Jim Hoyme, PT
Co-Owner, OSI Physical Therapy
The year was 1979. 37 years ago.
On the TV . . . Three’s Company. MASH. The Jefferson’s.
In the theaters . . . Kramer vs Kramer. 10. The Jerk.
On the radio . . . My Sharona. We Are Family. The Gambler.
Politically . . . President Jimmy Carter. 63 US citizens were taken hostage in Tehran
In the market . . . salary $17,500. New car $5,700. New house $58,000.
Society . . . People sat in bean bag chairs and listened to their Sony Walkmans.
Was it really that long ago??
In March 1979, as he sported his clogs and permed hair, Paul Niemuth, PT, ATC (certified athletic trainer) started OSI Physical Therapy in Stillwater, Mn, in a small building across the parking lot from The Chicken Shack, where the smell of broasted chicken permeated the west side of Minnesota’s oldest community. Right where Applebee’s is now located. Paul was, and remains, a physical therapist passionate about our profession and a tremendously skilled clinician with expertise in treating and managing injured athletes. He quickly brought on the mustachioed, energetic Mike Ripley, PT, ATC, who was also an expert in sports and other types of musculoskeletal injuries. As enthusiastic PT business owners and master practitioners, Paul and Mike were not only clinical experts, they embraced another important aspect of building a top-notch physical therapy practice – keep it simple. They built OSI Physical Therapy around 3 basic concepts to serve the people in our communities –
1. People. Build a team of caring, skilled, patient-centered people
2. Quality. Provide the highest quality therapy care in our communities
3. Service. Deliver the best customer service in the business
And while OSI has changed dramatically over the last 37 years, that simple mantra of caring people, quality care, and exceptional service will last forever. Let’s take a quick look at how OSI has evolved over the 5 decades they have been in the business of serving people.
It all started with sports in the Stillwater area
Paul and Mike started and quickly grew OSI in Stillwater with their sports expertise. They were the first to develop a sports medicine/sports therapy relationship with Stillwater, Hill Murray, Mahtomedi, Woodbury, and other area high schools. Along with other athletic trainers from OSI, they have stood on the sidelines of thousands of games, helped tens of thousands of injured athletes on the field and in the clinic, and worked collaboratively with local physicians, coaches, athletic directors, and parents to ensure injured athletes ‘got back in the game’ as quickly and safely as possible. OSI PT is still known for our expertise in the area of sports medicine/sports rehab. Although Paul followed his passion for teaching to join the academic world as a faculty member at the University of St. Catherine’s Physical Therapy School, under Mike’s sports leadership, OSI has added many talented PTs, PTAs, and athletic trainers who are the best in the business at caring for injured athletes
But it’s not just about the young athlete
OSI added more physical and occupational therapists through the ‘80s and expanded the practice’s clinical expertise well beyond the needs of high school, college, and pro athletes. We took our philosophy of care and expertise in evaluating, treating, and managing the highly competitive athlete and applied it to all people. Let’s face it . . . we all want to ‘get back in our game’ as quickly and efficiently as possible – and feel cared for along the way. OSI therapists became the ‘go to’ therapy providers for all types of musculoskeletal problems for people of all ages – the ‘weekend warriors’ with muscle strains, the moms and dads with aches and pains from chasing their kids around, the injured workers with the low back injury, the guy with the knee replacement, the woman who needed a splint for sprained wrist, the school teacher with a sore shoulder. Everybody wants to get ‘better faster’ and OSI therapists applied the same injured athlete philosophy to everyone to help people stay active into their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and even 80s.
Expansion outside Stillwater
Throughout the ‘80s, OSI’s reputation for quality care and service expanded beyond Stillwater. People travelled from White Bear Lake, Forest Lake, Shoreview, Woodbury, Maplewood, and other communities for the physical therapy care they received from OSI in Stillwater. We then expanded our services to Maplewood (near St. John’s Hospital), Forest Lake, and Woodbury (we moved from Woodbury to the High Pointe building in Lake Elmo in 2001). Our expansion allowed us to build strong professional relationships with more orthopedic surgeons, hand surgeons, and primary care physicians. We also quickly grew our reputation for quality care and caring service within those communities.
In the ‘90s, we expanded to White Bear Lake at the old White Bear Racquet and Swim Club and then moved a few blocks south to our present location. Later that decade, we opened an office in W. St. Paul, and as we moved into the 2000s, we opened clinics in Shoreview and Somerset, Wi. Additionally, because of our emphasis on quality, service, and effective care management and because 3M wanted more convenient access to therapy care for their employees, Minnesota’s manufacturing giant invited OSI to open a clinic in their Maplewood headquarters. We have a physical or occupational therapist at 3M 40 hours per week to serve their employees.
Other Specialties – Hand Therapy, Occupational Health, Spine Care, Running, Fitness
Over the years, many OSI physical therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapist assistants have developed specialties. Certified hand therapists specialize in various problems of the elbow, forearm, wrist and hand related to overuse, trauma, and post-surgical cases, and they get tremendous outcomes. Several of OSI’s physical therapists have developed highly specialized skills in caring for injured runners, and OSI’s occupational health providers deliver services that get injured workers back to work faster and safer, and they offer work injury prevention programs. We also have a number of physical therapists who are considered some of the best in Minnesota and Wisconsin in treating and managing back and neck injuries, the most common of all musculoskeletal problems; and their outcomes prove it.
In 2008, OSI started a fitness center in Somerset called the Training Room, and the highly personalized fitness programs provided by personal trainers are complimentary with the excellent rehab programs.
Over the years, OSI has expanded our geographic service area and the breadth and expertise of the many services we offer the people of our communities.
OSI Physical Therapy . . . Where Therapy is Job 1
Over the years, OSI has changed and grown dramatically, however, OSI continues to be a therapist-owned therapy practice, and we plan to be independently owned for many years to come. Mike Ripley, PT, the heart and soul of OSI . . . our inspirational leader . . . and I are the principle owners. Jody Ruppert, OT, OSI’s CEO; Shari Walters, PT, Clinic Manager at Somerset; Steve Peterson, PT, Clinic Manager at W. St. Paul; and Julie Meyer, PT, Stillwater office, are shareholders in the practice. OSI has grown to 9 clinics; over 40 Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Athletic Trainers; and about 100 employees. Since 1979, OSI therapists have helped over a quarter of a million patients get rid of their pain . . . get back to work . . . get back on the field . . . get back to doing whatever it is they love to do.
Why is independent practice ownership an important factor in physical therapy and occupational therapy service delivery? Because it is our only source of business, and when Therapy is Job 1, our team members will always strive to give our patients and other customers the best care, caring, convenience, and service that we possibly can. It is the only thing we do! Check out our website – www.osipt.com. Who do you see videos of? Our therapists. Many other big health care organizations provide physical and occupational therapy ‘in addition to’ their core service or services, but in those cases, Therapy is Job 2 . . . or 3 . . . or 10.
Here at OSI, every team member is committed to delivering the Triple Aim – measurable quality, and exceptional patient experience, and lower total cost of health care. We strive to get each and every patient feel, move, and do all the things they want to do so well that they are not as likely to need more costly, invasive interventions like MRIs and surgeries.
In spite of the many challenges and changes we have faced over the years, we are confident that when people come to see our therapists and other team members, they say, “These guys are the BEST in the therapy business.”
Come on in or give us a call. We are here to help you “get back in the game.”
OSI Physical Therapy: Where Therapy is Job 1