How We Operate
Penta acts as the logistical bridge between the supply of used and discarded limbs in the US and the incredible need for these devices in low-and middle-income countries. Keep reading to learn more about how we repurpose mobility!
Penta collects donations of used, discarded, unsold, and excess prosthetic & orthotic equipment that is still functional from across the United States. Prosthetic limbs typically need to be replaced every 3-5 years, and with over 2.1 million amputees in the US – a number that is estimated to increase to 3.5 million by 2050 – the possible supply of these valuable components is substantial. Our team has calculated that over 300,000 prosthetic limbs are being replaced annually in the US, without counting return items or tarnished products coming off the manufacturing line. Penta pursues its mission because none of this equipment can be resold or reused in the US due to various regulations, despite retaining years of mobility. We thus rely on the amputee community and the prosthetics industry to recognize this waste and divert these life-changing devices to Penta for reuse.
Penta taps into this unique supply of high-quality limbs by building a donation network that stretches across various channels:
- Special Interest Groups
- P&O Clinics + Healthcare Institutions
- Prosthetic Manufacturers
Disassembly of Equipment and Inventory
After receiving donated equipment in our NYC-based warehouse, our team dismantles, assesses, and cleans the donations. All of the individual components – feet, pyramid adaptors, locking liners, or full AFOs – are logged into a custom-built inventory tracking system through which we manage and coordinate items passing through our warehouse. Most importantly, we share this live inventory list with our global partners, who can request specific supplies that they need and that are best suited for their patients, communities, and environments. Providing this inventory list to our partners ensures that they receive the items they need most, further improving efficiency and reducing waste. Once we receive these requests, equipment is sorted, packed, and shipped, with different processes being necessary in different countries.
Penta does not operate its own clinics or facilities overseas, and instead works with existing, reputable partners providing P&O care to provide and fit the equipment to those in need. This model has allowed Penta to grow rapidly and provide mobility on a global scale without committing time, resources, and personnel in establishing our own clinics. The hospitals, clinics, and non-profit organizations with which we work benefit greatly from collaborating with Penta, receiving high-quality devices in good condition for just the cost of shipping, which is a fraction of what they would otherwise spend in purchasing new, lower-quality equipment. These on-the-ground partners, some being local clinics and others being major urban hospitals, work directly with patients with limb-difference and help to restore their mobility and get them back to daily life. The value of the service Penta provides to amputees in need cannot be understated: even the lowest cost prosthetic limb can be a serious financial burden and financially inaccessible to an amputee and their family. Providing physical mobility opens the door to social and economic mobility for them as well.
Penta has a large network of international partners who are the main recipients of the components and devices that Penta collects. In this network are nonprofit organizations with prosthetic and orthotic program areas, major educational institutions of P&O sciences, and local prosthetists and clinicians operating their own facilities and serving their communities. These partners include trained professionals who ultimately fit patients with Penta-provided limbs, while also providing all other services associated with limb disability, including physical therapy and repairs.
We are fortunate to have partnered with several previously established and reputable health institutions and organizations, including:
Young Physicians Association
Sirindhorn School of Prosthetics and Orthotics (SSPO)
Christian Medical College of Vellore (CMC Vellore)
Pakistan Institute of Prosthetic and Orthotic Sciences (PIPOS)
Range of Motion Project (ROMP)
Fundación Prótesis para Bolivia (FunProBo)
Range of Motion Project (ROMP)
Device Orthopedic Outreach Rehabilitative International Services (DOORIS)
Hôpital Adventiste d’Haïti
Shelter Of His Wings
Centro De Protésis
Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS)
African Organization for the Development of Centers for People with Disabilities (OADCPH)
Colombo Friend in Need Society (CFINS)
Colombo Outer Lions Club
Several organizations and efforts responding to the Ukrainian conflict