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Sandy Ascent Physical Therapy location nominated for Chamber award by community

PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Jonathan Rice, Katelyn Leathers and Patrick Webinger run a people-centric physical therapy practice in Sandy. When Jonathan Rice, Patrick Webinger and Derek Lawr first opened Ascent Physical Therapy eight months ago, the trio said it was, in part, because they'd been serving Sandy residents already at their Happy Valley location.

Now, that supplied demand has earned the business a nomination for the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce's Sandy Area Sensational Business Award.

Ascent Physical Therapy, 17420 Meinig Ave., Sandy, has been nominated along with The Beauty Room and Frank Saniti Painting.

"I was flattered," Rice said of the nomination. "It's humbling. One of the best parts is the recognition from the community. I have at least one patient a week tell me we've changed their concept of physical therapy."

Webinger and Rice mainly run the Sandy location, while partner Lawr and a new therapist handle the Happy Valley business.

Lawr, Webinger and 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.

"We all came from different practices before and saw ways we could do things better," Rice said. Part of the difference, Rice added, is education.

"We come from very evidence-based backgrounds," he said. "I can't un-sprain an ankle, but I can help you learn how to not sprain it again. We also don't believe in the 'no pain, no gain' model."

"We're really big on the education piece of what happens." Webinger said previously. "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."

Helping Webinger and Rice at the Sandy clinic is longtime Sandy resident Katelyn Leathers, who works as a receptionist.

"Katelyn is so tied into this community," Rice said. "She's really helped us make connections. Sandy is a fantastic community and it's great to live in a place where people have those deep roots."

Rice also acknowledged that the Sandy Chamber has been helpful in the clinic's success over the past eight months.

"(The Chamber) feels community-centric from a business standpoint," he added. "I like that there's healthy business and community integration. We, as a business, personally elected not to take the most profitable PT model ourselves, but the most people-centric."

"We pride ourselves in taking time to make sure people are comfortable with us," Rice said. "It's kind of reaffirming to have a community like Sandy recognize that."

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