Pivot Prosthetics and orthotics is a Gillette-based company that helps those in need of prosthetics and orthotics, but also provides opportunities for social engagement with others in similar situations. Their adaptive mobility group uses activities such as archery in addition to social events that provide community and encouragement.
Their name also reflects the goal for patients to better adapt to the changes that affect them.
“Our main vision here, so our name is Pivot Prosthetics & Orthotics, the reason is that you have to adapt, change, adjust and pivot throughout life,” said Brodie Rice, owner of Pivot Prosthetics & Orthotics.
“It was an opportunity to bring in people who are in need of accommodation, whether again, prosthetics or orthotics, and let them know that they are welcome in the community, that they may achieve goals or try new things they haven’t tried before.”
Rice started the company about a year and a half ago and serves patients of different ages, ranging from infants to seniors, and with many different needs, including those who have had limbs amputated or were born without. .
“We see anyone from newborns to geriatrics, so two- or three-month-olds who have clubfoot that we fit with custom devices to help them after surgery, we do,” a- he explained. “We do anything, athletes who have ankle injuries, knee injuries, back injuries, basically head to toe we do.”
The Adaptive Mobility Group was started several years ago when Rice worked for Campbell County Health. It was initially more targeted but was later broadened in scope.
“A few years ago we started what was called the amputee support group and it was great to get together and just help those who had recent amputations or had long had amputations and to form a group – people to share their experiences and just connect,” Rice said. “And we saw there was a need for others who weren’t necessarily amputees and so we changed it to the adaptive mobility group.”
The group has been involved in several community activities, including helping a local non-profit organization that helps provide nutritious food for county residents, as well as arranging meals at a local restaurant that has adapted its facilities to accommodate people in wheelchairs, walkers or who might otherwise need special accommodations. It also provides a social environment for those who may feel uncomfortable dining out due to mobility or other issues.
“The goal was just to bring people into this environment and help them feel comfortable and show them that they are welcome in our community, because we have such a big community here,” said- he declared.
The archery events proved popular, and were held with 4-H members at the Rocky Mountain Discount Sports Archery Range, a sporting goods store. They plan to do it again in the future. They’ve also planned another event focused on technology and learning new skills at Area 59.
“There’s going to be a class, kind of like an art class, they’re going to show us how laser cutting works and some of the machines. And again, bringing everyone out in the community, showing that there are things you can do, even if you couldn’t do the same hobbies or the same things that you could do before. There might be some new things or skills you can learn and have a great time doing.
Archery, which takes place once a month, has attracted around 20 participants, while other events, such as their most recent social event, have attracted around 15 people. Some of Rice’s patients participated in these events, some of which have been known for a decade or more.
Rice said they plan to expand their repertoire of deals and take advantage of local facilities so they can do more.
“What I really have [would] would like to see is bring more locally adapted activities,” he said. “There is an organization called the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and it’s an organization that really excites me. They provide the opportunity for individuals to get grants to get adaptive equipment, either adaptive bikes or even travel expenses to get to events and things like that. [There’s] adaptive skiing, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, adaptive climbing, these are some of the activities I have already participated in with this group. What I would like to see is have some type of regional event at this capacity.
Rice and her team are investing in technology to better support the needs of their patients, some of whom come from as far away as Montana and North Dakota in addition to Sheridan, Buffalo and South Dakota. A mobile unit allows Rice to better serve these patients, including those who may have reduced mobility to the point of not being able to leave their homes, among other reasons.