VANSANT, VA – APRIL 8, 2022 – Helping area children reach developmental milestones and working with adults to help them regain their independence after an illness or injury are two of the primary areas in which Hand in Hand, PLLC focuses. Amy Cook opened the outpatient therapy clinic to work with children and adults and to provide specialized hand therapy services.

Cook’s new business, Hand in Hand, PLLC applied for and was approved for an $8,000 VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund grant.

“VCEDA was pleased to assist Hand in Hand, PLLC through its seed capital matching grant program,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “The seed capital program is designed to assist entrepreneurs in starting and growing their new businesses while creating jobs. In the case of Hand in Hand, PLLC, not only are those objectives met, but at the same time, a needed service to benefit the community is also being provided. The business projects three full-time and two part-time jobs within three years.”

“Opening Hand in Hand, offers me the opportunity to provide services in the community that have not been available,” Cook said.

Hand in Hand specializes in the treatment of children with various conditions that impact their ability to play, learn and interact with others. Some diagnoses, Cook said, include children with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorders, Down syndrome, developmental delays and cerebral palsy. 

“We also provide post-surgical rehabilitation and treat conditions following stroke and those associated with carpal tunnel, arthritis, trigger finger and tendonitis in adults,” Cook said. “Our mission is to ensure each one of our patients learn the skills they need in order to achieve success in everyday life.”

A sensory gym for children is located at the clinic and helps children with sensory regulation, emotional regulation, gross motor skills and social skills. In the future, Cook said she plans to add a speech therapist. Free screenings are offered for children and the clinic will work with patients to get the necessary paperwork in place for doctor’s orders on therapy needs identified.

Cook graduated from Radford University’s occupational therapy program in 2016.

“We used the VCEDA grant to help with start-up costs, equipment and the renovations to our clinic space,” Cook said. “It definitely helped starting out by providing funds needed to help build the practice.”

Cook worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) in developing her application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority.

“The SBDC congratulates Hand in Hand, PLLC on receiving a VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund grant,” said Margie Douglass, SBDC program manager. “Hand in Hand, PLLC provides much-needed outpatient pediatric and adult therapy/rehabilitation services to the underserved area of Southwest Virginia. Since an outpatient clinic specializing in hand therapy and pediatric therapy is currently unavailable in Buchanan County or the surrounding areas, this clinic will offer and provide treatment to patients who would otherwise have to travel to receive these services.

“The Small Business Development Center at Southwest Virginia Community College is proud to have assisted Hand in Hand, PLLC with developing the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund grant submission packet and appreciates the contribution this business is making to the health and well-being of the residents of Southwest Virginia,” Douglass added.

The business, located at 17447 Riverside Drive in Vansant, is on Facebook and may be reached by calling 276-935-9205.

About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. or

About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton.