National Hand Therapy Week

Hand Therapy Week is an integrated national program established by the American Society of Hand Therapy. Its aim is to raise awareness of the hand therapy specialty among various audiences, including primary care providers, surgeons, referral sources and the public. Hand therapists can help bridge the gap from the medical management of a patient’s injury or condition to a successful recovery, allowing the patient to function normally in their daily lives.

Hand therapy is the art and science of evaluating and treating injuries and conditions of the upper extremity (shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand). Hand therapy uses a number of therapeutic interventions to help return a person to their highest level of function. Hand therapy evolved from the need for a specialist with the knowledge and experience required to manage the challenging recovery of complex hand and upper extremity injuries.

Hand therapists are licensed or registered occupational therapists (OT) or physical therapists (PT) who, through advanced study and experience, specialize in treating individuals with conditions affecting the hands and upper extremities. Hand therapists carry the title of Certified Hand Therapist or CHT. To obtain the CHT credential, a hand therapist must practice as an OT or PT for a minimum of five years, accumulating at least 4,000 hours of hand and upper extremity experience. Hand therapists must also pass a rigorous certification examination to demonstrate their competency in the practice of hand therapy.

Tidewater Physical Therapy currently employs three CHTs: Jennifer S. Hamilton, DPT, CHT of our Salisbury clinic; William Hamilton, Jr., DPT, CHT of our Ocean Pines clinic; and Craig L. Joachimowski, PT, OCS, CHT of our Seaford clinic.

COO of Tidewater Physical Therapy, Jennifer Walter says, “As one of the largest physical therapy companies on Delmarva, we believe that it is our duty and privilege to support this national week in order to ‘spread the word’. We employ the only two CHTs that are PTs on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and one of the five CHTs in Delaware that is also a PT. With the resources we possess as a company, we take pride in the ability to be able to share information with the public that has the possibility to positively impact their lives.”

About Tidewater Physical Therapy

Tidewater Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Associates, PA was founded in 1984 under the guidance of Dr. W. James Downs, Jr., PT, DSc, ECS. Downs founded the firm in response to local physicians seeking progressive physical therapy services for patients on the Delmarva Peninsula. Since its foundation, Tidewater Physical Therapy has expanded to 16 locally managed offices. Therapists have continued to increase their certifications and knowledge in many specialty areas to provide for their ever-growing patient population. Tidewater Physical Therapy is now the most widely recognized, highly accredited physical therapy firm on Delmarva, setting the standard for exceptional care in a comfortable, friendly and community-oriented setting. In addition, Tidewater Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Associates is a certified Medicare Rehabilitation Agency, meaning our organization willingly accepts a stringent set of guidelines in which to operate, including annual inspections. For more information about Tidewater Physical Therapy, visit or call 410.822.3891.

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