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Financing a Physical Therapy Clinic

The following is an excerpt from a recent message from CEO Chris Reading to all USPh partners, their staff, and the Houston- and field-based support teams.

I confess to agreeing that all of these words (mission, vision and values) have great importance or should have as a company like ours attempts to be relevant, purposeful, and focused in our delivery of service and results to our many stakeholders. I also confess that I am not a big fan of drafting or "creating" statements about who we are or how we might want people (customers, partners, shareholders, and employees) to view us. Please allow me to explain with a story...

This weekend in Church our pastor spoke about a number of relevant things concerning how we in our Christian faith (my personal faith) should look to demonstrate those beliefs and core values to the world...to make them real and relevant to others. While an author can compose a well written book of fiction that contains great writing, artful and creative descriptions, and a powerful story line, its purpose is to convince and entertain the reader. It's not necessarily the truth. The same holds true (I believe) for companies and as well, for people. There's no place for fiction. To me what is important is how we ACT; to what we aspire (words are fine but deeds are what truly matter); and how we treat the people with whom we seek to inspire, employ, and impact through the intervention of our care... physically, mentally and emotionally.

Actions over a sustained period, particularly when the circumstances are difficult or challenging, are what matter most. So what is evident at U.S. Physical Therapy that is readily and consistently observable through our actions over time?

First and foremost is our unwavering commitment to the "Partnership Model." This has been borne out over a 20 year period in the form of a philosophy overlaid with real-life actions. The key to success has been sharing the rewards of a successful endeavor with our partners, whose work and commitment have helped build a successful healthcare company focused on making a difference in the lives of our patients and their families. It is through our physical therapy program that we have created a platform of stability and consistency in the care that we provide because our partners are owners in the business. Owners have a vested interest in doing things right over the long haul.

Another consistent component of our culture stems from our belief that People have significant VALUE. We understand that we are in a service and care-focused business and our most important asset (our people) must be happy and engaged to deliver upbeat, passionate, and state-of-the-art care to and for our customers (patients and referral sources alike). In our home office in Houston this was again evident recently in three distinct and important events...the enthusiastic gathering of clothes and related goods for refugees and others faced with resettlement here in Houston (from other countries) initiated around the holidays; a terrific baby shower given enthusiastically by our employees for one of our own in celebration of the pending birth of her first child; and an effort begun in support of the people of Haiti and the tragic events following their terrible earthquake. These are just a few examples that reflect the "heart" of our company and our people.

Additionally, our culture has a strong performance focus. You might call it our "competitive drive" that challenges us to always strive to improve. This plays out in our many partnerships around the country as well as in our Houston office and is driven by our collective desire to create robust, healthy, relevant healthcare services businesses. We measure our success in a variety of different ways...from our employee engagement and retention, to our growth and sustained profitability, to the satisfaction of our many thousands of patients and physicians who trust us for their care. In 2009, we (on a reported basis through 3 quarters) delivered a record year in an otherwise extremely challenging environment. This I believe is a strong testament to our culture, our focus, our model, and our continued belief in the investment in our partners and in our company (in good times and in bad). As a result, while many in our industry were cutting benefits, slashing jobs, avoiding payment of earned bonuses, and pushing their employees beyond reasonable limits we were investing in new resources, new educational opportunities and training, new programs and services, hiring more sales people to drive more business, and enthusiastically (and quite thankfully) paying bonuses and partner distributions of significantly greater magnitude than in any prior year in the company's history.

While the picture painted above sounds great (and it is), sometimes we make mistakes, fall short, or otherwise goof. When that happens, we have to figure out how to make it right and re-focus to get back on track. Almost always (it is unintentional and thankfully) fixable and most of the time we end up learning from it and end up better (albeit "humbler") as a result. That happened just recently as we let our communication and service slip for one of our top partners. We dropped the ball. The good news is that we have a good enough relationship with trust developed over time that we will get it all worked out. I also believe that we will learn from these experiences and we will become a better company as a result. Our ability to respond to a service or communication issue is as important as anything that we do.

Finally and possibly most important is our INTEGRITY. While we will undoubtedly make our share of mistakes along the way, we will work tirelessly to insure we approach our relationships and business with honesty, transparency, and integrity...in word AND action. I believe that over the long haul, at work and with our families, friends, and neighbors at home, we MUST always strive to do what is right regardless of the consequences of the moment. Moments pass quickly but trust is not so easily gained once it is lost.

While the words above do not fit nicely or easily into a mission statement it is my goal, as CEO of U.S. Physical Therapy, that our actions over time clearly articulate what is important to us. On that I have great confidence.

Please join me (and our entire team) to help move us forward in a meaningful way - understanding and LIVING those ideals, which are so important to our success.



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