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Partners at Ascent Physical Therapy plan to accept patients at new clinic June 1

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Physical therapists Derek Lawr, Patrick Webinger and Jonathan Rice hope to open Ascent Physical Therapy at 17430 Meinig Ave., Sandy, on Saturday, June 1. Derek Lawr, Patrick Webinger and Jonathan Rice first met in graduate school before their careers as physical therapists began.

They all went into the profession with different backgrounds — pharmacy, military, athletics and engineering — and reasonings, but over time found they had a common goal: to serve people with more personalized care.

Now they want to bring that goal to fruition with a second location of Ascent Physical Therapy in Sandy at 17430 Meinig Ave. The target opening date is Saturday, June 1.

Previously, the trio has served patients from their first clinic in Happy Valley, but, Lawr explained, "we have a lot of patients from out this way, (and) we have a pretty good working relationship with Firwood Legacy Clinic."

Similar to their vision of giving their patients more one-on-one time, the business partners also hope to eliminate the "barrier" of distance between them and the people in the Sandy and Mount Hood area who frequent and need their services.

"We all came from different practices before and saw ways we could do things better," Rice noted. All three men practiced in more high-volume clinics, and didn't realize how limited their time was with each individual patient. So at Ascent they won't have a receptionist or middle person at all. Every patient will be assigned to a careprovider then consult with them directly from start to finish.

"We're trying to make healthcare more personal again," Lawr added. "At past clinics, people were more of a number."

He noted that there also seems to be a rather negative connotation around physical therapy in Portland because of how it's increasingly become a hub for national chain, high-volume clinics.

"That (mentality) doesn't exist out here (in Sandy) yet, so we want to get out here before people become jaded about therapy," Lawr said.

The trio also hope to empower their patients to advocate for their care and better their lives through their own additional fitness and therapy.

"We're really big on the education piece of what happens." Webinger noted. "We're teaching people an ability to understand what's going on with their body and how to deal with it. We want you to learn to take care of yourself."

Webinger is an army veteran, and said his inspiration to go into physical therapy came from "seeing people with severe injuries to minor (afflictions) go through PT and people coming back from significant injuries and being full and healed again."

"Everybody experiences something in life that keeps them from living their life to the fullest," he said.

"We want to help people with pain and performance," Lawr added. "You don't have to be in pain to come to therapy."

"We see people of all genders, ages and abilities," Rice noted. "We try not to push people away from what should be a first step in a lot of orthopedic issues."

The name Ascent Physical Therapy is an homage to not only the regional majesty of Mount Hood, but meant to inspire "positive, upward momentum."

"(Upward momentum) isn't always easy, but it's worth the view at the top," Rice said.

The partners at Ascent are excited to be in Sandy, not only because they share an affinity for mountain recreation, but because they enjoy working with people and "Sandy's a great town."


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