Students Print Prosthetic Devices for Area Children - Recipients Visit Campus to Try Them Out

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With the help of 3-D printers, students at ECPI University’s Richmond/Innsbrook campus are joining a global movement to make and donate prosthetic devices for children.

All over the world, there are children with missing hands and arms, a large number of which live in third-world countries and war zones. Impoverished, most have no access to artificial limbs.

Even here in the United States, many struggle to function without an assistive device. Simply put, they’re expensive and insurance companies oftentimes will not pay for them because children outgrow them so fast.

Now with the help of 3-D printers, students at ECPI University’s Richmond/Innsbrook campus are joining a global movement to change that, making assistive devices affordable and donating them to children who desperately need them – in Richmond and throughout the world. Recently, the campus formed a chapter linked to a global network of volunteers called Enabling the Future.

Lead by Dr. Negar Ghochaghi, a member of ECPI University’s Electronics Engineering Technology faculty, the chapter has just completed its first two assistive devices. “I thought this would be an exciting and ideal opportunity for our students,” says Dr. Ghochaghi. “It gives them a chance to practice what they are learning in class, but the real reward will be seeing the grateful faces of the children who receive what they’ve created.”

They got that opportunity on June 30 when the recipients visited ECPI University’s Richmond/Innsbrook campus to pick up their new assistive devices. One of the children – Lydia – has managed fairly well without one, but her family says she is thrilled to receive this helping hand. “ECPI University has told us that if we have any problems, if it were to break, or even if she wants one in a different color, they would print us another one,” says her father.

Students like Joseph Andarz are only too happy to oblige. “To give a little hope and to see that hope shine through their eyes,” he says, “it’s a really wonderful feeling.”

For more information, please contact ECPI Director of Communications David Brandt at 757.404.2032 or dbrandt(at)ecpi(dot)edu.

About ECPI University

ECPI University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award the associate's, baccalaureate, and master's degrees and diplomas. SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. A private university founded in 1966, ECPI University has campuses in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida, and offers convenient classes during the day, evening, and online; graduate employment services, continuing education, certification classes, and testing are also available.

On campus or online, fields of study include: HEALTH SCIENCES: Master of Science in Nursing, Nursing (RN to BSN), BS to BSN, Nursing (RN), Practical Nursing, Healthcare Administration, Health Information Management, Physical Therapist Assistant, Massage Therapy, Dental Assisting, Medical Assisting, Radiography, Sonography, Surgical Technology; TECHNOLOGY: Master of Science in Information Systems, Master of Science in Cybersecurity, Cyber and Network Security, Information Systems, Software Development, Cloud Computing, Web Development, Database Programming, Electronics Engineering Technology, Mechatronics/Advanced Manufacturing, Mechanical Engineering Technology; BUSINESS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Accounting, Business Administration, IT Management, Hospitality Management, Criminal Justice, Homeland Security; CULINARY: Culinary Arts, Culinary Nutrition, Food Service Management, Baking and Pastry Arts. (Program field availability varies by campus.) For more information, visit http://www.ecpi.edu.

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