Celebrating 30 years of private practice in physical therapy

Suzanne and Ray Bouchard

After helping hundreds of people live pain-free lives in Germany, France, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Maine, Susanne Bouchard, PT, LMT established Bouchard Physical Therapy Services that opened its doors for business in 1989 first at the building of Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Robert Hottentot and in 1990 Augusta (Stone Street) in a rental facility.

Susanne Bouchard, PT, LMT, CEO, Physical Therapist, Founder and President of the Business, is a licensed Physical Therapist since 1971, and since 1984 in Maine; is a licensed Massage Therapist since 1971, and licensed in Maine since 1994; is a licensed Balneo- and Medicinal Bathmaster since 1971.

With over 49 years experience now, she originated her physical therapy studies in Germany, and in 1977 moved to the United States with her husband, a native Mainer.

Susanne remembers: “Back then, when people asked me what I did for work and I said Physical Therapy, they had no idea what it was. It wasn’t even in the yellow pages in Maine. At that time physical therapy was mostly located in hospitals.”

Since there were almost no private physical therapy practices in the area, Mrs. Bouchard saw the need and the opportunity: “I wanted to be able to give my patients the highest quality of care, as well as utilize specific physical therapy methods developed in Germany.”

Gaining unique skills and expertise from that country and combining it with the American way of treatment approach, she has been able to provide high quality physical therapy techniques that have brought about lasting treatment results.

Being trained in Cranio-sacral Therapy, Neuromuscular Therapy, Muscle Energy, Strain-Counterstrain, Connective Tissue Massage, and Swedish Massage has made the hands-on therapy invaluable. “It’s extremely rewarding when a patient tells you of being completely free from pain as a result of the therapy sessions.”

In 1990 Dr. Robert Hottentot, orthopedic surgeon, who was on the Board of the Waterville Boys and Girls Club, was instrumental in heating up the water temperatures of their swimming pool to 92° F, so it could be used for therapeutic purposes. Since water therapy (aquatics) plays a vital role in rehabilitation in Europe, Susanne Bouchard, during her physical therapy schooling was trained in aquatic physical therapy, and had learned the healing values of warm water therapy. Coming to the state of Maine she discovered that there were almost no warm water pools available to the community.

For a total of 20 years Mrs. Bouchard and staff carried out aquatic physical therapy treatments with the patients. From 1991 to 2001 at the old Boys and Girls Club pool in Waterville, and at the new facility, the Alfond Youth Center in 2001, aquatic physical therapy continued in the small pool being at the temperature of 92° F, until 2011.

As both clinics were growing, and word of mouth spread the news that we helped eliminate chronic pain (together with her staff excellent one-on hands-on care for one hour personalized treatment sessions were offered), they had to look for more space.

In 1993 the Augusta Physical Therapy clinic moved into the radio station building at 160 Riverside Drive, in Augusta, until the new facility there was built.

In August 2002, the Waterville Physical Therapy clinic moved into their new facility at 149 Silver Street, Waterville, which gave everyone a lot more space and a gym area. That is where they are located today.

In Augusta, over a period of 14 years the business grew from a little office to a full fledged larger physical therapy clinic, and health and fitness facility. Everyone was happy to move into the brand new building in October 2003, after the clinic had spent 9 years in the little radio station building next door. The new physical therapy facility is located behind the radio station, down the hill. The mailing address continues to be 160 Riverside Drive, Augusta.

In 2003 Bouchard Physical Therapy changed ownership and was donated to Light of Life Ministries, Inc, a not-for profit 501 (c)(3) organization. The name change took place which since then provides services to the community: Advanced Health Physical Therapy and Fitness, a division of Light of Life Ministries, Inc. Susanne Bouchard remains the executive director and manager of both facilities.

“During the past few years, the competition has been tougher as there are more therapy clinics in the area, says Mrs. Bouchard.” Advanced Health Physical Therapy has been able to continue to make a positive impact through service to the community by upholding a reputation for providing outstanding patient-oriented care. Word of mouth has been our best advertisement.”
Mrs. Bouchard also credits the company’s ability to stay competitive through the commitment to excellence of her high quality, experienced therapy staff.

She thanks local physician providers, Maine and beyond, who have entrusted their patients to Advanced Health Physical Therapy. “What makes this physical therapy practice so unique is that each patient receives hands-on care from a very good, long-standing staff knowledgeable in the specific soft tissue approach dealing with chronic pain, and most other types of pain”.

