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In current economic times, companies have become more vigilant about reducing workplace injuries and managing their workers' compensation costs. By preventing injuries, companies can do more than just save money; they can improve employee morale and increase productivity. Physical therapists are experts in preventing and treating the kinds of injuries seen in manufacturing and other industries.
Tami Reynolds-Call and Heidi Jex designed their physical therapy business, WorkAbility Centers, so they can visit companies on-site to do ergonomic assessments of work areas and stations and to help any employees who may be experiencing discomfort. Their office in Clearfield also has a clinic, Ability Rehab and Physical Therapy, where they do traditional therapy and test workers against their job demands and help determine if injured workers are able to return to work.
Both Heidi and Tami have master's degrees in physical therapy. They purchased WorkAbility Centers four years ago from the widow of a physical therapist who had passed away. They felt strongly that workers would benefit from education in workplace stretching programs, having ergonomic adjustments made to their work stations and learning first aid techniques to keep them healthy at work.
The concept has been quite successful thus far; since 2005, Tami and Heidi have grown the business to four times what it was at their purchase. Employers value the services WorkAbility Centers provides because they can identify conditions at the beginning stages to keep them from progressing. This helps prevent some workers' compensation claims.
Despite the down economy, Heidi says WorkAbility Centers continues to flourish, probably because people still get hurt, and the business saves companies money. Both Heidi and Tami hope to expand into more businesses and industries, perhaps even fundamentally changing the way companies spend their healthcare dollars.