PTO 114 | Managing Multiple Clinics

 

Steve Anderson, PT has owned clinics and managed a large PT organization in his past. Thus, he's primed to expound on the challenges that owners face when they own and manage multiple clinics. Although the thought of expansion is exciting, it takes a different level of leadership and management from the owner(s). In this episode, Steve joins Nathan Shields as they cover some of the key aspects to consider if you're running multiple clinics or looking to do so in your future.

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Keys To Managing Multiple Clinics With Steve Anderson, PT

I've got a returning guest, Steve Anderson. He was with me as we talked about PPS and the Peer2Peer network. Thanks for coming on. I appreciate it.

You're welcome. I’m glad to be here.

If you want to hear about his story, you can go back and read that prior episode. In a nutshell, Steve is the ex-CEO of Therapeutic Associates, which has almost 100 clinics in the Pacific Northwest. Now, he is working as an executive coach under Orange Dot Coaching and also the host of his own podcast, Profiles in Leadership. I'm excited to bring him back on. Based on his experience, he was the CEO of an almost 100-clinic company in the Pacific Northwest. I figured it was important to bring him on because I wanted to talk with Steve about the differences between what it takes in leadership to own multiple clinics versus a single clinic.

Some of you might be in that stage where you're thinking about expanding, or maybe you have two clinics. It's wearing your thin or pulling you at both ends and burning the midnight oil. I've been there before. I thought I'd talk about some of the things that we can do to improve our leadership capabilities when it comes to owning more than one physical location. Steve, what’s the big difference between someone who owns a single location and someone who has multiple locations? How do they manage their time better? How do they do better as a leader? What do they need to be aware of in order to make that transition?

The first thing you have to say is that you can't do it all. You think, “We have one location now. I'm doing great. I'm going to do the exact same thing in the other location.” You probably don't have double the time to do that. I'm very big on identifying what is your intent to open another clinic or a number of clinics. Do you want to do that as a business strategy so that then you're going to have multiple clinics and then sell it to somebody else as a business strategy? Do you want those new clinics to be part of your organization, grow but keep it within your ownership style? Understanding what your intent is important because you could approach it in two different ways.

If you want physical sites down that do pretty well, and then you're going to sell that down the road, you'd probably want to keep the ownership piece of it tight because you'd want to benefit from that leveraging and selling. If you want to build more of what I would call maybe a legacy company or a company for your career, you'd want to make sure that people that you put as directors in those clinics have the skill and the ability to learn and grow. They can be successful as you are in the practice that you're in so that you can grow that way. I think being intentional about what you're trying to do is the first step.

It sounds like it goes back to what your purpose is, what makes you want to do this in the first place? Going back to what's your personal purpose and make sure your business is in alignment with that, and then taking the next step to make sure that you are putting yourself in a position or a role that aligns with that purpose. We often see people who find some success in a single clinic and see an opportunity in another community and want to open up another clinic without thinking ahead too much about, “I can't do it all.” You’ve got to figure out, “I can't treat full-time and manage two clinics. That's going to spread me too thin.” For some reason, we might even be a little bit naïve to think that, “If I hire the right PT, they can run it. I'll collect the cash and make sure everything runs as I do here.” That's not the way to go.

No, it's not. The strategy that makes the most sense to identify a good director for this new clinic or more clinics than your own. You have to invest time and energy into mentoring them and helping them learn and grow in that position. You can't assume that because they're a good PT that they know how to run a clinic or they know how to manage people as it grows. That's where you come in as a mentor-coach type of relationship with those people. It takes time again away from your practice to do this. You have to create opportunities for you to help them learn and grow. People make the mistake, “I'll put this person over here in this clinic and I'll keep doing what I'm doing and they're going to do great.” They may or they may not, but I guarantee you they'll do better if you take the time to mentor them and help them learn and grow.

Managing multiple clinics requires a committed purpose, solid policy and procedure, and a dependence on objective reports coming from a leadership team. Click To Tweet

You brought this up in our mastermind meeting. It was valuable and it made me recall some of the more successful PT owners that I know and that I've interviewed. Their system is such that they have a seating system. They have a leadership development program. I know that's how you developed it within Therapeutic Associates as well. They have the same thing there and that is they open up clinics, would you say after they've established the right person? They find the right person first and develop them and then move them onto that opportunity instead of finding the location first and then hoping to build someone into that?

