The 2017 Small Business Exporter is George Hepburn, President of Dynasplint Systems in Severna Park, nominated by the Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber.
You could say that George “built a better mousetrap.” A physical therapist by trade, he saw firsthand the need for a new and improved, more efficient, apparatus to assist patients overcome injury and get back into the swing of things. Through two years of trial and error, he created a sophisticated dynamic splinting system to treat joint stiffness and contractures seen in nearly every clinical rehab setting. He officially launched his product and company in 1981.
His device mimics a therapist’s hands and gives an additional six to eight hours per day of gentle stretching; constantly seeking to achieve a return to the desired range of motion in the affected joint. The device is used by the patient at home to complement the services received at a therapy facility, increasing healing time and saving the patient money by reducing office visits.
Business growth has been tremendous over the last 35 years. Today, he employs nearly 300, with sales in excess of $25 million annually. The product line now includes over 90 splints that address a myriad of injuries from elbows and wrists to knees, shoulders and ankles. Products are made here in Maryland and are shipped to Spain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan and Australia among others.
There have been many challenges over the years, the biggest of which is the constant changes in healthcare insurance coverage and processing. He’s also had to learn the customs and regulations of each country he’s entered and overcome language barriers along the way. He’s handled every turn swiftly, while staying true to his original commitment to provide each patient with the best possible treatment and service in the safest, quickest, least painful and most cost effective means available.