An endless devotion to physical therapy: Mazur builds practice in church basement

This article was originally published in Greater Michigan Today.

Being the only employee at Pinnacle Physical Therapy, a new rehabilitation clinic that opened in September, doesn't bother Doug Mazur one bit. But being without an assistant, aide or receptionist?

Even better.

Physical Therapy in the Endless Pool
Doug Mazur demonstrates stability exercises in the Endless Pool at Pinnacle Physical Therapy in West Bend. Here Mazur demonstrates a passive stretch (also known as passive range of motion). The motor on the right produces a current that, though designed for swimming in place, creates resistance for a range of therapeutic applications.

It's all part of Mazur's goal of scaling back on physical therapy and providing a more personalized type of care. Mazur is currently accepting appointments for those in need of rehabilitation, strength training or a simple desire to get in better shape.

"Right now, I'm the only employee - the owner and physical therapist," Mazur said. "I can spend as much time as needed to properly evaluate a client and spend as much time as needed on an appropriate treatment. It's not rushed. Even if we were to add employees, my managerial style is based on the therapist-client relationship, not as the bean-counter manager."

Endless Pool
Mazur built his practice in the basement of the First Baptist Church building, 224 Butternut St.

Mazur purchased the building in May and continues to lease the building while the church builds a new location, expected to open next fall. The church continues to hold services in the sanctuary.

The church has been at the site since 1960.

The Rev. Bruce Dunford said the church may begin construction on its new 2300 S. Main St. location as early as next week. In the meantime, he said Mazur has been a great landlord.

"We have a great desire to see him succeed here," Dunford said. "We've worked very well with him and he's worked very well with us. It's been great."

The centerpiece of Pinnacle Physical Therapy, Mazur said, is a new Endless Pools-brand resistance system.

Mazur said it's one of the only Endless Pools systems being used at rehabilitation clinics in Wisconsin.

"It would be appropriate for triathletes who are trying to take a little bit of time off their swim," Mazur said. "The current allows them to swim like they're in open water without having to do laps. You don't have to be able to swim or know how to swim (to use it)."

A spokeswoman for Aston, Penn.-based Endless Pools said there are 210 pools in Wisconsin, most for private use. Forty-eight more are currently being installed in the state. She said the company does not keep records of how many pools are being used in rehabilitation centers.

The pools can be installed indoors or outdoors and vary in price, the company said.

"It's about an $80,000 project," said Mazur's wife, Lisa Summerfield. Summerfield assists Mazur in day-to-day operations and runs Life Adventure Therapies next door.

Endless devotion
Mazur, a Mequon resident who has spent the last 12 years as physical therapist for the Veterans Affairs Medical Office in Milwaukee, said he always tried to hone in on under-served populations others may "shy away from."

Spinal cord injuries and treatment for amputees are a primary interest, but he also focuses on women's health and sports medicine.

He has lectured on spinal cord injury and amputee rehabilitation issues at several universities across the country.

Mazur is also involved with wheelchair rugby (called quad rugby in the United States), and has traveled to China twice in the past year to help prepare the country's national team in anticipation of the 2008 Paralympics.

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