The clinic is equipped with a large wooden-framed industrial work cube that simulates work conditions
FARMINGTON – A new physical therapy clinic that focuses on sports and industrial rehabilitation recently opened in Bloomfield.
ApexNetwork Physical Therapy, located on 204 West Broadway Avenue, is the third of its kind in the state, with the other two located in Gallup and Bernalillo.
Licensed physical therapist Tim Cousens owns all three franchises, and commutes regularly among the cities to run the businesses. He opened the Bloomfield location earlier this month, and is trying to get the word out about how his clinic is different from other physical therapy centers.
"My mission is to bring high quality services to under-served areas," said Cousens. "I offer upper-scale, traditional physical therapy, but I also offer industrial rehabilitation."
Cousens explained that industrial rehabilitation is designed to help injured people with the work tasks they encounter every day, enabling them to return to work. People would normally have to travel to Albuquerque for this type of evaluation and therapy, Cousens said.
"We also offer evaluations specific to job duties to help employers test their candidate pool," he said. "Fifty percent of worker's compensation claims are filed within six weeks of hire, so that shows you that many of the conditions are pre-existing."
The center is equipped with a large wooden-framed industrial work cube that simulates work conditions.
"It's always hard to guess whether (a prospective employee) can do what they'll need to do in the job, and here we can test if they can push, climb, lift things, for example," Cousens said. "We have fire hoses and tractor tows, and can set up weights and measures to test abilities, as well as help people who have been injured on the job get back to that job."
Cousens said he's hoping to expand into the oil and gas industry and other industries.
"We've worked a lot with police departments, school districts and municipalities at the other locations," he said.
Because up to 80 percent of ambulatory care visits are movement-related, Cousens said, preventing injuries from occurring in the first place is another goal of ApexNetwork. To that end, the clinic offers techniques and exercises to build up muscles and protect joints, such as an agility ladder that helps people with their dynamic balance.
Currently, Cousens said he and his physical therapy assistant, Daniel Joe, are the only employees at the center, but he hopes to be able to hire more therapists as his business expands.
Joe, who also serves as the clinic's manager, worked at the ApexNetwork center in Gallup since 2014 and transferred to the Bloomfield clinic upon its opening.
Joe said he finds the work very rewarding.
"I think it was a great idea to offer more of a functional emphasis after people receive the acute phase of physical therapy," he said. "It's also great being able to work with them in a job setting, and to help people such as those who do oilfield work get back to their jobs and lives."
Joe said he especially enjoys helping athletes who have been injured get back into the game.
"I really enjoy sports rehab," he said. "I like seeing the kids progress from ground zero."
Cousens said physical therapy is covered by most insurance plans.
"New Mexico is now a direct access state, which means people no longer need a referral," he said. "We try to get patients in within 24 hours. If someone wakes up with a kink in their neck, they can come in and be seen and get back to work that same day. We want to be known as a quick access point for care."
ApexNetwork is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit apexnetworkpt.com, or call 505-333-7217.
Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.