Scholar Spotlight: Carly Harad’s work at the New Orleans Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Carly Harad (GCSP class of 2021) began working at the New Orleans Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the summer of 2020 in the Orthotic and Prosthetic Department. She was awarded a grant through Tulane University and the National Institutes of Health for an immersive clinical experience. Along with three other biomedical engineering students, she observed and interacted with patients, clinicians, and engineers to identify ways to improve clinical care and outcomes for patients. Their summer work generated twenty-plus needs statements, which inspired their peers and led to the foundation of two senior design capstone projects. Furthermore, Carly managed a case study to assess the potential benefits of digitizing the prosthetic workflow by integrating 3D scanners, CAD software, and 3D printers; the results were presented on a poster and submitted to the internal Performance Excellence Fair. The poster won 1st place, and the department was awarded $10,000.

Carly is passionate about improving clinical outcomes, restoring patient confidence and independence, and improving the efficiency of healthcare treatments. It is this drive that fuels her work, which has continued beyond the summer program. As the lead 3D printing engineer, Carly designs and verifies CAD files, prepares them for printing by designing them for additive manufacturing, maintains the 3D printers, and runs the files.