Thursday, December 26, 2013

A new year and new owners for Orofino Physical Therapy

Orofino Physical Therapy changes owners, not services. Darin Tucker and John Garrison (l to r) work together to assure their clients the best care possible, with the same hometown environment.

There has been some talk in the community about John Garrison and his potential selling of Orofino Physical Therapy. The thought of losing one of the area’s favorite physical therapists makes more than a few residents and patients a little sad, maybe even apprehensive about the changes to come as the sale of the clinic will be complete on Jan. 1, 2014.

Since June of 2013 Garrison and Tucker have been in constant communication ensuring that this would be a great “win-win”, not only for them, but also for the community of Orofino.

Darin Tucker and Chip Sands are the new owners, but Tucker is no stranger to Orofino. His wife, formerly known as Tracy Johnson is the daughter of Neal and Jeannie Johnson. Tracy and Darin have three children, Savannah, 17, Stephanie, 13, and Ryan, 9, and presently reside in Boise. The family has been coming “home” to Orofino for the past 20 years. Opening a clinic here has always been in the back of Tucker’s mind.

“Orofino is a stellar community,” said Tucker. “I have worked in several small communities, but I can honestly say that Orofino is different. There is a very strong sense of community camaraderie here. It reminds me of the old TV show Cheers …where everyone knows your name.”

Because of this and due to his long history with Orofino, “This clinic, of all of the others is very special to me; I am going to hold it very close to my chest ensuring that excellence happens. I am very much looking forward to working with John to evolve the clinic and to be a part of a really cool community.”

Tucker continues, “John has created an excellent business, selling it to us is just a natural evolution of business ownership,” explains Tucker. “Because of his historic success, he will continue to work with us and the clinic, as advisor and consultant. We both have such a passion for physical therapy that staying connected only makes sense. By working together, we have more resources to help the Orofino Community. Out of all the clinics I have developed, I am most excited about Orofino.”


About the new owners

Tucker and Sands have owned and operated a physical therapy practice (Peak Physical Therapy) for 15 years. Their first practice started in a basement of a physician’s office and has grown to as many as 10 clinics. Currently they have seven clinics—six in Idaho and one in Colorado.

Both have an extensive background in sports medicine. Their approach involves both hands on care and proper exercise progressions backed with lots of education. The more a patient understands their condition (what causes it, what to do to get better, why certain things are done and how to avoid additional injuries in the future) the better outcome they will have and more long lasting it will be. “We don’t only want to get our patients feeling better,” said Tucker, “we want them to be as functional as possible when they are done with us so that they can resume all the activities (work or recreation) that they want.”

There are four phases of health the new clinic will focus on: 1) Preventative 2) Restorative 3) Maintenance of good Health 4) Enhancement (sports/function performance).

Tucker believes that as health organizations get bigger they become more restrictive often in the form of no longer accepting certain insurances. “We are going to do just the opposite. Our number one founding philosophy is: ‘We are healthcare providers, we are in the field of help’. We will help anyone regardless of their pathology, insurance or financial condition. Everyone deserves great care.”

Great care is derived from a combination of knowledge, experience and passion. Darin Tucker graduated from BSU with a Bachelors Degree in Athletic Training (certified from 1996 – 2010) and a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science; as well as an Associate’s Degree in Health Science (Physical Therapists Assistant).

Tucker holds certifications in the following fields: Athletic Training (1996-2010); Strength and Conditioning Specialist (1996 – 2010); United States Weight Federation (1996 – 2000); Swedish Massage and Reflexology.

Other accomplishments include: Idaho PTA of the Year 2007; First PTA to be a District Chair for the IPTA; Served as on the IPTA board for two years; President of the BNI (Southern Idaho’s most successful Chapter); Member of the Advisory Board for the Boise 100; Board Member for the PTA Program consortium (CWI/LCSC/NIC/CSI); Member of the Program Advisory Committee for Carrington College’s PTA program, and owns/ operates a Physical Therapy consulting company.

Tucker’s partner, Chip Sands, has a Bachelor Degree in Physical Therapy and a Bachelor Degree in Athletic Training.

Sands has a wife of 22 years and has a 14-year-old son. He currently resides in McCall, and provides sports medicine services for the Junior Steelheads. He has worked at the Olympic Training Center (1998) and at the University Games (skiing) in Slovakia (1999) Sands has also worked ski patrol for Bogus Basin.

The new clinic anticipates arrival of a fantastic therapist hired out of Texas: Josh Tilley.

In addition to being a physical therapist, Tilley also a certified athletic trainer and has a strong sports medicine background. He has been fortunate to have spent time working at the Olympic Training Center working with world caliber athletes. The new team is looking to helping out as much as possible with local athletics.

Darin Tucker shared his thoughts about the changes in healthcare, and made these observations. His business background has taught him one thing….be proactive, not reactive. “I personally believe that the reason we might have issues in healthcare is not because the system is broken, it is because people simply don’t use healthcare correctly,” he began. There are two problems that he sees:

1) Most people are “reactive” with regards to their health. They wait so long to see that doctor that by the time they do their condition is twice as bad; hence it takes twice as long and costs twice as much to handle.

Because of the inconvenience and cost of care, people avoid going to doctors, only making matters worse. So as a healthcare business owner, Tucker feels it is his job to provide solutions and recommends that if someone has pain that has lasted longer than two weeks to seek more information. The faster it gets handled, the faster it goes away and the less medical money spent.

The new clinic will be offering free pain assessments to the community to determine what actions one needs to take to protect their health and their pocket book.

2) Healthcare providers often treat the symptoms of the problem instead of the underlying problem that creates the symptoms. This results in the patients having to go back to seek medical services several times for the same thing.

If the problem is addressed initially it will decrease the need for future services. This is one of the goals new owners will incorporate in their practice; to do it well and only do it once. This will lead to long lasting outcomes helping to decrease future healthcare costs.

As for the health club, it will certainly remain open. The new owners aim is to not only maintain it, but to expand upon it.

Some of the things that the new owners would like to offer in the near future are:

1. Community In-services (free)

2. Business programs that will help business owners prevent injuries on the job, save insurance dollars (lower premiums) (free). “We want to do what we can to help other businesses succeed,” said Tucker.

3. Educational literature—information that will help individuals better understand healthcare, how to handle certain aches/pains, when to seek medical help, how to understand insurance, etc (free)

4. Fundraisers (free)

   a. “We have some excellent school/community fundraisers that we put on. These are aimed at increasing funds for schools, athletics, etc.,” said Tucker.

5. Working with local high schools/colleges to help students. (free)

6. Free pain assessments for the community.

As it evolves, the new owners envision more hours, more services and increasing the diversity of equipment. They will be asking existing members and the community about what they would like to see offered.

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