Putting the Patient First
Over the past six years, Matt Hand has worked hard to serve our patients with excellence and compassion. As a certified orthotist, Matt evaluates and fits patients with prescribed braces and orthotics. “Everything from foot orthotics to upper and lower extremity bracing, both custom and prefabricated,” said Matt.
Working in our Roanoke, Radford, Galax, and Wytheville offices and clinics, Matt gets a lot of quality time working with our patients. “The biggest complaint I hear from people is that people don’t listen to them,” said Matt. “Because of that, I always listen and live by the motto ‘Put the patient first, and you can’t go wrong.’
“Every patient is someone’s grandparent, parent, spouse, or child, so I try to treat each patient how I would want one of my relatives to be treated,” said Matt.
Matt uses his skills and experience to serve patients in many skilled nursing facilities, wound care clinics, and other rehab facilities. He also likes to pass on his knowledge to students in the next generation, speaking to Radford University’s Occupational Therapy program and classes for the last eight years.
“I learned a lot from therapists when I first got started with orthotics and prosthetics in 2004,” said Matt, “so I suppose I want to pass it along to students who are just getting started, themselves.”
The Power of Conversation
Originally from Iowa, Matt went to the University of Iowa (UI) and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in 2001. While at Iowa, he was a member of the University of Iowa Wrestling Team, Division 1 National Champs from 1996-2000. He moved to Virginia in 2002, seeking a change of scenery from Iowa. He’s been here ever since.
“I got hired for a position in the orthotics & prosthetics industry after a couple of years being in Virginia,” said Matt. “I shadowed the previous practitioner for 3 months and was thrown out in the field on my own. I had to learn quickly.”
Looking back, Matt sees his conversations with medical professionals and patients as a foundation for his career. “I worked endlessly with numerous healthcare professionals like physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, and doctors, and I’ve developed and sustained these professional relationships over the years,” said Matt. “I always try and communicate with therapists and doctors collectively so that everyone is on the same page.”
Matt enjoys the relationships he’s developed with patients throughout his work at Excel. “I really like working for Excel because of the broad variety of patients we see,” said Matt. “Everything from pediatrics to veterans to athletes to the elderly, and everything in between.”
“Every patient has a story and background. I enjoy working with them all,” said Matt. Perhaps some of Matt’s most fulfilling experiences have been working with veterans. “I am very grateful for veterans’ service and sacrifices. I could listen to their stories all day,” said Matt.
Matt gets most excited when he sees how Excel’s work in prosthetics and orthotics impacts people’s lives. “When I see how our products and services can drastically improve a patient’s quality of life, it makes it all worth it,” said Matt. “I really enjoy hearing how what we provided has allowed the patient to get back to work, be able to do yard work again, get back to sports, feel less pain, or be able to participate in their children or grandchildren’s lives.”
Outside of work, Matt is stays active with his two sons, Brady and Luke, and wife, Lauren. “Both of my boys are very involved in sports, and I get to coach both of their football teams in the fall and their wrestling club in the winter,” said Matt. When spring rolls around and he’s not coaching a sport, Matt gets to spend time fishing. “I love being on the water,” said Matt.