For the past 9 years, Joel Smith, CPO has been part of Excels team whose mission is to help patients regain their independence and mobility with prosthetics and orthotics. Currently working out of the Bluefield, Princeton, and Beckley offices, he impacts lives from up to a two-hour radius and enjoys the opportunity to work with a wide variety of individuals with their own unique stories.
“We get to travel around a lot and interact with a variety of different people and places,” says Joel. “I can be in any number of different counties, nursing homes, and offices on the same day”
Discovering the Impact of Prosthetics
When Joel looks back on his journey to working as a prosthetist, he realizes that it’s what he was always meant to do. Joel had an early desire to be a physical therapist as a teenager. He knew that he wanted to be in a profession where helping people is the main goal. As he completed his undergraduate coursework for athletic training, a health careers course introduced him to the world of prosthetics. While he was unfamiliar with the profession, he was quickly interested in the ability to have such an immediate and direct impact on someone’s life. What drew him to the profession most is the variety of skills and interests that the profession draws upon. Not only is it a helping profession like a therapist, but it also utilizes artistic and creative aspects, and allows for creation of a very individual product for each unique person.
“The rest of it just fell into place, and I have never questioned this is my calling in life” recalls Joel.
He spent his early career gaining skill and experience by working with many types of patients from babies to senior patients and everyone in between in Florida, but eventually sought to be closer to his family. That’s when he applied for an opportunity at Excel Prosthetics & Orthotics. He was immediately drawn to the culture of patient-focused care and advanced technology.
“Of all the places that I had interviewed, Excel had impressed me the most with their capabilities and caring for their patients,” says Joel. “I was always fond of the fact that from the start that the individual was more than just a number, but a person that the company was focused on treating. Excel has all the capabilities and strengths of a large company with the personal care you would expect from your local family run business.”
Changing Patient Lives with Care and Capabilities
Joel’s favorite part of his job is having the opportunity to work directly with so many people. Knowing that he can meet people in the hardest, most difficult points of their life and have the opportunity to be a part of them returning to normality is incredibly rewarding. When he’s able to help people to get back to their work and the hobbies they enjoy doing, he knows he’s made an impact.
At Excel, Joel is able to provide the most modern high tech devices to patients while maintaining an unmatched level of patient care.
“Sometimes facing an amputation can be a scary thing but the modern technology and caring that we’re able to provide patients, people are able to get their life back,” says Joel.
He’s looking forward to continuing to work with and cheering patients on in their journey to maintain their lifestyle with the resources and support team at Excel Prosthetics & Orthotics for years to come.