By Dave Wieber PT, ATC, MTC
Our practice started 20 years ago this month (June 1997). We began by renting a room at 328 Heritage and shared a front desk person with Navarro Chiropractic. The first few years were quite a balancing act. Michelle and I found out she was pregnant the second week we were open and I was working only a few hours because my main job was Director of The Center for Sports Med and Rehab in Northfield. A year later I resigned and began full time at Wieber Physical Therapy. With our first child (Lauren), Michelle and I at the office, we expanded to 2 ½ rooms. We shared part of the billing room with Mary Navarro and created a nursery.
At the end of the second year we added staff with our first full time hire, Cindy Nawrocki, and then our first PT. Because we thought our life wasn’t busy enough we then added our second child (Brant). Our practice continued to slowly grow and we expanded to several more rooms and a small gym space. On some weekends I was teaching physical therapists around the Midwest giving classes at hospitals and clinics. There were not many Certified Manual Therapist’s (MTC’s), so I was training other PT’s higher level hands-on techniques.
In 2001 we added a second clinic in Bloomington MN. That was a sports performance clinic that mainly treated high skilled amateur and professional athletes who wanted to improve their performance. Michelle and I were juggling lots of balls and thought it would be fun to add another child (Rachel) in Feb 2003. We added another therapist to our staff (Amy Simmons), herself a newlywed. It has always felt like a family business and we have been blessed with great people so we took the family business concept to a new level. Amy and her husband Brandon moved down from International Falls and lived with us for 1 ½ years until they bought a house in the area. We could have been classified as a commune with Amy’s mom Fran acting as our nanny.
We added Matt Gadient as a Physical Therapist. He is a Goodhue native who wanted to move back from the South East in 2005. We kept growing and in need for more space we built our new clinic in 2007. With business and life getting a little too wild for us we closed our Bloomington location in 2008. We added Ann Dahl an Occupational Therapist (OT) who specializes in hands in 2010. I had worked with Ann back in the 90’s and we were fortunate to be reunited.
We continue to be blessed with a growing practice, we added Kelly Samuels at the front desk in 2012 as well as Megan Westling a Physical Therapist (DPT) who originates from Milwaukee then the University of Minnesota and yes, is a Packer fan. In 2015 Greg Schroeder PT joined us. Greg hails from the Owatonna area and had practiced in the area for 23 years before joining our staff.
We have started to outgrow our facility and are going to be expanding this fall into the remainder of our building. We have added Kyu, an acupuncturist, who is an independent contractor and we will be adding another physical therapist this summer.
Our practice now services: orthopedics, spine care, Parkinson’s patients, TMJ patients, women’s health, hand therapy, sports performance, concussion or dizziness disorders, work related injuries, headaches and chronic pain. What really makes us come to work every day is the joy we’ve found in serving others and the challenge of figuring out the cause of our clients ailments. We get to know our clients and watching them return to doing the things they love is exciting.
It has been a wonderful journey with my wife, partner and best friend. It has never been boring, and there have been many bumps in the road, but with great staff, a supportive town and chamber of commerce, it has been an exhilarating ride.