Total passion in creating and providing value in caring for people who require rehabilitation from injury or recovering from various orthopedic post-operative procedures. I believe that was my mission statement way back when. Our trademark has been and continues to be not only treating patients but motivating them through the recovery process and then inspiring them to pursue healthy lifestyles. One of CPT’s operating principles has been adhering to the belief and practice of, “relationships are more important than (business) transactions.” Professionally and personally I’ve always strived to control the customer/patient experience by engaging them in the rehabilitation process and instilling a strong desire/passion to be the best or give it their best. While also attempting to ensure that my fellow co-workers(therapists/trainers/aides) be equally involved and passionate in their work. This business philosophy translates to personal and professional growth, achievement and allows for staff and patients to maximize their physical and emotional health and overall satisfaction.
“Get out of bed everyday and stay the course, do what you do the way it’s supposed to be done” – John Bogle 87 year old founder and CEO Vanguard Group
I never considered myself a businessman and yet CPT is now in it’s 30th year in business. County Physical Therapy was established in September 1987 and has grown and prospered as a direct response to, “something that was badly needed in Aroostook county in the field of out-patient orthopedic rehabilitation.” These last few years have been challenging and uncertain at times, however CPT remains strong and focused on staying the course, doing what we do, just as I had envisioned back in it’s early humble beginnings. That is to offer and provide the best service with outcome based results and caring as it’s core principle. Over the years I have been fortunate and privileged to have had the opportunity to work along side the best and most dedicated staff and referring physicians as well as to treat the hardest working, honest and down to earth people anywhere. A recent case stands out in particular in that it epitomizes How and Why CPT has been so successful over the years.
Phil is an 83 year old retired potato farmer from Fort Kent who is also an avid golfer who has been known to golf up to 36 holes in a single day and 234 in a 6 day period, and that was all without a cart! Phil had a 12 year history of 2 failed Total Knee replacements, the first as a result of a sometimes unavoidable complication of infection. Over the last 3-4 years and especially the last year his right knee was deteriorating rapidly. Constant pain, swelling, weakness and functional instability were part of his daily existence. And furthermore he feared that his golfing days would soon be over. Phil showed up at my office last summer with a huge brace, walking with crutches essentially non weight bearing on his right leg and a physical therapy prescription in hand. After reviewing his lengthy medical records including, imaging(x-rays and MRI), and notes from numerous physicians, it became quite clear that this was a very complicated and difficult case. He indicated to me that he had been told that all the imaging studies were completely normal and that he hoped that someone, a specialist, could give him some answers as to what was going on with his knee. I guess physical therapy was his last stop on a long and frustrating road. He told me that recently a practitioner told him that perhaps the only thing left to do was amputate above the knee and that’s what motivated him to consult with us. Phil himself told me that he considered having his leg amputated and wondered what the rehab would be for that. After my evaluation/examination it was clear to me that there was something very wrong with Phil’s knee, despite apparently normal x ray and MRI. My assessment…Intra-articular pathology ( I didn’t know what) with resultant and associated severe and pervasive weakness and functional instability. My plan…attempt strengthening the entire lower extremity and help facilitate/find/convince an orthopedic specialist who could at the very least give Phil some answers as to what was going on with his knee. And just maybe fix it!!
The above plan seemed pretty straightforward. I quickly realized that wasn’t going to be the case!! I attempted to contact surgeons in Bangor, Auburn, and Portland and after detailing the case, ALL declined to see this gentleman. “Too complicated, nothing we can do.” Finally in the fall an apparent breakthrough, an orthopedic surgeon in Portland agreed to see Phil. . .only to cancel 3 days before his appointment… “too complicated.” As I often do with difficult cases I consulted with my lead PT and VP of clinical affairs Paul Marquis in our Presque Isle office. “Paul, can you take a look at Phil and tell me what you think and what we might do to get him referred somewhere?” “I’d love to Mark” was Paul’s usual answer that I had been accustomed to hearing. After Paul’s evaluation he recommended that we try to get Phil seen in Boston by Dr. John Ready. Dr. Ready’s office staff and assistants (PA’s, nurses and resident doctors) were simply awesome, accommodating and very responsive. Within 30 days Phil was seen, evaluated and repeat x-rays and MRI revealed an array of problems in his right knee. A plan of care and action was established.
On January 17, 2017 Phil underwent complex surgery for right knee revision arthroplasty (distal megaprosthesis). His diagnosis metalosis, polyosteolysis and fractured femoral stem. While Phil was away in Boston undergoing skilled nursing and rehabilitation his wife Kats stopped by my office to update me on Phil’s progress and to thank me for what I had done for Phil. She stated that Phil hadn’t stopped smiling since December when he finally found out what was wrong with his knee and that it could be fixed. But what had I done? As I reflected and tried to answer that question it became obvious. I cared enough to be persistent, to not quit, to consult members of my staff (Paul Marquis) and others, to not let x-rays/MRI make a diagnosis or lack of one. I was accountable to my patient, I promised him that we would find someone to help him, and WE did!
Today Phil is doing fine, his out-patient rehab is going great. . . minimum to zero pain, full range of motion, walking without assistive devices, increasing strength and more importantly he is confident that he’ll be out golfing 18 holes a day this summer! On or around May 10 Phil got back on the golf course, starting gradually with some chip and putt and eventually driving. I’d been getting numerous reports from many of Phil’s golfing buddies about how well he was doing and how so pleased he was with his current state of his knee. On May 17 CPT’s rehab team, myself, Matt Michaud and our athletic trainer Dave McDermot had lunch with Phil and his 84 year old brother Elmer and Reno Lagasse. It was awesome to share in some storytelling and good natured ribbing and back and forth bantering. I could see why Phil was anxious to get back to the golf course/club and once again nurture his competitive spirit. After lunch we made our way outside where we all took turns driving off of the 1st tee. Phil was the last to take his turn, he calmly approached the ball and with only one swing drove a beautiful shot, straight as an arrow about 240 yards. Matt, Dave and I were kind of amazed, but for Phil and his buddies it was nothing out of the ordinary.
Perhaps one of my greatest professional satisfactions is that I’ve given members of my staff opportunities for them to be successful, to work cooperatively with other health care providers and to take pride in their work and in their abilities. I’ve tried to instill in them that what they do can and does make a difference in the lives of the people they treat and interact with. If you don’t believe that just ask Phil, he’ll tell you.