I get questioned quite a bit on what I am actually doing, HA! My background consists of marketing – specifically Consumer Electronics. So, shifting into healthcare was a big change. But, one that comes with a gratification I have never experienced before.
Let me back up – my husband, Dr. Kevin Spahr, is a PT. Matter of fact, a great PT. So of course, there is extensive PT experience within ownership of PRO Therapy (can you imagine?!). But, I, Liz Spahr, just happen to have more experience in business/marketing. Shifting into this space was not only scary – it was a bit frightening! I walked away from something very comfortable for me and stepped into a whole new space. And for those of you wondering – holy crap, yes, healthcare is very different than consumer electronics!
So, when I joined the business full time last year, I knew I was going to have to dig in and get to work immediately on educating myself. Although, behind the scenes we were convinced we had the perfect partnership. I mean – a husband and wife co-owning a business and working together every day, at home, during a pandemic, with a brand-new baby – what could go wrong?!
Surprisingly, we still enjoy each other’s company….
We typically say I came late to the team, but the reality is I have been in the background the whole time. Supporting from a distance when timing allowed…but being 100% in the day in and out grind has been a whole new experience. One that I have been in complete awe about. Mainly because I have always been part of hiring, but never got to see anyone in action. And man, what a team we have. We feel so lucky (DAILY!) to have the team we have. We and our patients are truly blessed with an exceptional team that treats every person who calls in or starts their rehab journey like they are family. Truly!
The biggest focus for me has been learning the healthcare system and subsequently how to own a business in the healthcare industry.
We spend most of our time each week analyzing and over analyzing the patient experience. It is so important to us that the experience anyone receives at PRO Therapy is always something you will not get elsewhere. From educating ourselves, our staff, to providing means of education to our patients – we always strive to ensure you know what is happening every step of your journey with us.
Don’t you hate when you go somewhere and are along someone else’s journey for you? You are unaware of what you should ask, what you should tell and more importantly what you should know? I cannot tell you how many times assumptions have come back to haunt me when I have let someone else be in the driver seat of my personal health journey. Anyway, I digress.
Because of this, I think it is super important to share with you some pretty big discoveries I’ve had since joining this business full time. Because, in true PRO Therapy fashion – transparency is key!
- First off – the insurance world is crazy. Insane. Quite honestly, as soon as I think I understand something fully, there is a change. It is ever evolving, and we are always trying to stay in the know to ensure our patients have the utmost care provided within their financials means should they go thru insurance (did you know you don’t have to?). More importantly I have learned the importance of truly understanding your personal healthcare plan and coverage. Because, sometimes – well, a lot of times, paying out of pocket can be more advantageous!
- Ok, the second thing is something I am slightly embarrassed to admit. But this is big! Ready for it? You do not have to go to your “normal” clinic/everyday provider for aches and pains. I know, this is crazy. My husband has been a PT for over a decade so this is something I should’ve been more in tuned with….but, old habits die hard. We are so programmed to call the clinic, have someone tell us what is needed and then move about their decision-making tree. When in reality – physical therapy is meant for those of us that wake up with a nagging pain. It is not solely for post-surgery or a big injury/sprain. It can be more beneficial at times to be used as preventative! Imagine that. Seeing a PT as soon as you feel uncomfortable to avoid bigger issues, hmmmm.
- Along those same lines….when you do go see a doctor, or a surgeon, and PT is recommended….you don’t have to stay within that system! You can go see whoever you want! This is a big misconception because – again – we are used to listening to our healthcare provider and assuming they are giving us recommendations best for our care. And I am not saying this isn’t happening – but just know, they are prone to recommend care within their healthcare organization. I won’t go into the specifics, but you can easily figure out why that would be the case. Word of advice – that is not always what is best for you financially or for your rehabilitation needs.
- And lastly, that people genuinely do not know what PT is. Which, I am not sure if this is that big of a surprise but more surprised at just how much this profession needs to be further educated on. “If I didn’t have surgery – why would I need PT?” This might be the number one question we get from family and friends when anyone finds out what PRO Therapy is and what Dr. Spahr is a doctor in. In the simplest of forms, PT can be used as primary care or alongside other medical services. If you have any form of limitation in your daily activities that inhibit you from moving or performing to the best of your ability – PT is your solution. So…..some examples of that. Car accident? PT. Woke up and have back ache? PT. Rolled your ankle? PT. Sore from the garden? PT. Sore from strenuous workouts or feeling limited in your movements? PT. Sitting at your desk too much? PT. Staring at a screen in your hand with your head down too often and feeling the impact (everyone’s hands should be in the air!)? PT! Need me to go on?
Ok, so after all of that, I leave you with this…..
I am always asking Dr. Spahr, “do you still love what you do?” Not because he ever shows disinterest, but mainly because I am so amazed anyone could actually go to school for something, never change their major and genuinely love what they do so many years later. His answer is always, “Absolutely!”
Being an athlete his whole life and watching his teammates, friends and himself get injured over the years I suppose gives his own perspective of why PT is so important. Maybe next month he should write a blog…..I digress. I think at the heart of it – we all have our story. We all have the need for healthcare in some form. We all want to ensure when we need it, we can get it but also with the understanding that it is effective.
If I have learned anything over the last year, I have learned this. Our team has such a commitment to making this process easy for anyone walking in our doors. We understand that, just like me, we all have trouble stepping into something that is new or out of our comfort zone. But, in some cases that is needed! We also, tend to want to be in the driver’s seat and don’t realize at the most important times when we are not. We aim to ensure YOU are always in the driver’s seat. We allow this by educating you on your options every step of the way. This is not just a business to us – it’s a family. A community we grow daily with the hopes of mitigating further injuries as much as possible! So, call us! I promise it’s that easy.