The Century Club: John Sabolich

By Sabolich, John | THE JOURNAL RECORD, October 2, 2007 | Go to article overview

The Century Club: John Sabolich


Sabolich, John, THE JOURNAL RECORD


There's a story that goes something like this:

One day, a Russian man, who had lost both legs, arrived at an American airport. His friends, family and neighbors had raised the money he needed to travel such a long distance.

This man spoke only one word in English - "Sabolich." He desperately needed to find the man who carried that name. The amputee knew he could give him hope for a new life.

As a young boy growing up, John Sabolich watched his father, Lester Sabolich, work tirelessly in his prosthetic clinic.

In that small, red brick building in north Oklahoma City, John Sabolich discovered that his father's goal was to restore more than just limbs - it was to restore the lives of his patients.

He devoted himself to becoming his father's apprentice and later a certified prosthetist-orthotist. John Sabolich worked side by side with his father until Lester Sabolich retired.

It was then, in the early 1980s, that John Sabolich took over the practice. He dedicated himself to research and development, inventing the patented Sabolich Socket.

In 1994, when annual revenues had reached $8 million, the family agreed to sell the business to the health care company, Novacare Inc.

Since the Sabolich name had already become internationally known, the father-son team saw the purchase as a way to position themselves for the future in the rapidly changing health care industry.

In his new role, John Sabolich was named national prosthetic director for Novacare and CEO of Sabolich Co., the new subsidiary.

But after a while, John Sabolich realized the corporation had a different philosophy than he did. His father had taught him that the patient, the person, always came first. …

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