More than 120 members of the national Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect™ team recently provided a helping hand to amputees by donating 60 prosthetic hands to victims of land mine accidents.
In partnership with Odyssey Helping Hands, an organization devoted to facilitating philanthropic team building, a four-hour workshop was held in which Kaiser Permanente participants were challenged to assemble new, highly functional, prosthetic hands for distribution to children in developing nations who have lost limbs as a result of land mine explosions.
KP HealthConnect is the world’s largest civilian electronic health records project. The idea to participate came about when team leaders were planning a meeting for the national KP HealthConnect team to search for an unconventional way to build camaraderie among employees and find more effective ways of delivering services to their customers.
The workshop combines curriculum, activities and keynote addresses with the cooperative problem-solving exercise of actually assembling the prosthetics.
“It is an amazing experience to see the looks on peoples’ faces when they realize that they are building something that will allow amputees to do things that we take for granted every day, such as writing, typing and even eating with standard utensils,” said John Arntz, a facilitator of the workshop. “Participants can then apply the lessons learned to their personal work environments with a newfound appreciation of their support systems and the end result of their work.”
The activity allows participants to deliver what would typically cost thousands of dollars to recipients free of charge.
Unfortunately, the need is prevalent. The United Nations estimates that there are 100 million ‘active’ land mines in 60 countries, and 250 million more that are stockpiled and ready to deploy. There are approximately 2,000 land mine accidents every month, with 75 percent of mine blast survivors injured to a degree that requires at least one amputation.