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Magnuson Award to director of limb-loss-prevention program

Bruce J. Sangeorzan, MD, an orthopedic surgeon, researcher and director of VA’s Seattle-based Center of Excellence for Limb Loss Prevention and Prosthetic Engineering, is the recipient of the 2007 Magnuson Award, VA’s highest honor for rehabilitation investigators.

Sangeorzan’s expertise in foot mechanics and abnormalities has helped establish his center as a leading site for research on amputation prevention and care, particularly in connection with diabetes and peripheral vascular disease. The program’s basic and clinical research is focused on preserving the lower limb and its function and better understanding the deformities that lead to foot ulcers. Another major goal is examining the role of protective footwear and preventive correction of deformities. Researchers at the site also assess the benefits of limb salvage versus amputation and the quality of life of veterans who undergo amputation.

Under Sangeorzan’s leadership, the center, which recently expanded to incorporate a motion-analysis lab, is also working to improve the design of artificial legs by comparing suspension systems and measuring the effect of impact-absorbing prosthetic shanks in below-knee prostheses.

Photo of Bruce J. Sangeorzan, MD
Bruce J. Sangeorzan, MD

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.