That's the best way to do it. It's all about the person. One of the executives in TA always used the horse, the track and the jockey and what's the most important. The jockey is the most important thing. You need to make sure that you have somebody for that position. A lot of people used to ask us at Therapeutic Associates like, “Why do you guys keep expanding? Are you trying to take over the world or what's going on?” The easy answer is that we have some great people in that organization. We want them to have the same opportunity that I had when I came through, which is a chance to have your own clinic, be the leader of it, build it up, and be successful.

If you don't have opportunities for people like me and others that were seeking that out, we're probably going to leave and do it ourselves or go with somebody else who gives us that opportunity. Getting back to your question, the best directors are the ones that you know, that have worked with you, that understands your culture, that understand what you're trying to do. You provide them with a growing opportunity by putting them in a different clinic so that they can do that. You still need to mentor and work with that person going forward and you can continue to grow this business.

If you're interested in multiple clinic companies, there's somebody else that comes along and you keep finding these opportunities for them. Geography is important. Being aware of what's in the community and what the community needs are, is very important. I can tell you that the TA, Therapeutic Associates, probably turned away more opportunities than I can remember because we didn't have the right person to put in there. We knew that you can't put a subpar person in there and do well. It didn’t work.

It's interesting that those people who are trained up, know your system, are value-aligned and are highly productive and properly incentivized, geography is secondary. You could almost put them anywhere and they're going to succeed. That's the important part. I think we underestimate the importance of that training program. I don't think for most owners out there, it takes a lot to develop a leadership program of our own. It's time-intensive once we have it, but to establish the structure and say, “This is a blank PT’s leadership program and follow it.” You can put some time into polishing it up and making it better but it's the books that you read. It's the reports that you look at. It's maybe sitting in on what one-on-one meetings look like. It's showing them how someone is held accountable. Maybe if you've got some consulting or coaching in the past, sharing that same coaching or consultants, or what you've learned from them in the past and also transferring that knowledge onto them. How do you see it in developing a leadership program for these smaller owners to create?

It starts at different levels. At Therapeutic Associates, I developed robust and sophisticated certain levels and all that is because we had the numbers and we had the people. When you're a smaller organization, I still think it's important to do it. It starts with having a regular, not if you have time, scheduled meetings with those other directors so that you can discuss things. It may be HR training or it could be how to communicate better with your people and what cultural things are we trying to do to have those discussions.

The next step would be to have some classes or some organized meetings. You brought up a book. “This is a great book. Let's read it all together. Let's get together and discuss it for a couple of hours and try to understand what the author is trying to do and how that could maybe help our practice. As you get bigger, often your best teachers are already within your organization. It's not something where I'm going to bring a ton of people in from the outside to tell us how to be leaders and how to run our practice. It's good to do that once in a while to break things up. There are some great people out there that can provide insight.

From a different perspective, they can look at what you're doing and say, “You might want to try doing this or this is odd.”

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You can build it and develop it as you go. My experience has been with a lot of private practice PTs do is they get very caught up in the day-to-day and the going of their business. They can't imagine that there would be time to do this, how could you block out time to do that? My theory on that is that the time you spend now preparing for 3 to 5 years down the road exponentially is going to be much greater. You have to find the time and you have to dedicate the time. Even though it feels like, “I'm letting some revenue go by doing this.” It'll come back to you tenfold if you do it in the right way.

Sometimes we might think that leadership development is maybe a 3-month or 6-month process. As the leader in developing leadership, you need to look 1, 2, 3, even 5 years down the road and start that program. Start pushing people through and finding out if they're capable or not. Some of them might be able to reach a certain level and not go further. You need to recognize that quickly. Maybe someone is a good clinic director but it doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be a great partner in another location. You have to test, prove and show their worth in order to make those kinds of jobs.

There's no end goal in leadership. I'm still learning something every day. You keep learning. It's not like, “We're going to do this. In six months, we'll have this product.” This is not that. It's ongoing for everybody involved to continue to learn and grow. With that mindset, you'll do better.

What do owners need to be aware of as they start growing? As the number of employees increases and if they do have another location, what are some of the pitfalls that you can see that owners need to be aware of?

This isn't new information, but it's all about communication. You imagine your day-to-day in the clinic and you put your head down. You're treating your patients and you give all your energy to your patients. You're going on to the next patient or whatever, but you've got to find some time and energy to put into your staff all the time too. It can be little things. It can be things like, “What can I say to this PT aid now that they can make them feel a part of the team and make their day?” It can be going by and saying, “I appreciated how you handled Mrs. Smith when she came in this morning, and that was a difficult situation, but you handled it like a pro. Thanks for being part of the team.” That takes fifteen seconds, but it makes people feel good about what they're doing. You're building a team. You're building culture. If you can imagine, what can I do all day long every day to keep the communication strong between my team? If you let it think it's going to happen without any attention to it, it will probably not.

