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From Farm Life to Healthcare: Dr. Richard Alexander’s Passion for Physical Therapy Began on His Family Farm

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Emporia, VA - Richard M. Alexander PT, DPT, is the director of Rehabilitation Therapy Services (RTS) at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) and a first generation healthcare provider in his family.  He grew up in agriculture, working long summer hours raising tobacco, peanuts, and grain on his family’s farm in northeast North Carolina – a farm that has been in his family for 5 generations. Farm life taught him his strong work ethic and the value of hard work. It was also where he developed an appreciation for mechanical operations, something which he applies to the human body in his practice at SVRMC. Dr. Alexander says, “The body is the ultimate machine.  I love understanding the relationship between the moving parts and being able to use that knowledge to repair system failures and restore optimal performance.”

Dr. Alexander’s passion for healthcare and physical therapy can be pinpointed back to a moment in his life that sparked his drive to help people recover from injury. He explains, “My grandfather was involved in a severe car accident when I was a child and his unique injuries required unique solutions to restore his mobility.  Although I always gravitated towards healthcare, this was my first encounter with physical therapy and watching how they engineered and tailored specific interventions to his complex problems. This stuck with me from that point forward.”

Dr. Alexander brings his hometown service to the Emporia, VA, community. He is passionate about bringing top quality care to Emporia, VA; the difference, he says, is that it is delivered with small-town values and a customer service centered focus.

Dr. Alexander says the average patient is typically treated by therapy services 2-3 times per week for 6 weeks.  Unfortunately, he says, specialty healthcare services all too often gravitate towards bigger cities serving metropolitan populations; it becomes unfeasible for the average patient to make such trips with that frequency.  Dr. Alexander says, “It’s not enough for us to strive to be as good as clinics in larger areas, we must be better.” 

Rehabilitations Therapy Services at SVRMC cares for the full spectrum of rehab patients, utilizing the latest treatment techniques and equipment.This program offers a full array of therapy services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cardiac rehabilitation. The clinic is fully equipped to meet all therapy needs of Emporia and the surrounding areas. It is the only full service clinic in the area able to offer all of the aforementioned services in one place.

Physical therapy treats patients with diverse conditions, everything from heart attacks and strokes to joint replacements, sports medicine, neck and back pain, balance disorders and vertigo. For more information on how Dr. Alexander can assist you with recovery from injury, cardiac surgery, or pain management, contact Rehabilitation Therapy Services at SVRMC at 434-348-4871.

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