In 2015, Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 10 began working on its vision to reduce the wait time for custom foot orthotics by building and utilizing a VA operated Central Fabrication Unit (CFU).
The CFU provides quality custom foot orthotics. It also reduces the wait time and creates a more efficient and streamlined process for the Veterans and staff.
In December of 2020, the doors opened to a 10,000 square foot cutting edge facility located on the Marion campus of VA Northern Indiana. The CFU is staffed with 16 employees. It produces custom foot orthotics and therapeutic shoes to Orthotic and Prosthetic Labs.
The service grew from the Marion campus and Orthotic and Prosthetic Clinics. It’s now in Community Based Outpatient Clinics throughout the VISN 10 region of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
Exceeded goal of insoles by 30%
In the first fiscal year, the CFU team exceeded their initial goal of 10,000 pairs of insoles fabricated by 30%. Before the opening of the CFU, Veterans had a wait time of 8-12 weeks for their custom foot orthotics. The VISN 10 CFU has reduced that time to 5-7 days.
“To be to be fully accredited ensures our Veterans and the stakeholders are provided with the same or better quality of service they would expect from a privately owned fabrication facility outside of VA,” said James Seals, the project manager.
Before the doors opened to the CFU, Seals pushed for the facility to achieve the first American Board of Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics accredited CFU in VA.
In November 2021, the VISN 10 CFU exceeded the requirements. It is the first central fabrication facility within VA and the first to be fully accredited.