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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Artificial Limbs Available Locally

Skilled Prosthetics Practitioner is building legs in Marianna
By Sid Riley

Need a new body part? How about a new finger, or even an arm, or how about a whole new leg ?…. Dale Petersen, a skilled, licensed prosthetist can make you feel like a new person. Well, it’s really not quite that simple, but Dale Petersen is providing a much needed service to the medical community in Jackson and several surrounding counties.
He has opened Vital Prosthetics here in Marianna at 4299 Third Avenue where he custom builds prosthetic devices in accordance with prescriptions written by area doctors for these items. He specializes in building custom devices in his fabrication lab. He is a sixth generation Floridian, and third generation crafter of medical appliances.
Petersen graduated from high school in Clermont, Florida, and obtained his associate degree from Tallahassee Community. He attended school in White Bear Lake, Minnesota where he obtained his technical certification to make orthotic and prosthetic devices. He then became licensed in Florida and Georgia. After obtaining his licenses, he received his Practitioner Certification by successfully completing the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics (the ABC) three part exam at Northwestern University.
He has worked as a Practitioner/Technician with a large prosthetic firm in Tallahassee for over twenty four years. Last year he decided it was time for him to go into business for himself..
After investigating, he realized Marianna and the surrounding area needed his services and skills among the medical communities. In January, 2008 he opened Vital Prosthetics.
He can build a custom prosthetic appliance for any body appendage, including fingers, arms, toes, and legs. These are custom built to assure maximum comfort and fit. He specializes in a special cosmetic covering for these items which match skin color, making it difficult for the casual observer to realize the appendage is not flesh and blood.
They will provide free consultation to anyone who wishes to bring an existing prosthetic device to them that may be causing a problem. He also will make house calls for patients when they cannot travel to his office. Additionally, for the first time in Marianna, veterans and military personnel can obtain prosthetics locally.
Petersen is assisted in his business by his wife, Martha Gail. She is the daughter of the well know "Red" Smith who owned and operated Red and Sam’s on Lake Jackson in Tallahassee for many years. They are both avid fishermen. We certainly welcome this family and their unique business to our community, and wish them great success. They can be contacted at 850-526-0063. Their web site is

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