I wonder, as an owner, I wasn't quite sure what I would if I wasn't treating. We didn't have a lot of business training coming out of physical therapy school. If I'm not treating, what am I doing? One of those things is to check in with your team either during the course of their work or also with one-on-one meetings with those people who are a little bit more “important.” You want to stay close to your providers especially the ones close to your leadership and clinic directors. A lot of it is meetings. I'm surprised how many owners don't have regularly scheduled meetings with their billers to stay on top of their money. One-on-one meetings to help people grow. When you have leadership or people who you have tabbed for leadership, you want to take the time aside to talk with them and mentor them and maintain the communication through the company. A lot of that will help things move better, improve the flow and culture of the business as well.

We can't assume that everybody knows exactly how to do that. You, as the leader, need to help people discover those certain pieces. There's a great book that a lot of people are familiar with, written by Daniel Pink called Drive. He talks about the three things in there that motivate people. It's serving a greater purpose. It is some amount of autonomy and self-mastery. Those are the three things. As a leader, I would look at that as, “How can I help the people that are working with me identify and know what those three things are in their lives?” You can't assume that everyone says, “You may have the greater purpose of I'm going to provide all these services for my community, make my community, stronger, help the health of my community, or whatever your greater purpose is. You can't assume everybody else understands that unless you talk about it. Unless you help them identify that as well. Helping them identify those three specific areas and how you can help them develop more into those three areas will help keep your people motivated and inspired going forward.

I would even go so far as to say when you're talking about communication, that having the written systems, policies, and procedures or video examples of this is how we do things is also a form of communication that can minimize the wrong communication. Inevitably as an owner, there are plenty of people, if you're sitting in the office, that are going to knock on the door, “Do you got a minute?” and those are distractions to you as an owner. That's not the communication that you necessarily want.

Often your best teachers are already within your organization. Click To Tweet

When you have systems and procedures in place and you have given them some autonomy to come up with their own solutions without having to check in with you or redirecting them to their supervisor, instead of coming straight to you, because you're simply under the same roof, those are communication pitfalls that could crop up that need to be addressed. It can be addressed if you go through the grind and put together some policies and procedures and establish the right forms of communication.

Also, it’s not to put some of that stuff on the shelf and never look at it again. If you go through the exercise and the hard work of coming up with core values and you do a good job of making your core values an action-oriented type of core values. One of the things that you can do when you're having meetings with a group and you're talking about, “Should we do this?” You can always come back to and say, “Does this speak to our core values? Are we living our core values by doing this?” That's how you get people to understand the culture and understand the core value. How many people in a company can reel off the core values of the company they work for? If you talk about them all the time and interweaving it in the decisions you're making, it then becomes second nature. I think that's important.

What advice would you give people when it comes to the possibilities? I hate to use the word embezzlement, but as you get bigger, as more people are touching your money, and as you may become a little bit separated more from the money collections, what would you recommend to owners to stay on top of that and minimize the possibilities for a loss?

You need to come up with a few key indicators that you can look at on a weekly basis or a monthly basis, or whatever timeframe that you want to do it, and have someone to train you to understand 3 or 4 key indicators in the revenue cycle. “If this says this, we're okay. If it says something different, I need to question it.” You don't have to be an expert in billing, collections and all that stuff, but you have to know enough to ask the right questions. You have to be aware and you can't let somebody BS you. I remember a story. There's an accounting guy that sometimes I would ask a question and he would answer it. I would ask a deeper question, which made him uncomfortable. He would go into accountant speaking. He knew that wasn't my speak and how do I argue with current ratio and this and that or whatever. I was like, “I know that he’s BS-ing me. He's speaking the language that I don’t.” I'd say, “Tell me in my language. If I don't understand it in my language, then I'm going to look further.”

The mistake a lot of people make is they have somebody that they like and trust and they never pay attention. That person realizes that, “I'm a little short this month. I could borrow this and put it back in, and no one's ever going to know because he doesn't look at that detail.” One thing leads to another and you've heard all the stories. I remember that when I became the CEO of Therapeutic Associates, I was worried that I'm running this huge company and I don't have a background in finance. I was a PT. I need to know about finance.

