Skip to Content

The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on July 29, 2014

NextStep Hand Therapy and Specialty Center opens at Azalea Lakes

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A hand injury can dramatically impact quality of life. Even routine tasks such as brushing your teeth or writing a note can become difficult, if not impossible.

That’s why Georgetown Hospital System has opened the region’s first rehabilitation center focused on hand therapy. The new NextStep Hand Therapy and Specialty Center, a service of NextStep Rehabilitation Services, is located at Azalea Lakes in Myrtle Beach. The center also offers driving rehabilitation services and functional capacity evaluations.

NextStep Hand Therapy and Specialty Center is staffed by twocertified hand therapists and a certified driver rehab specialist.  

Eval Smith, director of NextStep Rehabilitation Services, said NextStep Hand Therapy and Specialty Center brings an important dimension of one-on-one care to the region.

“Our region’s need for hand therapy, driver rehabilitation services, and functional capacity evaluations is growing significantly,” Smith said. “With their advanced training, our therapists are prepared to work with patients who have suffered an injury or been diagnosed with a medical condition and customize a plan that will help them resume their normal routine or learn adaptive skills to achieve independence with activities.”  

Certified hand therapists are occupational or physical therapists with advanced training and experience in rehabilitation of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder.  The therapists must have at least five years of clinical experience and pass comprehensive exams to earn the advanced certification.

The Drivers Rehabilitation program offers a complete clinical assessment of a person’s visual, perceptual, cognitive, physical and behavioral abilities as they relate to safe and independent driving due to aging, an illness or an injury. The driver rehab specialist also is trained to conduct an on-road evaluation, if one is needed, to assess an individual’s ability to handle the vehicle in a variety of traffic situations and determine if adaptive equipment or training is needed.

The therapists at the new center also conduct functional capacity evaluations that measure an individual’s ability to perform certain activities or work-related tasks. The results are used by providers to determine if an individual is ready to return to work and daily activities or needs a rehabilitation program. The data also are used in disability determinations.

Hours for NextStep Hand Therapy and Specialty Center are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Fridays. The phone number is 843-652-8360. Azalea Lakes is located off Highway 17 S in Myrtle Beach just past Highway 544. Patients must be referred by a physician. 


Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.