Key to creative complex rehab solutions? Listening

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Monday, November 30, 2020

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – When an injured worker told Kevin Wallace, a rehab specialist at ATF Medical, that he was looking for a special stroller to take his 2-year-old daughter with him safely on rides through a nearby state park, Wallace just listened.  

“That’s why God gave you two ears and one mouth, so you can listen first and talk later,” said Wallace. “So I listened and did research, and found that there was really nothing on the market that was what he was looking for.” 

The client was injured one year ago when a 1,700-pound pallet fell on him, leaving him a complete paraplegic. Later he developed an infection in his leg, resulting in an amputation. 

Unlike HME providers that are governed by Medicare and other insurance restrictions, ATF Medical is a workers’ compensation provider, so “if we see a need, we can meet it,” said Wallace, “and that’s why there’s so much more access.” 

Wallace made a mount for a rack, connected it to a freewheel extension and attached a toddler seat above the third wheel. The project took six hours to complete. 

While it wasn’t the most difficult project he’s ever done, Wallace says it was still a challenge to find a stable base. It’s also important that the final product is easy to use and aesthetically pleasing; otherwise, the injured worker won’t use it. 

Wallace, who has been an ATP for 15 years, says he does several custom projects a year for local clients. 

“I have a son with special needs,” he said. “So the expectations I have for a professional working with my son is the same as when I work for injured workers: that I'm going to do the best job that I can do, to give them the best care they can get."