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Orthopedic Surgeon Serves Country Around the World

Friday, Nov 11, 2016
Dr. Handy, Orthopedics

What stands out the most for Robert Handy, MD during his military career over the last 25 years are the deployments.

Dr. Handy, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine, has worked on soldiers and civilians in a makeshift hospital in an airport terminal in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He has cared for soldiers in a MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) unit in Bosnia. And he has served as a flight surgeon in the Republic of Korea.

"The best parts about my military experience are the people I meet and the travel I've done," said Dr. Handy.

Last month Dr. Handy left for a three-month deployment with the Pennsylvania National Guard in Jordan, a country in the Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia between Israel and Iraq. U.S. soldiers are training with Jordanian soldiers in a peace-keeping role there, lending support in a volatile region of the world.

Dr. Handy joined the National Guard five years ago. He is now a Colonel and serves as Brigade Surgeon for the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team based in Horsham, Pa. Dr. Handy joined the Army after college and earned his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine. He served on active duty in the Army for nearly 15 years, training in Texas and Alabama before his stint as a flight surgeon in Korea for two years. He served in Afghanistan as commander of a Forward surgical team and as an orthopedic surgeon in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Bosnia and Croatia.

Dr. Handy separated from the Army in 2003 and after a nine-year hiatus he joined the Army National Guard in 2012. He and his wife raised their children while moving from Heidelberg, Germany to Washington State and on to Bucks County. He joined the Pennsylvania National Guard five years ago. Now that his kids are grown, Dr. Handy is ready to travel and serve again.

"I missed it," said Dr. Handy. "I missed the camaraderie as well as the good feeling you get from serving your country."

On the small U.S. base in Jordan, Dr. Handy will be serving as medical support for the 1/110th Infantry Battalion, a unit of the PA Army National Guard. He will take care of the soldiers that report for daily sick call and will tend to any minor emergencies as needed.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Dr. Handy. "The hardest part will be that I will be away from my family for the holidays."

He will be able to stay in touch with family via Skype and email.

"I have a lot of support from my family," added Dr. Handy. "I also have a lot of understanding from my patients. They know I'll be gone for three months, but they know what I'll be doing and they support it."

About Doylestown Health's Orthopedic Institute

For joint repair and replacement, spine and hand surgery, sports medicine and osteoporosis care, you’ll find Doylestown Health’s Orthopedic Institute is the perfect fit. With same and next day appointments available, our board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians treat all types of bone and muscle conditions. And for eligible joint replacement patients, our rapid recovery program helps patients return to the activities they love – faster.

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