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Meet Annie M. Fonte of Evolve Physical Therapy + Advanced Wellness

Today we’d like to introduce you to Annie M. Fonte.

Annie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My business partner, Kate Grace started the company in 1985. I joined her as the co-owner in 1993. The clinic was one of the first private practice sports medicine physical therapy clinics in San Diego. Kate grew the company to three locations and then in 1990, the effects of managed care required her to downsize to one location. I joined Kate in 1993 and we went through a year of reorganization and creating a new operating strategy.

With an uncompromising focus on the patient and excellent team selection, we have provided state-of-the-art physical therapy and wellness services to people for 33 years. In 2012 we expanded and moved to our current location in Sorrento Valley. This facility allows us to offer a full menu of physical therapy and wellness to our clients. These services include acupuncture, Yoga, personal training, sport specific training, myofascial release, therapeutic massage therapy, functional fitness classes, Pilates, golf fitness, and physical therapy.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has most certainly not been a smooth road. We had our first taste of managed care in 1990. This required a revamping of the delivery of care to patients. We strategically changed our operating model and successfully survived this tumultuous time. The second and more drastic challenges came in March of 2010 when Obamacare was signed into law. At the time we were primarily dependent on insurance reimbursement for our revenue stream.

After taking it upon myself to read the Affordable Care Act in its entirety I told Kate that there were many aspects of the law that were not good for our business. And, I told her that we needed to start focusing on evolving into a cash-based business. We experienced five very challenging years before we were able to make this transition, but I am happy to say that we have succeeded once again in changing our business model to adjust to the ever-changing healthcare environment.

Another obstacle that we have faced for many years is the heavy presence of physician-owned physical therapy clinics in San Diego. Even though the Stark law does prohibit most self-referral practices, it also contains a loophole that so far has allowed physician-owned physical therapy clinics to continue to operate. We have participated on a state and national level to support legislation that would ban the self-referral practices of physicians to their own clinics, but thus far no changes have been made.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Evolve Physical Therapy + Advanced Wellness – what should we know?
Evolve Physical Therapy + Advanced Wellness is one of San Diego’s most progressive, privately owned physical therapy, wellness, and balance centers. We use the most advanced healing techniques available to produce results that enrich the lives of each of our patients. To achieve this goal, we create an open, honest and caring environment where our staff and patients can work together to overcome obstacles and achieve the highest levels of both physical function and personal growth.

The highly trained staff at Evolve Physical Therapy + Advanced Wellness believes that individually designed treatment and exercise programs should be based on an in-depth evaluation of the patient. Our advanced, hands-on manual therapy techniques lead to maximum rehabilitation and restoration of function, as well as prevention of future injury.

What sets us apart is our individualized patient care as well as the depth and breadth of our services offerings. All of our Doctors of Physical Therapy are highly trained manual therapy experts. In addition to physical therapy, our services include acupuncture, therapeutic massage, myofascial release, Yoga, Pilates, personal training, sport specific training, golf assessments, functional fitness classes and nutritional counseling.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Our patients deserve the credit. They are individuals from the age of nine to ninety-four who are committed to their health and wellness. They are dedicated and compliant with our treatment plans and as a result, they get excellent outcomes. They are also our biggest fans. They confidently recommend our clinic and services to family, friends, neighbors, workmates, and teammates. They are a testament to our desire for all of our patients and clients to realize their highest level of personal health.

And of course, Kate and I acknowledge the talented and dedicated team we have at Evolve who put their best efforts into assisting our patients each day. They cooperate and communicate with one another daily to ensure the success of our multi-disciplinary enterprise.

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