At Advanced Health Physical Therapy and Fitness, the physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are licensed in the state of Maine, are Medicare certified and are credentialed with most major insurance companies. With the passage of Direct Access in 1991 in Maine, a prospective patient/client can be seen by our physical therapists directly (self refer) on a cash basis.

Mrs. Bouchard reports that frequently the physical therapy programs are being updated and the professional staff (doctors of physical therapy and physical therapist assistants) attend major continuing education seminars and other skilled training seminars to keep up with the latest developments in physical therapy and rehabilitation wellness.

WHAT DOES A BEGINNING TREATMENT LOOK LIKE:

“At the start of your treatment sessions with Advanced Health Physical Therapy you will discover that we are a very unique PT practice. We first thoroughly evaluate, investigate and assess each patient, which takes about one hour. Then we design a specific treatment program that addresses the immediate physical issues and those that are prescribed by referring physician.

“We provide individualized hands-on physical therapy including deep massage, myofascial release, Muscle Energy Techniques, Cranio-sacral and Neuro-muscular Therapy, Strain/Counterstrain and other Soft tissue Release Techniques for pain relief, besides Stretching/ Strengthening Exercises, Mobility/Flexibility exercises, Balance and Posture training, Gait training, Functional Movement training. We also offer moist heat, Ultrasound, Electrical Stimulation, Ice packs and Ice massage, instruct in Contrast bath and many other modalities and procedures as indicated,” says Mrs. Bouchard.

With over 30 years in providing quality physical therapy they have established themselves in this community and the Kennebec Valley having served thousands of satisfied patients.

Their continued research proves a high success rate: 95 percent of patients get well, learn and stay well. When a patient graduates from physical therapy, the patient receives a coupon to use the fitness club/ wellness center for one month free, to easily facilitate the continuation of their wellness and fitness to stay healthy and pain free.

Mrs. Bouchard believes that physical therapy should be easily accessible. That is why they offer convenient patient parking, short wait times, one-on-one treatment rooms, early morning, lunch time and evening appointments.
For the patient’s benefit the clinics accept and file most insurance plans, and make payment plans available. They also accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

OUR MISSION:

Seeing our physically disadvantaged and injured clients restored to health in a comfortable, caring and personalized atmosphere, where skilled Physical Therapy is delivered through trusted, credible and capable hands.

Advanced Health Physical Therapy (formerly Bouchard Physical Therapy Services of Augusta) was founded out of a need to provide dedicated and skillful physical therapy services:

  • With excellent rehabilitation programs through professional and caring staff in appropriate state-of-the-art facilities
  • Improvement is facilitated through training, teaching, healing techniques and well-being education in an encouraging, personal and supportive environment

During the past 30 years we have successfully carried out our vision of a physical therapy clinic that is patient centered, one on one hands on, staffed by experienced and caring professionals.

To achieve our vision we have:

  • Developed precise rehabilitation treatment programs that are focused on treating the whole person. As physical therapists we establish functional goals that we communicate to the patient and work with the patient to achieve these goals
  • Provided our patients with great service and successful rehabilitation programs. We receive referrals from over 140 different medical doctors from Maine and beyond, and patients/clients that self refer, as we have direct access in the State of Maine
  • Hired and maintained an experienced, caring staff of therapists and assistants who have a combined experience of more than 80 years in outpatient physical therapy

One Project that is not finished yet is our HEALING WATERS THERAPY POOL.

In Augusta, on October 17, 2019, we have the open house from 3 to 6 p.m., at which time we give tours to view the Therapy Pool and the Clinic Facility.

Susanne M. Bouchard, PT, LMT, CEO, Founder, Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, 1971, Physical Therapy School at University of Tuebingen, Germany, has practiced in Germany, France, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma and for the past 26 years in Maine. She is a 1971 Licensed Massage Therapist, 1971 Licensed Balneo and Medicinal Bathmaster.

She oversees and works at both clinics in Waterville and Augusta.

We establish a treatment plan to relieve your pain and regain your function, educating you to prevent further injury and enjoy a pain free lifestyle.

Mrs. Bouchard concludes: “With all that said and done, we believe that we have made an impact into this community during these past 30 years, as we have touched many thousands of lives, who remember us.

The Biblical motto: “laying hands on the sick and they shall recover” has been our motto since the start of our physical therapy clinics. Tens of thousands of patients, clients, and customers have again and again affirmed to us that we truly perform: “hands on personal care”.

So we celebrate 30 years of physical therapy care during this coming year and say.

Thank you to our community.

 
 

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