It’s been an interesting journey the last few months. Initial rumblings of a sickness just starting to spread in other countries- comfortably outside the periphery of our world, changed into news that soon started hitting closer and closer to home. Although we have been isolated from the strongest waves of the viral tsunami in our isolated corner of Southern Oregon, and have had a low infection rate since the beginning, it has still been quite the journey being a new business owner in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and doing our best to act responsibly.
We decided to close our practice a week before our governor mandated shutdown, just a few months after renovating and moving into a larger location in downtown Talent. Even though prescription-based medical massage was technically allowed by the State, we looked into our hearts, took a deep breath and decided that although we would really miss our patients, the best way to keep them healthy and safe was to close down for the time being until more was known relative risks and methods of transmission.
Most of our patients understood and were supportive, but it was a very hard decision to make, as we know many of our patients deal a lot of pain. I just kept asking myself what if these patients were my elderly father? There were so many unknowns about transmission… Would I want him to take the risk of potential exposure?
PLANNING FOR THE IMPACT OF COVID IN OUR COMMUNITY
We were busy bees during the shutdown. We did our best to use our “time off” to plan for a future where much of our community might be forced to make the hard choice between getting out of debilitating pain or paying for their rent and food. We worked on:
- INCREASING HEALTH INSURANCE & MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT OFFERINGS. To make our treatments more affordable we widened our insurance offerings, digging into the mind-numbing process of becoming preferred providers with more local insurers including Providence, Blue Cross Blue Shield, First Choice, Pacific Source, and Medicare MedAdvantage. (A HUGE thanks to my poor husband Brian and our biller Crissi who tackled the mounds and mounds of paperwork!)
- UPDATED SAFETY & SANITATION. We wanted to have our clinic safely prepared for reopening when it came. We became hygiene nerds and followed the latest science and government guidelines to develop stringent sanitation and safety procedures. Everything from face coverings for all staff and patients, thorough sanitizing of all surfaces between sessions, HEPA filters running throughout session, adding more time between sessions to stagger patients and sanitize, staff changing into new smocks every session, and completely airing out the clinic in between, along with a host of other measures. We know that no precaution can take care of 100% of the risk, but we are doing our best to make it as safe an environment for our patients and staff as possible.
REOPENING: EVERY DAY IS A JOYFUL REUNION!
Life since reopening has been both wonderful and hectic. It feels like such a blessing to be back and be able to help the people we care so dearly for. We were welcomed back with bouquets of flowers, baskets of fruits, specialty teas–our front office was overflowing with gifts and more than one reunion with dear patients made us cry! It feels amazing to be welcomed back so warmly- we have the best patients and the best community!
We weren’t sure how busy we would be, but ever since we reopened there has been a HUGE influx of not just returning but also NEW patients. (Thank you Talent!) We decided we would need to add more therapists to meet the demand, but we are just too darn picky and don’t want to compromise on clinical and client-care quality.
MEDICAL MASSAGE ADVANCED TRAINING PROGRAM- DISCOUNTED SESSIONS!
Brian and I have both been core faculty at several top therapeutic massage schools, and decided to meet our need for solid clinical skills by creating our own Medical Massage Advanced Training Program for already licensed LMTs that we will be bringing on staff. In this program we train our new staff in clinical intake, client communication, injury assessment, and a wide range of advanced rehabilitative manual therapy skills.
We already have 4 awesome LMTs in various stages of the program and will be offering supervised sessions with them at a significantly reduced rate for their initial training period. We are very impressed with their progress so far and would love to share them with our community! Each session with a therapist will include both work from the LMT and hands-on guidance in the most effective techniques to treat your targeted issue from one of our highly experienced clinic supervisors.
All participants will be fully masked, pre-screened for any COVID symptoms or contact, the room will be thoroughly sanitized and there will be a Hepa filter running at all times, in addition to a host of other safety and sanitation measures.
We are so happy to be back! Although we know that the future is uncertain (as always in life), we are committed to looking forward with a positive attitude and providing the best care possible for our community. Thank you Talent for welcoming us back with open arms!