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Physical (and Emotional) Therapy Beyond the Clinic Walls

ATI Physical Therapy is making a difference in the community

In local communities and countries abroad, ATI Physical Therapy is extending its mission ‘to provide the highest quality of care’ beyond its clinic walls through ATI MissionWorks and the ATI Foundation.

ATI MissionWorks is a new initiative to support ATI clinicians who want to offer their expertise to those in need in developing countries. In 2012, physical therapists from ATI completed two mission trips to Guatemala to provide medical care to children and families who have little access to orthopedic rehabilitation. Knowing that they have limited time, the physical therapists focus on teaching home exercise programs to patients to help improve their quality of life; as well as sharing knowledge with the local medical staff. Next up – two trips to Peru in March and April, and Guatemala in October!

“Our profession inherently asks us to be Men and Women for others. This initiative gives us the opportunity individually and collectively to grow and receive by giving of ourselves by sharing our time, skills, love and care with those beyond our borders. At home and abroad we can show that the ATI Mission can indeed work around the world,” said Efosa L. Guobadia, DPT, a physical therapist at ATI’s Lincoln Park, IL clinic who heads up the ATI MissionWorks project.

Closer to home, the ATI Foundation is aiding children with physical impairments in need of medical resources and funding to enhance and sustain a better quality of life. Founded in 2003 by ATI Physical Therapy, the ATI Foundation was created as a way for ATI employees and patients to share their expertise and resources to improve their local communities. Through a variety of fundraisers, the Foundation has raised over a million dollars.

Last year alone, the ATI Foundation was able to assist 65 beneficiaries. One of those youngsters was 4-year-old Brooke Smith of Kenosha, WI. Brooke is a twin on a mission….to keep up with her identical twin sister, Paige. Brooke suffers from a defective gait pattern and speech impediment caused by gestational complications just before birth. The ATI Foundation provided funds for Hippotherapy and purchased an adaptive bicycle to help Brooke ride just like her sister: to allow a kid to be a kid and not feel “different”.

To keep up the excitement and enthusiasm among staff, patients and community members, the Foundation continues to organize new events such as the ATI Metal Walk. This one-of-a-kind event celebrates the achievements of people with orthopedic implants and the dedication of the medical staff that helped them return to a normal, active life. The inaugural event, held in April 2012, along Chicago’s lakefront raised more than $40,000 for children with physical impairments.

In addition, the success of the ATI Foundation and ATI MissionWorks has inspired staff at local clinics to find out what the needs are in their communities and come up with additional ways to offer support. Some examples include a Hurricane Sandy Relief fund organized the East Coast corporate office and a collection drive for Operation: Support Our Troops held at several Illinois clinics. And if you are ever traveling abroad, you just may see an ATI shirt in an unexpected place. Following the launch of a new logo, ATI donated thousands of items of clothing to the “L.A.C.E.S.” mission in Liberia, “Roots of Restoration” and “Stuff for the Poor” missions in Uganda and Haiti and “Planet Aid” for impoverished communities worldwide.

“The compassion and dedication exhibited by our Mission Works and ATI Foundation volunteers reflect our company values to make a positive difference in the lives of others,” said Dylan Bates, president and chief operating officer, ATI Physical Therapy.

Learn more about the ATI Foundation and ATI Mission Works.