WOOD RIVER - Maryville's Anthony Gonzales of Cleary's Shoes and Boots in Wood River, has become a certified pedorthist.
Gonzales found out the news recently after passing the final stage - the pedorthist exam.
A certified pedorthist is a healthcare professional specifically trained in comprehensive foot care using therapeutic foot ware and supportive orthotic devices for the foot. A pedorthist helps the patient prevent or reduce painful or disabling conditions of the foot or ankle.
Gonzales shoe store is located at 48 E. Ferguson Ave. in Wood River.
"Growing up, I always wanted to be a paramedic/firefighter," Gonzales said. "At 18, my grandfather, Jim Hanlon, advised me to get a job or go to school. I chose to work while going to school. I never thought in 10 years, I'd still be here, but I absolutely love what I do. I forward to helping current/new clientele and cannot wait to see what the future holds for our store."
The certified pedorthist requirements are one year of schooling, 14-day clinical, 500 hours of clinical experience and 500 hours of retail experience and a national board exam.
Cleary’s Shoes and Boots owner Andrew Hagopian was proud of Gonzales and said: “I have been through the program myself and understand the time and effort takes to get to that point. It is good to have a practice, the needs for diabetes and all the customers who need it. It is a good thing for us to have here for sure.”
"Being a pedorthist means a ton to me because I can make a difference in people's lives every day," Gonzales said.