I went and hired someone from Moss Adams to teach me the piece of finance or whatever. After about 1 or 2 hours, this woman said, “Why are you here?” I said, “I need to know this stuff.” She goes, “Are you the CFO?” I go, “No.” She goes, “Unless you're the CFO, you don't need to know this detail. Here are a few things that you need to look at and be aware of and look at trends and whatever, but you don't need to know this detail because that's not your gift. That's not what you're doing. That's not what you should be doing. You should be doing what you're good at.” It was a good lesson to me that I was getting bogged down in the weeds, trying to learn stuff and know stuff that this isn't what I'm here on Earth to do. I need to know some basics so that I can ask the right questions. If I don't get the right answers, then I look deeper.

It's timely that you brought that up because I did an interview with my business partner, Will Humphreys. We talked about some of the key statistics that you could look at with your biller to see if they're performing to an adequate level. If you go off some basic things as you talked about, then you can tell how your money flow is doing and if your bill is performing well or not. That's important. Maybe we don't have to be as specific and detailed as we may have been in the past, but we can't separate ourselves enough to not look at some of the reports that would give us key indicators as to how well we're doing and where the money is. In our situation, our biller, she had a good connection with our front desk coordinators. The front desk coordinators had a daily report sheet that they had to fill out in terms of the over the counter collections.

My biller is only responsible for insurance and patient balances. She's responsible for all collections, even the ones that come over their front desk. They had to report to the biller the front desk collections that were received. We could match that up compared to the EMR. The EMR would tell us who should have paid a copay, who has money that's owed. They could have that. That was nice to have because there was some accountability and there was even a daily reconciliation and that made us more feel more comfortable. I only met with the biller once a month, maybe once a week, if we had some issues that need to be dealt with. It was up to her then to report up to us about how collections were going and where the money was going. She also had reports that were given to me that showed her performance. I could find out quickly if she was performing well or not. It wasn't until we got to that point that we recognized greater profits in our business.

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The other thing to think about too, since we started out talking about multiple clinics, the beauty of having multiple clinics is that you can have those key indicators for each of the clinics and say if you have a spreadsheet with the 5 or 6 clinics on one side and then these key indicators. You can compare it to other clinics. That brings up things too like, “How come you're collecting this much copay at the front desk? I'm only collecting a small portion of that. What am I doing wrong? What could I do better to reach more of that level?” You have directors that can ask each other, “How come your cancellation and no-show rate is much lower than mine? What's going on here? What are you doing?” You can learn from each other. That can help with the embezzlement piece because if somebody is way off compared to the other clinics, then you can say, “Let's ask the question, why is this different?”

It's imperative to have that and compare side to side because there should be similar reimbursement rates per visit. The demographics are probably between communities if they're within driving distance. It's applicable to have those comparisons and see exactly how things are going.

It’s not that they know that they have to be the same because of what you mentioned. They can be different. You ask the question and if the answer back is appropriate and believable, then you move on. If it's the BS answer, here's a red flag. Let's check into this further.

That's the cool thing about having a leadership team is if it's a one-on-one meeting, you could probably BS me. I'm not the smartest guy around. You could probably tell a great story and I'd fall for it. When you get into a group of people, it's hard to BS a group of people. That's the cool thing. When you have a leadership team, it can start calling their peers out in a kind way. The owner coming down on that person, it's their peers that are talking to them about, “We're doing this. Why can't you do that?” That carries more weight.

That's why regular meetings are important to that group. If you never meet, then you never have an opportunity to do that. If you have a group of five or six directors, how often do you meet with that group and talk about those types of issues? I would recommend that you do it probably more often than you think you should because it's usually valuable. That quarterly, or is it monthly, or there are some people that have the ten-minute huddle on Monday morning. They do that often. There's not a secret formula that the key is that meet and learn from each other because you're going to learn faster.

It's important to commit to doing the meetings because at one point we got to a point where we had so many meetings, we recognized how many meetings and hours each month that we were spending in meetings that we had to scale back. Once we did that became powerful, but I don't we regretted the fact that we had too many meetings. At the time period in which we had all those meetings, they served their purpose. Over time, we started shrinking them down and made them more effective and powerful. The meetings worked out and we got as much done in a shorter amount of time. The pendulum swings one way, we brought it back the other way, but it all worked out well.

