New Owner at Cornerstone Physical Therapy Associates
By Leslie O’Donnell 12-22-16
Physical therapist Jeff Richards is the new owner of Cornerstone Physical Therapy Associates LLC, located next to Gordo’s Mexican restaurant in the Riverbend Marketplace in Raymond.
Richards, who five years ago worked with former owner Denise Simard, recently purchased the business from her.
A Concord native, Richards said Simard owned the physical therapy practice for 10 years, but decided it was time to sell and cut back her hours.
“Denise contacted me about three months ago to talk about making a smooth transition from one excellent practice to another,” Richards said. They made the change Oct. 1, and Simard continues to work at Cornerstone part time.
Richards said the practice now includes himself and Simard as physical therapists, and Deanne Raymond, a physical therapy assistant and licensed massage therapist. Raymond works at the clinic full time. Cornerstone also employs an office manager and an office assistant.
A new addition to the clinic staff is registered and licensed occupational therapist Gillian Hamilton. She specializes in vestibular therapy – vertigo and balance management.
Richards, who received his degree in physical therapy in 1983 from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, moved to the Erie, Penn., area after graduation and operated a physical therapy practice. After 15 years in Pennsylvania, he returned to New Hampshire six years ago to help his father, who had Parkinson’s disease.
Richards said patients typically are referred for physical therapy by their physician. He, Simard and Raymond are trained in the Grafton Technique, a soft tissue massage technique that he said allows for improved flexibility and pain reduction in irritated tissues, done with specialized instruments in what he described as a more comfortable fashion than standard acupressure massage would be.
And with his experience in the home care environment, Richards said he also offers a urinary incontinence program that can provide relief in four to six weeks.
“I definitely take a whole body approach,” Richard said, noting that all the physical therapists on staff focus on building a one-on-one relationship with their clients.
“We might collaborate, but it’s a dedicated one-on-one professional service so that we can establish a trusting relationship between patient and therapist,” he said.
“I went into physical therapy because from the years when I was about 5 to 18, I was in the emergency room multiple times from rough and tumble play,” he recalled. “I was enthralled with the health care system.” He ended up doing his final clinical work at Concord Hospital, where he had gone so many times for childhood injuries.
He initially worked as a certified athletic trainer, but found the hours not compatible with family life. Richards has a 25-year-old son, Ryan, who is finishing his teaching certificate, and a daughter, Lauren, who attends the University of New England’s physician assistant program. He and his wife, Tracy, live in Kingston.
“I appreciate the opportunity Denise offered me to continue the quality care she established over the last 10 years,” he said. “Outpatient physical therapy is my forte. The needs are always attached to a unique individual, so the physical therapy plan relates to both physical and other needs. Every day is new and interesting, just as it has been for the last 33 years, and I enjoy it still.”
He noted that the staff take Continuing Education classes and stay current with physical therapy practices.
Cornerstone serves clients of all ages – Richards has worked with patients from 6 weeks old to 104. “One of the perks of the job is to see people around town doing better – it’s very rewarding,” Richards said. “And I love continuing to learn what our field can provide.”
He said he works with local gyms so that when a patient is approaching discharge, they can go to a gym together and talk about how to use the equipment at the appropriate level.
Patients are generally seen two to three times a week for four to eight weeks, Richards said.
In the future, he hopes to incorporate more preventive physical therapy – seeing people before they undergo knee surgery, for example, or working with people with balance issues, so they can establish better core strength through physical therapy.
After Jan. 1, the clinic will be open five days a week, Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., with other times by appointment. Until then, the clinic is closed Wednesdays.
Cornerstone Physical Therapy Associates LLC is at the Riverbend Marketplace on Route 107, adjacent to Gordo’s, and can be reached at 895-6860.
Individuals in search of personal, professional PT care should look no further than Cornerstone Physical Therapy Associates, LLC. Cornerstone is owned by Denise Simard, who has more than 20 years of experience in orthopedic physical therapy, with additional work experience in cardiology, sports, women's health and pediatrics.
Before opening her business, Simard worked at another practice where she would see four or five patients at a time. Simard said those group sessions did not allow her to give patients the amount of attention they need. She decided to open her own practice where she could see patients individually. Simard said, “One on one to me means that when you’re here, you’re with your therapist.”
This individualized treatment allows the therapist time with the patient to thoroughly evaluate the patient and have ample time for treatment. Reevaluation is ongoing during sessions so exercises or physical therapy programs can be modified in a timely fashion. Patient education is emphasized as well. The number one priority of Cornerstone is providing quality one on one care.
Simard said Cornerstone holds to a high standard of practice. To this end, continuing education in the form of seminars or conferences and staying current with evidence-based practice are emphasized. Simard said people can always learn, and attends seminars and conferences regularly.
Cornerstone houses a full gym, complete with free weights, a cable system, ergometer, kettlebells, BAPS (Biomechanical Ankle Platform System) board, and Total Gym. It also features a large treatment room with two stations, as well as a single private station. The reception area is warm and welcoming.
Simard has four staff: Mary Winchell, a licensed physical therapist specializing in shoulders and knees, Kevin Warne, a licensed physical therapist with special interest in prevention and rehabilitation of biking, running and skiing injuries, Kimberly Bemis, administrative assistant and Donna Burgess, billing coordinator.
Bemis said the small, personal environment allows her to get to know each patient. She believes it is important to connect and communicate with each person and notes that patients seem happy and comfortable during their visits.
Simard said she offers sports conditioning and rehabilitation, and would also like to explore issues in women’s health.
Kevin Casucci drives an hour from Malden Mass for physical therapy for rotator cuff surgery rehabilitation. He said he comes to CPT because "they are the most dedicated professional caring staff that I have ever received services from. Their vast knowledge of muscle motion and hands-on attentiveness is fabulous. "I would have needed another surgery if not for their care." he said.
“Patients should choose the location of their physical therapy as conscientiously as they choose any other health care services,” Simard said, noting that patients have a choice in where they can go for the service.
Cornerstone Physical Therapy Associates, LLC is located at 64 Freetown Rd, Raymond NH. For more information, call 895-6860, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website at www.cornerstonept.org.