For years, Nevada Physical Therapy had been leaning toward moving out of its original location at the University of Nevada, Reno, to reach more people in the community.
The pandemic gave Nevada Physical Therapy, which first opened at UNR in 1994, the final push to make the move.
“A lot of people in Reno think that you can only go to Nevada Physical Therapy at UNR if you were a UNR athlete or a faculty staff member of the university,” said co-owner Jonathan Hodges, whose medical group also has a clinic on Longley Lane in South Reno. “So, we lost our ability to help more people because of that (perception).”
The longtime clinic, after all, saw “70% of its business go away overnight” after COVID-19 shut down the UNR campus in March 2020, said Hodges, a doctor of physical therapy (DPT).
Moreover, Nevada Physical Therapy’s lease at the university was also up for negotiation and the two sides “couldn’t come to terms,” Hodges said.
For the clinic, all signs were pointing to relocating to an area where it would be more visible and accessible to patients: Reno’s Midtown.
With that, in late November 2020, Nevada Physical Therapy purchased the building at 1413 S. Virginia St. for $975,000 and invested an additional $450,000 during its five months renovating the 4,300-square-foot space, Hodges said.
The building was previously occupied by arcade-themed bar Press Start Reno — meaning bar tables, video games and pinball machines have been replaced by exam benches, free weights and elliptical machines.
Nevada Physical Therapy spent five months renovating its 4,300-square-foot facility in Reno’s Midtown. Photos: Kaleb M. Roedel / NNBW
Nevada Physical Therapy closed its doors on the UNR campus on April 16 and three days later officially opened its new location, Hodges said.
“Our population of the people we enjoy working with are active and outdoors people who want to get back to being active, and this community, this area, has a lot of that,” said Hodges, whose co-owners include physical therapists Crista Jacobe-Mann and Brian Fearnley, a former Nevada Wolf Pack football player (1992-1996). “It appealed to us because of the renaissance of Midtown; it’s exciting to be in the area that over the last five years is going through its big revival.
“Hopefully we can help more people in our community and create a facility that fits our current style a lot better. We wanted a facility that we could really show what we do.”
To that end, Nevada Physical Therapy offers services in four categories, including orthopedic/sports rehabilitation, spine rehabilitation and industrial rehabilitation, as well as elbow, wrist and hand therapy.
Hodges said the clinic’s approach is to use active forms of therapy that empower patients and teach them the skills to take back their lives from pain. Put another way: The clinic does not use passive treatment programs that provide short-term relief.
Nevada Physical Therapy relocated to Reno’s Midtown after being on on the UNR campus for over 25 years. Photos: Kaleb M. Roedel / NNBW
“We want patients to see that the work they’re doing is why they’re getting better,” Hodges said. “To be confident, robust and resilient for life … those are the kinds of things that we try to foster and build in our patients.
“So, anything that kind of contradicts that — passive modalities, like cupping, dry needling, you name it — that doesn’t fit here. Our job is really as educators, and then the other side of that is we’re very heavily evidence-based. And everything is geared toward creating patient empowerment.”
He added that the clinic uses active forms of therapy that not only treat patients, but also help them get stronger. This, he said, is why the clinic features kettle bells, squat racks and deadlift platforms, in addition to elliptical machines and strength-training equipment.
“We really want people to be stronger as part of that confidence and robustness idea,” he said.
After being open for more than two months in Midtown, Nevada Physical Therapy sees an average of 16 to 18 patients per day. The clinic, which has a total of 12 employees between its two locations, could see as many as 20 people per day “at full tilt,” Hodges said.
“We treat people from eight years old to 80,” he continued. “To see different people side by side doing very similar type movements, obviously at different intensities, I think, hopefully, it creates more inspiration for folks.”