Where aren’t enough men like Bobby Hammond in these parts, or any other part, and that’s too bad. The founder-owner
of Atlantic Physical Therapy, arguably the most advanced practice of its kind in the region, Hammond is a straight-from-
the-hip, no-nonsense kind of guy who happens to possess a heart of gold, which he just loves lavishing on his adopted community.
He was a tough kid who got much of his education (and all of his wisdom) from the blue-collar streets of Pa., the kind that imparts lessons its pupils tend never to forget. Just speaking with the bearlike entrepreneur even briefly inclines the listener to wonder if there is anything in life this former light-heavyweight boxer hasn’t experienced or at least witnessed firsthand. It makes whatever words he does choose to share carry the equivalent weight of a good right hook.
Though he’s been a resident of Worcester County for 20 years, it wasn’t until 1998 that he basically sold everything he had — up to and including his jewelry — in order to finance the launch of Atlantic Physical Therapy in Ocean Pines. It was risky, sure; even he would admit that. But foolish? Not on your life. He acquired invaluable experience during the years he’d spent devoted to purveying durable medical equipment, learning not only the hardware of the industry but even more important, the billing and other key financial aspects of such businesses.
“By the time I left that industry,” Hammond recalled from the office of his plush facility in Ocean Pines Plaza, “I’d gained such a solid background, I didn’t feel that starting Atlantic Physical Therapy was that huge a risk; convincing everyone else of that, however, was a different story.”
But 15 years later, through essentially every kind of economy, Hammond and his business have emerged as unqualified successes, with satellite locations in Millsboro and Laurel (Del.) serving as eloquent testament to the fact that he was right all along.
“Bobby Hammond and his staff at Atlantic Physical Therapy are absolutely amazing and by far the most professional business of its kind that I’ve ever experienced,” praised chef-restaurateur Fausto DiCarlo of Ristorante Antipasti in Ocean City, who injured his back and wrists in an auto accident earlier this year. “I was especially worried about my golf game, but they got me back on my feet and out on the course again in no time — and I didn’t even need medication!
“Additionally,” he continued, “their facility is so spotlessly clean and immaculate, which is very important to people like me, who operate commercial kitchens for a living. Cleanliness is everything, and Bobby’s facility is beautiful.”
The immaculate layout of the Ocean Pines office — which, Hammond says, is emblematic of the Millsboro and Laurel locations as well — features opulent flourishes like distressed travertine marble on both the floors and walls of the visitors’ changing rooms, saunas and showers, complemented by rich granite countertops in the lavatory areas. The
effect will have some feeling as if they were nestled in a posh European resort, while others will derive that same sensation from APT’s first-rate staff (which includes Hammond’s adorable mother), who are as attentive and friendly as they are well trained. APT not only offers an exceptionally low therapist-to-patient ratio but even has the only certified hand therapist in the entire beach area.
Ultimately, what matters most in businesses like Hammond’s are the results. To address that reality, Hammond has
always endeavored to lead the pack of practitioners when it comes to cutting-edge equipment and techniques. All APT therapists, for example, are trained and certified in the Graston Technique, an innovative, patented form of instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions.
APT also offers the Biodex Balance System, which is currently the only system that provides not only a fast, accurate fall-risk screening and conditioning program for older adults but also a closed-chain, weight-bearing assessment and training for lower-extremity patients, as well as an objective balance assessment in the detection and treatment of baseline concussion studies. In fact, the Biodex system may even be used as a therapeutic or rehabilitative strategy for those who are recovering from falls or concussions.
As sophisticated as the Biodex system is, though, perhaps even more impressive is the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, which has rapidly become an integral component of APT’s rehabilitation of patients with weight-bearing restrictions, chondral injuries and the training of elite athletes with overuse injuries. By relieving a patient of much if not most of their body weight, they will not only heal much faster but also return to normal activities, like walking and running, significantly faster.
All of this amazing technology is available right on-site at APT, which also boasts aquatic therapy in any of its three Endless Pools in addition to a fully equipped gym, which people can join as members and frequent whenever they’d like, regardless if they’ve ever been treated by or been a patient of APT.
But that’s only a part of Bobby Hammond’s story. What’s equally true is that Hammond has embraced his adopted Lower Eastern Shore community with the kind of passion characteristic of a half-Irish, half-Italian who hails from the City of Brotherly Love.
“I cherish this area so much; I would never want to live anywhere else — not even in Italy,” said Hammond, the proud papa of five gorgeous children who have been raised on the Shore. (In fact, Hammond expects 25-year-old Robert III to join the practice in November.)
As a result, Hammond has showered the area with the fruits of his generous heart for well over a decade. He regularly donates to such worthy local institutions as the Children’s House by the Sea, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Little League baseball and the Ocean City Police Dept. — for which he supplies 20 brand-new bicycles a year. His best-known
philanthropy, however, is as one of the biggest supporters of the Stephen Decatur High School football program, having
initiated the very popular — and copied — media guide (with Coach Bob Knox), the annual Homecoming fireworks show, Thursday-night players’ dinners during the season and the much-anticipated “Tough Guy of the Year” award, a lavish banquet event that presents a trophy to the high-school footballer who most personifies the Stephen Decatur spirit.
“Bobby Hammond has been simply outstanding for this community and for Stephen Decatur football in particular,” said Coach Knox, who’s been at the helm of the high-school program for 28 years and is something of a local institution himself. “He’s done so much for the program. There are boosters — and then there’s Bobby Hammond.”
“I believe that we are all very privileged to live in this community,” Hammond asserted, “and I think we all should be doing even more to give back to it — especially businesses like mine, which owe it so much.”
Atlantic Physical Therapy also offers free Biodex screenings for all area high-school athletes, as well as to residents who can’t otherwise afford it.
ATLANTIC PHYSICAL THERAPY & SPORTS MEDICINE, INC.
Ocean Pines: 410-208-3630