetist Orthotist, promised that he would give 3DPO a chance to work in the shop, and they both wanted him to meet some patients while he was there. With that in mind, he made the trip from Baltimore to Cumberland in Western Maryland.
The Cumberland office is the oldest of the offices outside of Baltimore. Nestled in a valley in the Appalachian Mountains, Cumberland was founded in 1787, and built on the site of the old Fort Cumberland. After Charles Herbert “Herb” Dankmeyer started Dankmeyer in 1954, doctors and therapists in Cumberland asked him to service patients in Cumberland at the hospital there. He would take everything back to Baltimore for completion, because there was no local Orthotics & Prosthetics facility. If patients didn’t see Herb, they would have to travel to Pittsburgh or Baltimore for their needs. Dankmeyer started seeing patients in rental space instead of the hospital, and in 1980 purchased a former veterinary office building in La Vale on National Highway. This is where 3DPO was headed.
Heather was ready for him and made him feel welcome on his first visit. Cleaning supplies were already organized and after a brief tour they set about putting an extra shine on the office space. 3DPO had experience cleaning the shop in the Baltimore office, so he knew what to do. They worked together and took a coffee break and then Heather showed him some of the office equipment she uses - answering the phone, signing in patients, and faxing paperwork. Before long it was time for lunch and they went out to grab something quick since Heather hadn't brought her lunch that day. Mark kept an eye on the phones while they were out.
After lunch, 3DPO headed to the fabrication area to do some restocking and to see what Mark was doing. Mark was working on a cast, and 3DPO wanted to help. Mark thought it best for him to observe first, and he could take a more active role when he had more experience. After all, that is what an intern does, right? There is a lot of equipment to try his hand at - sewing on velcro, putting in rivets, tagging devices, some trimming and filing and using plaster and goop (officially known as resin.)
He was happy to agree to hang around for an extended visit so that he could be more directly involved in hands on fabrication techniques - though perhaps he took that a little too literally. After all, Halloween was over and no one was going to mistake him for a bat. He was much too green. Mark promised that they would take more pictures and he and 3DPO could write a followup blog, that would be both educational and entertaining.
Over the next several days, 3DPO was very fortunate to have his picture taken with several willing patients, some of whom had written patient stories for the website. He felt like a real celebrity.