Palo Pinto General Hospital (PPGH) welcomed Chad Pittmon, DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) to its staff. To celebrate this event, we interviewed Chad and discussed his background and the services that he will be able to provide us in our hospital district.
When asked about his background and what brought him to our hospital, he replied, “I was in the Navy in 2001 steaming hard toward Navy goals and I had a change of heart which directed me back toward a childhood event. I had meningitis when I was a kid and it took me for a toll. I had a therapist who brought me back. I started playing the accordion and the accordion is quite the instrument for recovery. You have gross motor and fine motor (skills) with all the buttons. I had some positive outcomes with that and it carried me on, so, I never did forget that.”
“I got busy when I got out of the Navy and started working toward physical therapy. I landed a job at the Neurological Recovery Center in Fort Worth right out of school. That is where things, for me, really took off. I was highly influenced by a super role model/mentor of the highest elevation. He was trained in Cairo, Egypt. Some of the techniques he had perfected over the years had been game changers. When I saw them, I couldn’t get past it.”
“For a student to see something like a patient who comes in after seeing medical professionals and therapist from DFW and all over the world and after one treatment (the patient) stands up and walks out of the clinic. No one can explain what he did to them and no one can explain how they can see all these other professionals but after only one treatment, they have the outcome they have been looking for 10 to 15 years. I couldn’t get over that.”
“That’s how I came to blossom to who I’m meant to be. Taking the job at Neurological Recovery Center gave me what I needed to get me there. In four years, I rose to the rank of lead therapist and interim clinical director. I wrote the procedures on a lot of robotic gait trainers and balance trainers at the clinic.”
“The clinical model was an entrepreneurial, privately owned corporation type. The clinic changed and had a new vision. I had some land here at Palo Pinto Lake willed to me, so the wind blew me over this direction. I made one phone call to PPGH and that’s how it happened.”
“I’ve always had a dream to offer what I had to the rural population. Many of the patients I served came from Weatherford and further west. They would drive from 45 minutes to an hour to get to Fort Worth or Dallas. As I started looking for a job out this way, I saw that there was no neurological specialty training in this area.”
“There are reasons for that, but in today’s times with stroke prevalence and other neurological complications, you need something or someone that can inspire patients with hope. I’m not talking about going to the physical therapy clinic, getting back in the car and feeling good for 45 minutes to an hour; I’m talking about true sailor change and their are some ways to harbor that now that we know works.”
“Physical Therapy is a skilled profession. People think that you walk in to the therapist office, we look at their knee and we give them a couple of exercises. In actuality, the therapist takes a recommendation from the Doctor and moves it toward autonomy where the therapist declares whether you will need therapy or not. The therapist will take the recommendation, do an examination and evaluate the situation. A plan will then be developed that will include whether or not the client will be more functional in a 6-8 week time frame. Exercises will then be prescribed in order to reach the goals. It is up to the professional to develop a plan that gives the best scenario for a positive outcome. This skill is developed by the professional over time.”
“The benefits of physical therapy vary depending on need. With a sports injury, the benefit is to fully recover from an injury and return to maximum output. In a cardiovascular event, it is to develop and follow a precise therapy plan in order to get the patient back on his feet, become fully functional and back to work.”
“Concerning scoliosis, to have the specialty to keep you from going under the knife and prevent the need to have a rod placed in your back. There are different levels of specialty and skills that a patient can get to knowing they have an option of picking a therapist who is more specialized in one area than another.”
Chad went on to add, “I think the general public is not as informed in physical therapy as they should be.”
In our discussions about the PPGH fitness facility, Pittmon stated, “concerning orthopedic physical therapy, it’s near by when the patient is fresh out of therapy but still needs some guidance in a more non-clinical setting and the therapist can still keep an eye on the patient. The therapist can even step over and help prevent further injury directing them into a positive workout session.”
“The advantage of a fitness center in the neurological realm is that therapy has a tendency to go on and on. Unless they are in a maintenance plan, a patient has a 6-8 week program where you are trying to meet certain goals. But they also need something afterwards. When these are in the same clinic, they can continue with help to make an adaptive transition.”
The way someone can meet with a physical therapist is to call the clinic. The clinic staff will direct them to a physician who will write an order for physical therapy. The order will be directed back to the clinic and the process will start. The therapist will schedule an evaluation which is where we will decipher a need, evaluate and create a plan.
In order to make an appointment, call (940) 328-6580.
Chad was interviewed in person by Makenzie Plusnick. The article was written by Tommy Pophin utilizing the audio recording.
Journalist | I’m a Hospice Chaplain with a Master’s degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I love interacting with people and am more interested in knowing their story than in them knowing mine. I love promoting the Mineral Wells/Palo Pinto County area where I live through writing and advertising.