Joseph M. Czerniecki, MD, received the Paul B. Magnuson Award for his research on behalf of Veterans with limb loss. Most recently, Czerniecki's group at the Puget Sound VA has explored one of the most important medical decisions affecting the long-term health and mobility of Veterans and others who undergo lower-limb amputations as a result of diabetes. To help clinicians decide at which level to amputate a leg, the team is developing a prediction model showing how various factors affect outcomes. In other research, Czerniecki has conducted biomechanical analyses to understand the adaptive strategies that amputees use to walk and run. He has also studied the biomechanical and prosthetic factors that influence how much energy is expended by prosthetics users. Czerniecki is associate director of the VA Research Center of Excellence for Limb Loss Prevention and Prosthetic Engineering. He also is a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.
The Magnuson Award is named for Paul B. Magnuson, a bone and joint surgeon and chief medical director for VA in the years after World War II. The award is given annually to VA rehabilitation investigators who display entrepreneurship, humanitarianism and dedication to veterans, in the spirit of Magnuson. Known for his pursuit of creative, individualized solutions for meeting the needs of disabled veterans, Magnuson is quoted as saying, “People are no more alike in the shape and functional movements of their bodies and limbs than they are in their faces.”
Magnuson Award winners receive a $5,000 cash award and a plaque, along with an additional $50,000 per year for three years to supplement ongoing peer-reviewed research.