By Dana Mandel
In my last related post in May, 2017, I described the first years of private practice as the Mandel Therapy Group and hiring the first employee, Patti Webb, PT. It didn’t take very long before the administrative requirements of my growing practice began to overwhelm my ability to treat my patients.
I hired an administrative assistant, Sharon Marshall, who soon became the office manager until her retirement in February, 2012. At the time of her hire, our “office” was a small room on the first level of my home. Sharon lived around the corner and would come to my home every day to pick up the mail, faxes, and check the phone messages. Unfortunately, Sharon passed away in February, 2015, shortly after her retirement.
The home office arrangement soon become unmanageable and the need for a “brick and mortar” presence became apparent. I had been interviewing applicants in local restaurants and storing records and supplies in my home. As the “office” was in the middle of my home, it became increasingly difficult to separate my work from my family obligations. In 2002, the residence across the street from my home belonging to Clarence Gilling became available. Clarence had built his home in 1941 and lived there until his demise at the age of 102. As there was ample space now available, Lifespan began offering outpatient physical therapy services in our new facility. I never dreamed that the practice would outgrow this building, and additional space was constructed in 2015 to improve work flow and provide enhanced facilities for our patients and staff.
As the practice continued to grow, it was time to create a corporate entity to secure its future and status. Lifespan Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech and Language Pathology Services, PLLC was incorporated in September, 2010 as a professional limited liability corporation. Since that time, the practice has continued to grow and presently employs approximately 40 individuals and provides related services to nearly 800 children.
As I reflect near the end of my 30th year of the practice of physical therapy, I am grateful for the challenges and the opportunities presented by this dynamic and rewarding profession. I never dreamed that I had the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of children with disabilities over the years. I am also cognizant of, and indebted to, the support, trust, and opportunities presented by others that have contributed to this achievement.