Celebrating 7 Years & a Transformative 2017
February of 2018 marks Sarton Physical Therapy's 7th official year in business. What a blessing it has been! Through the ups and downs, we continue to grow on our foundational belief in providing hope and healing for those suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction.
To celebrate this milestone, Owner Julie Sarton sat down with VoyageLA magazine to talk about the experience of being a business owner in this unique field.
"There have been many sleepless nights, even missed holidays...
+ Click to Read More of Julie's Story
...and moments when I thought I was quietly going insane wondering how I could keep up with it all.
From a clinical standpoint, when we first started, it was really hard to find other pelvic floor clinicians to hire as pelvic floor physical therapy was not standard of care by any means, and patients were truly suffering with every few options. This still is challenging years later and for our last PT hire we had to advertise nationally and bring in a phenomenal PT from out of state who just recently joined us.
Additionally, there has definitely been a lack of recognition and/or referrals from other providers in the community, however, this is improving. For example, we had a male pelvic pain patient who found us online after flying to The Mayo Clinic to get a diagnosis of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction as the root cause of his “prostatitis”. Come to find out that his Urologist was only 10 minutes away from our office – the patient was understandably very upset when he found us so close to his MD who had unfortunately not referred him over or recognized that pelvic floor PT could help him.
From a personal standpoint, the biggest struggle I have faced is the fact that I initially felt like I needed to do it all and be an expert in every aspect of the business. For example, I thought I had to be the expert lead clinician, manager of the practice, be the one to develop new programs, seek out growth opportunities, market, educate and meet with MDs/other referral sources, handle human resource issues, etc. Two years ago, though, I had wakeup call – I remember starting the day so incredibly fatigued that I didn’t know how I was going to make it through that day treating patients let alone get out of bed. This scared me on every level, and reminded that I needed to stay healthy for my most important role of all—being a mom to my 2 amazing children. I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue and Hashimoto’s Disease, and quickly realized that I could no longer continue at this work pace. I also realized that there were others out there way better at wearing the various hats I was trying to wear. I was burning myself out, so I started to officially offload and outsource many of the various roles I was trying to juggle. I now have surrounded myself with some of the most brilliant people who are better and more talented than me to help with various facets of the business.
I have been waiting for the day for over the last 6.5 (now 7!) years when “things will get easier.” While my responsibilities have changed, and my load is lighter, this business is still one of the hardest things I have ever done. You carry it with you 24/7. You feel every possible human emotion there is to feel, from joy to despair.
Despite it all, I wouldn’t change the journey a bit. I am blessed to do what I love every day, and witnessing lives change continues to fuels the fire.
As I continue down this path, I remind myself that the only two types of decisions are good decisions and lessons learned. In my eyes, everything played out the way it was supposed to. We couldn’t be more thankful to be where we are at now, with tools that will help us to take pelvic floor physical therapy to even greater heights in the future.
Fortunately, Pelvic floor PT is finally becoming standard of care and truly has started to explode. I’m proud to say I got to be one of the first early movers, and have had the experience of watching it unfold. With the advances of the internet, over 50% of our patients now find us online – it is fantastic that patients have access to so much information that can help direct them to find solutions. Seeing the abundance of resources available to those suffering now vs. 20 years ago is really rewarding.
2017: A Year of Transformation
The word we chose to describe 2017 was, without hesitation: metamorphosis.
Not only did we bring in a handful of esteemed, bright, and creative staff members, but we also advanced the roles of our existing staff. Meet our talented team here.
We opened our Seal Beach location in March, making us available in South, Central, and North Orange County.
With a new logo and a refreshed creative approach, we are excited to see how many people we can reach online with focused, helpful, and shareable content. Patients in need have found us through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & YouTube! We love operating in an age where our reach is so readily expanded by the digital tools we have available to us. (Plus, we are able to easily connect with like-minded clinics and business owners!)
New Levels of National Education
Julie spoke about Coccyx Dysfunction at CSM in February, where Lindsey also presented. (Did we mention that Lindsey flew out of this conference to attend/speak at a conference with the International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS), and then flew back to finish up at CSM? We're not kidding when we say we've got a team of rockstars.)
Lindsey was awarded the 2017 Elaine Meadows Scholar Award from the American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA) Sections on Women's Health. She also earned her WCS certification, which makes us the only pelvic floor clinic in CA that has 4 advanced board certified clinicians!
Brooke presented at the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science Annual Conference, and Sherine taught a pelvic course alongside Julie at Chapman University over the summer.
All in all, the outstanding efforts of this team have helped us leave our "pelvic footprint" both nationally and locally—a huge part of Sarton Physical Therapy's founding mission.
2018: Looking Ahead
We have welcomed 2018 with open arms, a refreshed focus, and an evergreen passion for our field. We are consistently thankful for those who have supported us from the beginning, and to everyone who has joined us along the way. We are so very excited for the year(s) ahead. Cheers to hope and to healing!