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LEAD Arlington offers inside look into Wright Medical

LEAD Arlington offers inside look into Wright Medical
Posted on 12/04/2019
Mia Patrikios vividly remembers her visit in middle school to Arlington-based MicroPort Orthopedics. She was surprised then how a company that large with a wide-reaching international customer base existed in small town Arlington. She recalls being wide-eyed as she and the other students snaked through the facility to see how medical devices were designed, produced and shipped.

So imagine her surprise when, now as a sophomore, she visited Wright Medical with Arlington High’s Collegiate Academy and realized there were not one, but two international medical device companies in Arlington.

“I honestly had no idea this existed,” she laughed. “This is just another thing I’ve been stunned to learn about the town I live in.”

Mia and 20 other Collegiate Academy students, along with local business and government leaders, toured Wright Medical as part of the LEAD Arlington series, which focuses on the latest happenings in Arlington’s business, government and school communities.

Wright Medical, which will soon be absorbed by Stryker after a $4 billion acquisition, was founded in 1950 and relocated its headquarters to Arlington in the 1970s. The company is globally known for making medical devices focused for the ankle, foot, shoulder and wrist.

Like Mia, Class of 2021’s Christian Stevens was equally shocked as he made his way through Wright and learned about the multi-million-dollar operation. Those on the tour had the chance to learn about the entire process. From the delivery of raw material and seeing machinists in action to viewing the 3D printing equipment, Wright displayed how its devices are made from start to finish.

“I learned a lot. It’s pretty detailed and intricate here, but I enjoyed going through the business and learning how things are made,” Christian said. “I’ve enjoyed learning about being a leader and what roles Wright is taking to create a better community.”

For Mia, who as a sophomore is already zoning in on a career in the medical field, the tour was a chance to see the unique side of how different industries can still be connected to each other. “I think the 3D printing was very cool, especially how they’re able to create models of someone’s bones from a CT scan,” she explained. “Doctors are relying on Wright to help patients, and this technology is making it easier and more time effective for them to do so.”