Monday, February 22, 2010

Small town perfect environment to raise family and to open a physical therapy clinic

A small town is where Wes Mentele wanted to raise his family. It was an added bonus that he was able to launch Howard Physical Therapy and have success in just over three years.
“We were awful nervous initially moving back,” Mentele said. “We really thought a lot about it and wrote a lot of letters to people in town. Talked to clinics we would be working with. We had people calling us the next day wondering if we were coming to town. Now, we are both very busy.”
Kim Eggert, executive director of Whispering Winds Senior Living Center in Howard, said we have used his services’ for our residents. “If we didn’t have him here, it would be more difficult for us because residents would have to find someone to haul them out of town for therapy,” she said. “Physical therapy is a much needed business in Howard.”
Rural Learning Center President Randy Parry said being able to have a young couple establish a business on Main Street is important to expand services for our community.
"It adds a critical dimension of services that we can be proud of," he said. "Having a variety of health care services helps attract young people to a community because there is a perspective that we are working to build a better community."
One of the important concepts that drove the Mentele’s to Howard was the community leaders’ drive to improve the city and the county. “We needed a progressive community to try and start our practice in,” he said.
Wes and his wife, Carrie, own Howard Physical Therapy. The Menteles have two children: Cole, 6 years old and Logan, 4 years old.
The main office is in Howard and there is a satellite office located in Woonsocket. All different types of physical therapy – ranging from back and neck pain, shoulder, physical rehabilitation after surgery and accidents – are all services that are offered.
“The neck and back problems are the most prevalent types of injuries that can limit patients,” Mentele said. “We are providing a treatment that allows them to live their life, work and enjoy different things is pretty satisfying to me.
Within the first few months the business was busy and stayed busy. Employees were hired in 2008 and 2009 and now the Menteles are looking to increase their staff to branch out into other communities.
Wes graduated from Howard High School in 1997 and then from the University of Mary in Bismarck, N. D. in 2003. Mentele has a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and master’s degree in Physical Therapy.
He started a practice in Bismarck, but once moving to Howard he sold the business almost 18 months ago.
“We are busier here than we thought we would be,” he said.
What makes it work is that the clinic offers a wide range of treatment and conditions. “In small community, it is hard to be specialized in one particular area,” Mentele said. “You have to be able to work a wide range.”
What surprised Mentele when moving to Howard was the way everyone is supportive. To return their support, Mentele volunteers to do sports medicine for the Howard High School football team during the season.
“People in a small town want to see people succeed,” he said. “A lot of people recognize the benefit of having small medical service in a small town because they don’t have to travel so far.”
What also helps is that Howard Physical Therapy works closely with the medical clinics in the community. “We try to keep close contact with all the healthcare providers in town as well as specialty situations in other communities,” he said.

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