All In a Day’s Work: Employee’s Commitment to Quality Comes Full Circle
As a Senior Quality Control Inspector, Jeff Cherney stands by the quality of Arthrex’s products. Little did he know when he started with the company in 2013, he’d soon be more dependent on that quality than he would have ever realized.
In his 30s, Jeff injured his right shoulder playing volleyball. “At that age, you really think everything’s just going to heal and you don’t really worry about it, but over the years, I started getting a ratcheting in my shoulder,” he says. “I had two surgeries about 30 years ago to remove some cartilage that was torn and broken off but it got to the point where I was bone on bone (had no cartilage) and osteoarthritis set in. They just couldn’t do anything else for me. Everything I enjoyed, I couldn’t do anymore. I couldn’t throw a ball with my grandson, I couldn’t even cast a fishing rod and I loved to fish. I loved riding motorcycles and I couldn’t even hold onto the handlebars.”
When Jeff started working for Arthrex, he realized there was hope for getting his quality of life back. “I had really never heard of a total shoulder replacement before I got to Arthrex. I always said I hope they can fix this shoulder one day like they do with the knee and when I started working here, I realized they actually could.”
In May 2016, Jeff had total shoulder arthroplasty surgery, implanting Univers™ Apex in his right shoulder. He says, “The day after surgery I had less pain than I had experienced for many years and now I don’t have any, which is amazing! My whole life changed when I got the shoulder replacement, I’m doing everything I love again. It’s just great!”
He began to wonder if he had any involvement in the manufacturing process of the implant he received and realized he had been working in the Total Joint Quality Control area a year prior. He asked his surgeon for the part number and began searching records. What he learned next was truly mind blowing.
“I started looking at the paperwork and on the front page of the in-process sheet were my initials accepting the first piece inspection of the Apex production lot! Oh wow! Not only did my surgeon save me the lot numbers to the shoulder part he used, he saved the numbers for the drills that Arthrex made, too. I did another document search and saw my initials again! I actually inspected those parts, too. So it’s not just the joint, I was a part of everything he used on me.”
When he shared this revelation with his surgeon, he said, “Well, I guess we both did a good job, didn’t we?”
Jeff says he’s never had a job so rewarding. “I feel a closer connection to our quality and have a lot of pride for the work I do. I wanted to share my story with everyone who played a part. There are so many people in this company who don’t touch the product but are part of the product. I have personally thanked and shook the hands of the employees that were involved in the manufacturing of my implant and showed them pictures. I saw a lot pride in their reactions and I think it drove home that the work we’re doing is making people better.”
“I can now say that Arthrex will always be a PART of me forever!” he beamed.
*Patient images, videos, and/or testimonials used with written authorization of the patient or their legal guardian.