A generation of business in Downtown Brooklyn
March 7, 2013
Coming through the door on Livingston Street, greeting the staff and customers, addressing the mounting number of issues to deal with for the day, Steven Mirones is a busy man. He is the owner of Arimed Orthotics and Prosthetics, a lifetime Brooklyn resident and member of the Downtown community.
He has great pride in his business, pointing out the specialty hydraulic chair lift as he enters the offices: “Most facilities have their patients walk up steps to the exam chair.”
He greets patients by name, stops to discuss a new model of a prosthetic leg with his COO Timothy Evans, and picks up a new model to discuss one of his cases, without referring to notes once. “It’s our ethos of taking care of each patient like it’s your own relative. And we continue to do that today.”
With Evans, he reveals his thorough knowledge of his field, discussing cranial scanners that help model orthoses for malformed heads, or myoelectric prostheses and fully articulating bionic iLimb Hands. He knows his work from the ground up.
“I have 33 years of full time work here,” said Mirones, “helping people get out of wheelchairs and hospital beds, and the great satisfaction that we get to really give people their life back: it’s very, very gratifying.”
Even before taking over ownership of Arimed in 1980, Mirones had history in Downtown Brooklyn. “We lived in Sunset Park when I was a kid, but we were here all the time. I went to the Greek Orthodox church for school on State St. I went to Brooklyn Tech for high school. I started at Arimed from a single-digit age: delivery, sweeping up, taking care of customers. Every day after school, every Saturday, and all summer. Unless we were going to go to Boy Scout camp for two weeks, which was nirvana.”
With such a long experience at Arimed, Mirones, who was one of the original executive committee members of the Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BID, knows Downtown Brooklyn well. “I’ve seen the neighborhood go full circle. When I was a kid, it was basically a working class neighborhood. In the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, there was an exodus of people going to the suburbs and it was very difficult around here. Starting in the ‘90’s, things really started to pick up.”
He has never stopped feeling a connection with the people of the neighborhood, despite all its changes. In fact, that mentality informs not only his attitude toward Downtown Brooklyn, but to people across the globe. With Arimed, he’s launched humanitarian projects in Armenia, India, Turkey, and Greece; in Sierra Leone, he provided prosthetics for amputee children from the war.
Within the walls of Arimed, he ensures the company has a personal understanding of its clientele, with several staff members and a prosthetist who are amputees themselves. “We’re very involved with the disabled community; they’re working with us. We have a very strong, intimate feel for what they need and how to provide it.”