It depends on how big the organization is, but when you get to a certain level, as an executive in that organization, meetings, that's what you do. There are meetings. What PTs struggle with is I call it the achiever mentality. We're so oriented to checking off tasks as we do them and even our patient loads are that way. That's not a high-level leader that’s checking off boxes. A high-level leader is working within a group to make everyone in the group reach a higher level. That takes the meeting. That takes being together. You can't do that by yourself in the office with the door closed. As you get bigger, you're going to have to start doing more and more of those things because that's what makes it work.

Talking about that, we both would agree that if you're going to have a couple of clinics, you would recommend that the PT owner not be treating patients full-time. They need to be stepping out and being the leader of their companies. With that admin time, how do you recommend owners and smaller scenarios prioritize their time most effectively? What are some of the things that they should be working on? If they’re like, “I don't know what to do first so I'm going to maybe catch up on my notes and pay some bills?” What should they be prioritizing? How should they be prioritizing their time?

There's no end goal in leadership. You just keep learning. Click To Tweet

It's those touchpoints. Your greatest gift to your staff or your company in a leadership position is to grow other leaders, to help them learn and grow. Getting caught up on emails and things like that, it usually doesn't fit into that category. What you want to do is create a culture. We all know how it works. You as the owner and director, you're the most productive. You see the most patients. All the doctors want you to see their patients. We know all those things. If you develop your people and train your people, the best scenario would be that they should be busy all the time and I should have time to do the other things because that's what I'm good at.

Nothing's worse than a PT director/owner being busy all the time and the staff is not. They're sitting around doing things that aren't productive when I'm treating the patients, but I could be doing other things that would benefit the company. You have to build a culture where your people are comfortable with the fact that they're doing what they said they do and they're supposed to do. You can then maybe create more time to do the leadership things that you need to do.

Some of that is maybe hard for us to overcome. As achievers, we are the most productive and that's where our training lets us that if I treat a patient, I get reimbursement and thus we recognize our value. Our value comes from being immediately productive. I know that I treated that patient. I know I got so much money and that thus I am productive. Thus, I am this valuable. To do administrative tasks and leadership responsibilities doesn't have that immediate or obvious return on investment. It's hard for us to make that transition and recognize that acting as a leader, whether it's a strategic planning or developing processes and procedures, or following a strategic plan or creating a strategic plan for marketing or for increased productivity is equally if not more valuable than treating the patients.

You have to keep asking yourself a couple of questions. One is, “Am I following through on my gift doing what I'm doing?” If you're starting a practice and you're building your reputation or whatever, then it's legitimate to say, “Yes, I'm treating all the patients. I'm being productive. I'm building up whatever.” That’s fine, but you have to go down the road and say, “Am I using the highest level of my pay grade,” if you think of it that way. There are other people that could be doing some of these things that maybe I'm spending my time.

The second question I would always ask myself is, is this sustainable? If I'm being that productive, being overwhelmed and whatever is this sustainable over the long run. We've all had situations where let's say our superstar PT is out on maternity leave for three months. We can gear up, treat more patients and do more things during those three months waiting for that person to come back. That has a start and endpoint, but I see a lot of PTs get to the point where they're on the treadmill. If they ask themselves that question, “Is this sustainable?” The answer's probably no. If you answer no to that question, you've got to find a different strategy. You've got to find another way to do things.

I've shared this story before that for the first ten years of owning a practice, people would ask me how the business is going. I'd say, “I love treating patients, but I hate running a business.” It's the HR and all that stuff that I hated doing. It wasn't until I changed my intentions and recognize that I truly was the owner. If things were going to change my business, it was up to me to change it because I was at number one. Until I set aside time to work on my business, that I see the change and the growth in my company, and also a change in myself where I started enjoying owning a business. I found value and a lot of pride in improving the business aspect of my company. It grew because of that. The people who worked with me and for me also grew as well as I took that helm and became a leader of the company. It made a change.

Most of our peers go through that at some point. The other option would be I love treating patients. I love doing this. This is my gift. This is what I do. You have to hire a business person then to do the business side. Some people may be comfortable with that and a lot aren't. That's the other alternative, but you can't do it all usually and be successful. It gets back to The E-Myth thing. You have to also work on your company, not just in your company.

Even if you brought on a business person, you still have to have meetings with them. You have to train them on how you do things and what your expectations are. A lot of times we might think that we're delegating when in some aspects we're advocating and not appropriately following up. That's something we have to recognize as leaders is that when we delegate and when we train people up, the next step is to follow-up and make sure that they're following the policies, procedures and systems that we established and cheering them on. Not abdicate that thinking that they're trained and they're ready to go.

