There are some decisions that stick with you and impact the rest of your life. The decision to choose a career, get married, have a child, and start a business are probably at the top of the list for anyone who has chosen those paths. As someone who decided to be a physical therapist at fourteen years old, the first of those almost seems like something that chose me. I was drawn to the caring interactions and problem-solving mindset from my first experience in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy as a young athlete and never looked back. I graduated in 2005 determined to be an excellent clinician who would stop at nothing to help my patients meet their goals.
The decision to start Forever Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness in 2010 as I became a first-time mother was by far one of the most pivotal decisions I have made: for myself, my patients, and my family. I wanted ultimate control of the care that I was providing to my patients and hoped to give that same level of autonomy for other therapists. As we became successful in the first clinic, it was clear the opportunity to do so was in front of us.
At the time, I very much remember this seeming like a daunting task. I had two children, ages 1 and 3, and a very busy entrepreneur, husband. When I attended private practice section meetings, I looked around the room and saw very few young women and wondered if it was possible to be successful. But I had gotten that far, learned a lot of lessons, and was confident in the abilities of my team members to support each other. Inspired by the outstanding and dedicated, primarily female professionals surrounding me, Forever Fit set out to grow. I offered a partnership opportunity to my colleague Renee Eluma to open our second office in 2014. We assembled a great core team of hard-working, dedicated therapists and support staff and continued to grow through 2019, adding three more offices, including Sara Harris as a partner in 2018.
Scaling Forever Fit to something bigger has been my dream for a few years, but we took some time to step back over the last couple of years and evaluate our business plan, set up infrastructure, and take care of our people and families during the pandemic. As a leadership team of mostly professional working mothers, we needed some time to breathe and regroup.
As we start 2022, I am so excited for our vision at Forever Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness. We have tested and fine-tuned our partner arrangements, setting the ground for more no money down partnerships to help other therapists with our values own their practice without sacrificing family stability. We opened our third partner clinic in August with Janelle Martinez, and our fourth partner, Jessica Hart, will be opening our seventh clinic this summer. We have hired an excellent Chief Operating Officer who has made tremendous gains in streamlining our business in 2 months, leaving me free to focus on recruiting, therapist development, and advocacy, which are where my passions lie.
Today, closing in on 20 years in this profession, I have never been more optimistic about the opportunities in front of us. I see Forever Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness better positioned than most other companies in our industry to address the changing needs of employees. As we grow, we are looking to continue to provide outstanding clinical development programs and partnership opportunities primarily focused on women and minority representation.