Oasis Physical Therapy has opened three offices built around the Tri-Cities in the past 15 years.
The company’s executive director and owner Mindi Irvine now is adding a fourth location, a $1.3 million building at 1020 Queensgate Drive in south Richland. The new building will be between Keene Road and Columbia Park Trail, just south of Interstate 182.
[blockquote quote="We’ve gotten to capacity at our existing locations." source="Mindi Irvine, executive director of Oasis Physical Therapy" align="right" max_width="300px"]
“It was last year when we decided,” she said. “We were looking at how much it has grown out there. And I realized there was no physical therapy clinic out there.”
It was also time to expand, she said.
“We’ve gotten to capacity at our existing locations,” she said. “And we’re getting people telling us, ‘You should open something closer to our house.’ A lot of people like to attend physical therapy closer to where they live. It’s not like going to the doctor or the dentist, once every while. Physical therapy can be two or three times a week.”
The new building is an 8,000-square- foot strip mall with space for two other tenants. Orangetheory Fitness Studio has plans to open in one of the spaces, Irvine said.
The fitness center franchise offers trainer-led 60-minute workouts broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training using a variety of equipment. More than 1,000 franchise licenses have been awarded and more than 500 studios are currently open.
Irvine opened the first Oasis Physical Therapy in Pasco in 2002, next to what is the Lifequest building by TRAC. It has since moved to Burden Boulevard.
Four years later, the next Oasis Physical Therapy building opened in north Richland.
It took Irvine another eight years to build the third company office on 24th Avenue in Kennewick, near South Union Street, in 2014
Business has been good, Irvine said.
“We saw a 20 percent increase in business in both 2015 and 2016,” she said. “We’re projecting the same increase this year.”
The company is up to 40 employees, and the time is right for another location, she said.
“The new building will be much like the others. We’ll have four physical therapists there, and it’ll be 3,000 square feet,” Irvine said. “It will be focused on the sports-injured athlete.”
Construction is a bit behind schedule.
“We’re working on it,” Irvine said. “Winter held it back, but it’ll be ready by summer of this year.”
More people than ever seek physical therapy, she said.
“People sit at their computers all day. People on their cellphones, they spend a lot of time looking down and they end up with posture problems,” Irvine said. “A lot of weekend athletes who don’t exercise during the week have problems.
“Snow season didn’t help,” she said. “We’ve seen a lot of lumbar strains from shoveling snow. It only increases as we go. People suffer from injuries because they try to go as long as they can without treatment. And people get to that age and that point where they’re not bouncing back as fast.”
Nowadays, some people use physical therapy even when they’re not injured.
For someone who wants to improve their running technique, their golf swing or their throwing movement, physical therapy can be the answer.
Oasis has technology that can break down a golf swing, and it has software for runners that analyzes stride length, when their foot touches the ground and if one foot is touching the ground harder than the other.
It is advances like this that keeps Irvine and her company moving and expanding.
“At Oasis, one of our missions is to educate people on how physical therapy can help them,” she said. “What’s amazing to me with the human body is you think it doesn’t change. But there are always new methods and techniques coming out to help people.
“Our company believes in education and research,” she continued. “We apply what we learn. We’re able to apply that research and technology we learn to get patients better quicker.”
Irvine said she doesn’t have a set plan for the future. None of the other locations, outside of the original Pasco office, were ever preconceived.
But if the time is right, and she has the right people working for her, it could happen again.
“We’re committed to developing leaders, people who might love to manage a clinic,” Irvine said. “I’d like to see physical therapy grow.”
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