Derek Walker (left), GNTC Machine Tool Student, and GNTC Machine Tool instructor, Bart jenkins (right), measure part to be used in Haiti as Ken Riggs (center), machine tool student, manufactures additional parts.

Derek Walker (left), GNTC Machine Tool Student, and GNTC Machine Tool instructor, Bart jenkins (right), measure part to be used in Haiti as Ken Riggs (center), machine tool student, manufactures additional parts.

When Dr. Stephan J. LaPointe contacted Georgia Northwestern Technical College president, Dr. Craig McDaniel, he was offering his services as a Rotary International member but he soon was receiving services, as well.

LaPointe volunteered as a foot and ankle specialist for a week-long humanitarian trip to help people injured in the earthquake in Haiti. With offices in Rome and Adairsville, LaPointe specializes in sports medicine and advanced reconstructive surgical procedures.

LaPointe, a member of the Rome Rotary, contacted McDaniel, Rome Rotary president, to ask if LaPointe could provide any Rotary services while in Haiti.

During their conversation, LaPointe told McDaniel about a need for particular parts on a medical device, called a circular external fixator, the doctor would be using to help the injured. McDaniel offered the services of GNTC’s machine tool faculty, students, and facility to make the needed part. The part, about an inch in length, will be used to hold the leg or ankle of injured patients in place while their bones heal.

With direction from LaPointe, GNTC students and faculty quickly designed and produced the parts LaPointe needed for several fixators. The parts were manufactured in less than one day.

GNTC machine tool program students working on the Haiti project were Ken Riggs, Derek Walker, Steve Dallas, Jason Brown and Chris Byrd as well as machine tool instructor Bart Jenkins.

Walker County Messenger