LIVERMORE FALLS — Three people were making custom-molded orthotics, grinding them to fit shoes, as they learned pedorthic techniques Wednesday inside a mobile laboratory.
The three were attending the International School of Pedorthics in a 40-foot trailer parked in the lot of Pine Tree Orthopedic Lab on Route 133.
Bill Meanwell of Broken Arrow, Okla., hauled his lab 1,700 miles to train students to become pedorthists.
It is the only mobile pedorthic school in the country, Meanwell said

Pedorthists are specialists in footwear and devices to solve lower limb problems, he said.

“We deal with people who have diseases,” Meanwell said. “We deal with people who have overuse issues and injuries.” 
A pedorthist could be instrumental in improving the quality of life for people who have foot problems, including factory workers who stand on their feet most of the day, he said.
One thing driving the industry is the Therapeutic Shoe Bill enacted by
Congress to provide proper footwear and inserts for people 65 years old
or older with diabetes who qualify under Medicare, Meanwell said.

As the students worked in the lab, Pine Tree Orthopedic Lab Vice President Bruce MacDonal watched.
“One of the things in our industry in our code of ethics is to keep competent and well-trained staff, and Bruce has gone above and beyond to make sure he has properly trained people to handle any foot problems,” Meanwell said.
MacDonald said that after Wednesday’s training he would have five people who have taken the course. Two of them, himself and his son and partner, Todd MacDonald, are already certified pedorthists. Three others, including two taking part in the training, will take an exam in November to become certified.
Meanwell has trained 1,300 of the 3,000 certified pedorthists in the country, he said, including Bruce MacDonald.
“I’ve been in this field for about 30 years,” said Meanwell, a certified pedorthist.
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Bill Meanwell, a certified pedorthist from Oklahoma and owner of International School of Pedorthics, left, looks on Wednesday as students work inside his mobile laboratory set up outside of Pine Tree Orthopedic Lab in Livermore Falls. Students working on grinders from far left, are Tara Chabot of Livermore Falls, Barry Weiner of Boca Raton, Fla., and Michael Leary of Wilton.

Tara Chabot of Livermore Falls, foreground, learns pedorthic techniques from Bill Meanwell, a certified pedorthist from Oklahoma and owner of International School of Pedorthics on Wednesday. Meanwell was teaching students inside his mobile laboratory set up outside of Pine Tree Orthopedic Lab in Livermore Falls.


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