McMinnville Physical Therapy was founded in October 2010 by co-owners Zach Sutton and Christi Gilliam. In nearly three short years, this specialized patient services clinic has grown to eight full-time employees and a 4,500-square-foot facility (includes new expansion) located at 2391 South Chancery Street in McMinnville.
This is their business story, one already with earned success.
The McMinnville Physical Therapy staff is comprised of two physical therapists (co-owners), three physical therapy assistants (Bronson Pearson, Donna Poss, and Darren Wilbanks), insurance billing specialist Darlene Smith, receptionist Candace Stubblefield, and clinic director Carlene Brown. The co-owners credentials are as follows:
Christi H. Gilliam
• University Tennessee at Chattanooga – bachelor’s degree in physical therapy
• Adjunct professor of anatomy – Chattanooga State Technical College PTA program
• Clinical instructor since 1992
• Certified Lymphedema therapist
• Continuing education training includes:
• Spine Rehabilitation, Complete Wound Care, Diabetes, Total Joint Replacement Program, Pelvic Power Program, Female Pelvic Floor Function/Dysfunction/Treatment, and Pregnancy & Postpartum, Lymphedema/Complete Decongestive Therapy
• University of the South – bachelor’s degree in American studies and emergency medicine
• University of Tennessee – master’s degree in sports medicine and biomechanics
• Virginia Commonwealth University – Doctor of physical therapy
• Continuing Education Training Includes:
• Orthopedic Manual Therapy and Ergonomic Evaluation & Functional Capacity, Autism, Advanced Clinical Practice in Pediatrics, Manual Therapy for Pediatrics, Vestibular and Balance, Aquatics, Shoulder/ Knee/ Hand Neural Dynamics, Arthritis
• Professional Designations:
• Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Athletic Trainer, Licensed Physical Therapist, Certified Ergonomic Evaluation Specialist, & Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist, Liaison for American Physical Therapy Association’s Section on Pediatrics to the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine
Christi and Zach have averaged 100-plus hours with annual education/ skills clinical training to keep upgrading and expanding their physical therapy skill sets.
The South Chancery Street facility was built and moved into February 2011. The original layout comprised 3,000 square feet that included a 1,260-square-foot swimming pool that is maintained at 92 degrees. The facility is in current expansion to add 1,500 square feet for more equipment, offices, parking, etc. The expanded facility is expected to be fully operational by Oct. 1, including some selective remodeling.
McMinnville Physical Therapy considers its particular brand of compassionate, personal care and customer service to be most focused on the following patient care:
• Balance – advanced and vestibular testing/ training
• Pediatrics – autism, cerebral palsy, spinal bifida, torticollis, elher-danlos syndrome, muscular dystrophy
• Aquatic Therapy – especially for arthritis and balance
• Women’s health related to urinary incontinence, lymphedema, swelling, pregnancy or pelvic pain
• Back and neck pain
• Post-op orthopedics
• Sports medicine
The owners believe they deliver the best care available in these focus areas. MPT is all about one-on-one personal client care (“hands-on”) vs. a room full of machines. The therapists treat one patient solely at a time.
Staff conducts a weekly patient care review meeting to help assure maximum focus and care benefits. MPT emphasizes quantitative measuring to document patient progress or the lack thereof. Common measures are range of motion and strength, biofeedback for non-invasive surface measuring of muscle activity, dynamometer to measure strength in pounds, infrared video nystagmography for inner ear assessment, ultrasound testing, and a multitude of clinical tests.
With the rapid growth of retired people occurring as post World War II “baby boomers” retire at a daily rate of 10,000 to 15,000, senior care will be a major growth area for MPT. About 35 percent of its client base involves patients 65 or older. With older patients with arthritic concerns, MPT offers the hydrotherapy pool with handicapped access. Existing patients can join the pool “maintenance program” where they can use the pool during working hours for $3 a day. Many seniors participate.
PT-related devices line the pool deck for ease of access and use. For seniors, falling is the No. 1 reason for hip fracture. Sustaining a hip fracture can result in death 25 percent of the time for a senior. MPT offers balance therapy to lessen the risk of falling. Using specialized infrared goggles, MPT therapists can assess a patient’s inner ears.
MPT is contracted with most insurance providers including Medicare, Medicaid, and BCBS to name a few. Most MPT clients are referred from area doctors or past/current patients. All patient records are stored digitally since MPT opened for business. MPT has on-site non-staff specialists to offer speech pathology and occupational therapy to patients. There are certain services MPT does not offer. This includes cardiac rehab (River Park Hospital has a new clinic for that purpose), and major wound care (diabetic ulcer, etc.). The company website is www.mcminnvillePT.com. The Facebook entry is facebook.com/McMinnvillePT.
A growing part of MPT patient services involves worker comp cases and rehab thereof. Worker comp injury patients receive timely progress communications for their MD’s and case managers to help meet job requirements and care expectations.
This column writer sustained a bad fall accident on 10-13-12 while out-of-town. I became a MPT patient shortly thereafter as recommended by our family doctor. I received the passionate customer service from Zach and Donna primarily for several weeks, as they assisted with my left arm nerve damage and my spondylitis condition. I finally was graduated and made my personal note on their customer “Wall of Champions.”
McMinnville Physical Therapy is a happening place. I saw many friends, fellow golfers, businessmen, and acquaintances there while a patient for five months. As the demographics of this country continue to experience huge growth in the over 65 age group (with longer life expectations), MPT will stay very busy in this view. BRAC congratulates Zach and Christi for their vision, investment, and commitment to be an important service care provider for our area.