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News / Business / Working in Clark County

Working in Clark County: Mark Sauser, prosthetist and orthotist

By Mary Ricks, Columbian News Assistant
Published: August 24, 2014, 5:00pm
6 Photos
Mark Sauser, from Evergreen Prosthetics and Orthotics, makes adjustments Aug.
Mark Sauser, from Evergreen Prosthetics and Orthotics, makes adjustments Aug. 11 to Earl Davidson's new prosthetic leg. Photo Gallery

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columbian.com; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Working with people who are missing limbs, Mark Sauser always faces a problem he hasn’t seen before. But he doesn’t like to say “We can’t do anything,” so he usually finds a solution. The reward is great. When a person who’s been confined to a wheelchair can walk with a new leg, “they are an entirely different person. … They are so proud.”

Name: Mark Sauser.

Job/employer: Evergreen Prosthetics and Orthotics. There are two locations in Vancouver and several in Oregon.

Website: www.evergreenprostheticsandorthotics.com.

Age: 35.

Education/professional background: After I earned my degree in biology from Walla Walla College. I worked in Portland for two years as a technician building custom braces and prosthetic legs using all raw materials. I received a bachelor of science degree in orthotics and prosthetics from the Washington Medical Center Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Division of Prosthetics and Orthotics in 2006. After completing a two-year residency in Spokane, I stayed on for a few more years before coming to Evergreen three years ago. I first worked at the Evergreen office in Hillsboro, Ore., and two years ago I became the managing practitioner at the Vancouver offices.

Working in Clark County

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Kay Richardson: kay.richardson@columbian.com; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Definition: Orthotics is bracing a body part and prosthetics is replacing a body part. I am certified in both by The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics.

Residence: Hockinson.

One word to describe yourself: Caring. We don’t like to be called a doctor’s office. We see patients multiple times during their life. Our younger patients are always growing and new amputees’ limbs change shape all the time. We are involved with a patient for a lifetime. Because we know our patients well, like family members, we can tell when they are having good days or bad days.

Most rewarding part of job: The most rewarding for me is definitely the first time I get to see a person walk into our office. Most of our patients are going through the process of losing a leg. They might have been stuck in a wheelchair for a long time and we have always seen them in a wheelchair. They are an entirely different person when they can walk in. They are so proud.

Most challenging part of job: I see people in all stages. I consult with patients who are going through the emotional process of losing a limb or with parents whose child is losing a limb. We work with veterans often but most people lose limbs because of diabetes. These are life-changing events. I am privileged to help people get through these hard times.

Personal/business philosophy: I don’t like to say “We can’t do anything.” I like to run the office by making things happen. The neat thing is, I can usually fabricate what is needed, and that is a real fun part of the job. There is always a problem you haven’t seen before. No stump is the same, there is no small, medium or large that fits everyone. You are creating things on a daily basis.

Something you would like to do over: There is nothing I would do over. I love to come to work and I couldn’t do anything else.

Best feature of my Vancouver/Clark County community: I like the people here. My patients are friendly. Clark County has a different feel than Portland or Hillsboro. I work with doctors of all kinds and we have some awesome doctors in the area.

Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: I like Chipotle.

Hobbies: I have three kids and I am busy with them. I like riding road and mountain bikes, and my motorcycle.

Favorite travel destination: My brothers and I, along with our dad, try to go to Moab, Utah, and ride motorcycles every year.

One thing you want to do this year: I would like to take my kids on a road trip and visit a lot of national parks.

Person you’d most like to meet: I can’t think of anyone I look up to more than my dad. He is a retired radiologist and professor emeritus at Oregon Health & Science University.

Video of fabrication of foot brace: www.evergreenprostheticsandorthotics.com/evergreen-orthotics/afo-fabrication-video.

Columbian News Assistant