PTO 114 | Managing Multiple Clinics
Managing Multiple Clinics: A high-level leader works within a group to make everyone in the group reach a higher level.

 

You always got to pay attention to.

Is there anything else you want to share about multi-clinic ownership that maybe we didn't cover that comes to mind?

My career was in a company that had multi-sites. I believe in that concept. If you have a very specific niche or you're very aware of what your goals and intentions are, having one stand-alone clinic can work. I think from a business perspective that it's easier to do exciting and important things when you're bigger. You can get through situations easier because you've got some support. When one clinic is down for whatever reason, you've got others to support it. If you work together as a team and me personally, again, it's a personality thing, but I find a lot more joy when I'm working with a group of people, as opposed to working on my own.

There are some real advantages to it. You have to decide at what level you want to do it. If you want to build a legacy type company, then my feeling is you probably have to get to give some ownership pieces in there and some governance roles in there for other directors. You want to hire someone like yourself, who has your motivation and inspiration and dedication but if you don't give that person the right incentives, they are then going to say, “What am I doing here? I'll go and do my own thing. I'll go with somebody who appreciates that.” You’ve got to give up a piece of the pie, in my opinion, to enjoy the fruits of the bigger pie.

I'm glad that you brought that up because I've recognized the same thing. Those same guys that have been successful with multiple clinics are the guys that not only had leadership development and found and developed the next partner in their company. They've also incentivized or at least given some profit sharing, equity sharing in that clinic to help them feel like they own something. It’s like they're a part of something bigger and that can be incentivizing, but inevitably those companies that have those kinds of structures have done well and are some of the more successful ones that I know of.

An ownership mentality is everything. Click To Tweet

An ownership mentality is everything. It doesn't have to be exact ownership, but you need to develop that ownership mentality. You want that director to feel like this is their thing and it depends on them. The success and failure of this are going to be about them. You need that. I'm not a fan of having two partners in the same clinic. I think that causes problems. I don't care how good a friend you are, whatever, but somewhere down the road, there's always one partner that thinks that they're working harder than the other one. They're doing more of this stuff and whatever and it causes problems. If you're at a clinic by yourself as that leader, you don't have those tensions as much, and then you still have the benefit of working with others being in a bigger group. That's why I like the multiple clinic style. There's so much opportunity out there. If you're good at what you do, why not spread it around to more people.

That's the definition of power. It is the ability to influence more people with the same amount of work. If you can be as influential as a physical therapist, treating patients one-on-one, but now you can treat thousands of patients through multiple clinics, then you're that much more powerful. Everyone wants to have a greater impact on their community, their surroundings and their environment. That's why we did it in the first place. Thanks for your time, Steve. I appreciate it. You're doing some great work or you have been in the PPS and Peer2Peer. Thanks for your efforts in that. If people wanted to reach out to you individually, how would they do that?

I'm happy to give my contact information. My email address is SteveAndersonPT@Outlook.com. My phone number is (206) 683-5051. You can also go to my website, OrangeDotCoaching.com. There's a place in there that you could reach out to me on that website as well. Many of those things, I'd be happy to talk to anyone and help them.

Thanks for your hard work. Thanks for your time. I appreciate it.

Thank you, Nathan. I appreciate it.

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About Steve Anderson

PTO 114 | Managing Multiple Clinics

Steve Anderson is the former CEO of Therapeutic Associates, a physical therapy practice with more than 80 outpatient clinics in Washington, Oregon and Idaho that also serves as a major hospital contract in Southern California. Therapeutic Associates was formed in 1952, and Steve was only the 3rd CEO and held that position for 19 years, beginning in 1998 after 16 years with the company.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Steve is also active in national organizations related to physical therapy, including the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and as a Board of Trustee for The Foundation for Physical Therapy. He also served as the President of The Private Practice Section of APTA for 6 years between 2002 and 2008. He received his section’s most prestigious award, the Robert G. Dicus Service Award, in 2010.

Steve received the APTA Leadership Advocacy Award in 2006 for his efforts in Washington D.C. and Washington State in the legislative arena. In 2012 Steve received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Northwestern University Physical Therapy School. In 2016 Steve was awarded Physical Therapist of the Year by PTWA, the APTA chapter for the state of Washington.

Steve earned his bachelor’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University. He went onto physical therapy school at Northwestern University in Chicago. He has been a physical therapist since 1980 and worked for Therapeutic Associates until the end of 2016. He resides in Seattle, Washington with his wife, Sharon.

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