"Taking care of people
with multiple challenges is especially rewarding. It’s a great feeling to see someone walking away in a better state, and then see that years later that person still has a better quality of life.”
Dan Blocka, B.Sc., CO(c), F.C.B.C.
President and Owner
Boundless Biomechanical Bracing
With his commitment to exemplary patient care and tireless advocacy, Dan Blocka is one of the most respected experts in the orthotics profession.
But then, a sense of purpose is in his DNA. As the descendant of hard-working Ukrainian immigrants, he was motivated by their sacrifices to give back to society in a way that would honour them. When he founded the company in 1988 his goal was not only to provide the best orthotic solutions for patients, but to move beyond preconceived ideas of what was possible.
Over 30 years later, that ethos still holds. Dan encourages the Boundless team to be relentless in their quest for improvement, to continually try new techniques and research new materials. What’s out there? What works better for patients? What doesn’t? By investing in future game-changing technologies such as 3-D printing, and collaborating with other leaders in the orthotics’ field, Dan hopes to be able to offer the widest range of innovative solutions for orthotic patients in the years ahead.
Teaching is another passion. Since 1986, Dan has been an instructor in the Orthotics and Prosthetic programs at George Brown College in Toronto. Many of his former students now work at Boundless, bringing their various backgrounds in kinesiology and engineering to help come up with boundless approaches for patients.
Keeping up standards for patients—and the profession.
That said, Dan’s orthotic journey has not been without its challenges. Because the landscape is unregulated, virtually anyone can claim to be an orthotics expert. This is just one reason why Dan has become an advocate for the profession, working actively at national and global levels with organizations such as the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) to raise awareness of the profession. As well, Dan is currently the Chair of the Professional Qualifications Committee for Orthotics Prosthetics Canada, the national association for both professions. Because ultimately he wants anyone who needs an orthotic device to get the best solution possible.
What else drives Dan? Philanthropic work. Some of his efforts include:
- Supporting ErinoakKids Centre fundraising campaigns and initiatives that recognize the achievements of youth involved in the centre’s programs and services,
- Establishing a scholarship in his mother’s name for students enrolled in an Prosthetics & Orthotics program at George Brown College,
- Awarding scholarships to students who want to get their Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Science in conjunction with completing their diploma in Orthotics and Prosthetics,
- Providing sponsorship for educational publications such as the Atlas of Spinal Orthotics.
Dan’s efforts have been well recognized by the healthcare profession. In 2014, ErinoakKids presented him with the Tall Tree Award for his work as an ambassador and supporter of the organization. The metaphor of a tall tree connects well to Dan’s philanthropy work, because his aim to support and nurture those around him with a deep-rooted system of values that allow them to grow into their greatest potential.
Dan graduated from the University of Guelph in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. He became a Certified Orthotist in 1985, after completing the Clinical Methods in Prosthetics & Orthotics program at George Brown College.