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Words from the owner – Mike Bills, PT

Owner - Loudoun Sports Therapy Center

An interview with Mike Bills, PT, owner and CEO of Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, Sterling Virginia.

 

Why did you become a physical therapist?

I became a physical therapist for two main reasons:

  • As a high school athlete, I had several injuries that required physical therapy and I immediately saw the value of treating the injury to complete recovery. In the course of my treatments I observed other patients who were fully recovering from their injuries and conditions and the benefit of physical therapy really hit home for me.  It was a method of treatment that most often didn’t involve surgery or medication. When participating in PT, a patient could recover from injury and regain function  while safely returning to pre-injury activities.  I personally didn’t want to continue to experience the same or even new injuries and found physical therapy offered a great option for me.
  • When I was growing up I had a cousin who had a very rare muscular disorder. Early in life, Jay was unable to do anything for himself due to a lack of skeletal muscles in his body and doctors said he would never live past the age of 10.  One summer in high school, I spent time living with Jay and the rest of his large family.  I had the opportunity to go to physical therapy with Jay and in the course of that summer, I saw the amazing gains he made. Physical therapy improved his quality of life as he learned to be more independent with the assistance of specialized equipment and physical therapy helped Jay become more self-reliant.  Jay is now in his late 30’s, lives independently, and has a full time job.  He has well surpassed the expectations any physician ever had for him and he attributes it all to physical therapy.

 

Why did you open LSTC?

I grew up in Herndon and always want to give back to my local communities in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. I helped open LSTC in 1993 while working as a rehab director for Reston Hospital Center.  At the time, they were expanding their outpatient services and a satellite physical therapy clinic was a good fit.  

In the early 2000’s the company that owned LSTC began to take a different approach to patient care.  They weren’t interested in dealing with insurance companies or getting the patient better.

My purpose never changed; it was always about making sure that I kept the patients’ best interests in mind. I wanted to ensure that I was able to continue helping patients fully recover rather than giving in to insurance companies. Being able to expand the clinic’s services and giving back to the community were very important to me. 

It was around that time, when the hospital starting closing the outpatient facilities.  In 2004 I had opportunity to purchase Loudoun Sports Therapy from the hospital and I took that chance.  Being the owner of LSTC has allowed me to continue to provide care to the community I grew up in and one in which I am raising my own children. 

More importantly it gave me the opportunity to build a physical therapy practice that was based around the fundamentals that were so important to me: 
  • Treatment centered around each individual patient
  • Providing patient education throughout their care
  • Treating the patient to full recovery (and thus fighting the battle with the insurance company when needed),
  • Keeping the business of physical therapy about treating patients and helping them improve their life versus a business about numbers and volume as this is what it was quickly becoming.

 

What is LSTC’s purpose?

Excellence is a word often overused but it is why LSTC exists.  As a father of three children and a previous athlete myself I have seen and experienced the lack of excellence in this every changing healthcare environment.  The purpose of LSTC is to provide a caring environment where every staff member is passionate about your health and overall well being, not just the “condition” we are seeing your for. 

I promise you, as both a physical therapist and the owner of LSTC, we will listen to you, care for you and thus get results for you.  It is our goal to be a vital part of your healthcare team at all times.  LSTC will always be an environment of compassion that is dedicated to helping you heal, improve function and mobility, return to an activity or start one you never felt you could.  Your treatment at LSTC will be an experience of caring, learning, compassion and ultimate patient satisfaction at all times.

 

What does ‘patient care’ mean to you?

As a physical therapist and a practice owner, patient care really means three things to me.  First, it means listening to you; the patient.  This is a simple process but something that has really fallen out in our society especially in today’s healthcare system.  If I ask the right questions and listen to your answers, I will know what is wrong with you, what is contributing to your symptoms and most of all what you need from a treatment perspective.  When this happens, you will get better and we will get the results you and your physician desire.  

Secondly, it means having compassion and caring about the person you are working with.  I can’t just say “I care”, my actions have to show you.  Listening and spending time may show that I care, but educating you, is key to ensuring you get what you need. We educate you to help prevent your condition from occurring in the future. 

Patient care incorporates being able to listen, being able to educate you and then being able to follow through on the promise of getting you better. As part of my mission, I work to make sure that anyone I have on my team works to help you meet your personal physical therapy goals. 

 

Why is PT such an important healthcare option for people?

As physical therapists we are trained to evaluate the whole body and understand its normal and abnormal states. Physical Therapy is a natural treatment approach to achieving and maintain optimal health.  Think of a physical therapist as your dentist, you really want to see your physical therapist when there are minimal or no problems, rather than waiting for the problem to be at its worst.  This helps you to prevent bigger problems from occurring and thus prevents surgery and debilitating effects of injury or conditions. 

A physical therapist treats the problem, not just the symptoms you may be feeling.  This approach ensures that the problem is handled rather than masked further.  As physical therapists we evaluate you as a whole person (not just the “condition” that is currently ailing you).  From this evaluation we can determine what is causing your pain, your problem, what led to your injury and pain.  We are movement specialists so we can evaluate your condition and then treat it in the most natural way possible without surgeries or medications. 

Our clinical team is comprised of expert, licensed clinicians, each of whom has gone through extensive training and education to be able to treat your whole condition.  Physical therapy is most often times the best option because as physical therapists we have been trained in all aspects of the body, rather than just one specific aspect.  This extensive training has given us the knowledge and expertise to successfully handle any condition that comes our way.

 

Is there anything you want people to know before they come to LSTC ?

I decided to be a physical therapist many years ago because of my great desire to help people live life pain free and be able to remain active throughout their lifetime.  My dream and desire to help has only gotten stronger throughout the years. 

My goal is for the physical therapy profession to help as many people as possible lead active and pain-free lives.  While I realize that a patient has the right and ability to decide where they go for therapy, I believe that LSTC is the only place in this area that will truly treat you and get you the results you want. 

I have made it my mission to ensure that all of my staff here at LSTC treat every patient with the same level of “patient care” that I would if I were their therapist.  Physical therapy is truly the best option to help someone handle any physical problem or ailment, to improve their overall physical condition, and to prevent future injury. My goal is that LSTC will be able to be a part of that so that everyone in our area truly can lead a healthy, happy, active, long life to their hearts content.

 

Are you having pain or suffering from an injury? Don’t wait.

Call 703-450-4300 now to schedule your one-on-one personal evaluation and get back to doing what you love. Tell them the owner sent you!