Originally from Lapeer, Michigan, Darlene and her journeyman welder husband arrived in California in 1984. When in 1986 they saw Folsom, “it was love at first site”, and they have resided here ever since. Darlene joined the FPT team in 2002, after working in two other physical therapy practices in the Sacramento area. She was previously trained as a dietitian, but retrained as a medical secretary with a specialty in insurance eligibility. When asked what makes her work here special, Darlene replied, “I am really appreciated here. Michael and Tim and the patients here are simply the best, like family. I always look forward to coming to work”, which, as Michael has noted, “is happening earlier and earlier!” Sure enough, Darlene is in as early as 6:00AM! Her biggest challenge: not knowing the future of medical reimbursement outcomes, and keeping up with the changes in medical billing.
Almost thirty years ago Emily Moore was a stay-at-home mom while her husband worked as an engineer at Aerojet. When the Moore’s got their first computer Michael asked if he should balance a checkbook. When she answered “of course”, he recruited her to “help with registration” for the classes he was teaching and to “balance the checkbook” each month. “I knew nothing about computers and it was six years before websites went public. As I sat at that Commodore ’64 it took 15 minutes to search for a name! I decided I needed to take some college classes in database management, along with other computer programs just to keep up with the volume of physical therapists signing up for their classes. I never thought I’d be a computer person…and I’m not sure I am one now!” The sheer volume of her contribution to FPT’s website and education division would indicate differently. What she likes about working with FPT is the flexibility, as well as the level of commitment. “It’s wonderful to work in a practice where the therapists love what they do, and whose patients love them. Michael and Tim are very generous with their time. And even though FPT’s high expectations can be demanding, I credit this business for leading me to the knowledge base I now have.”
Masaru Kanda was told by his father, who is a PT still working at age 74, that being a therapist “is a tough job, and requires a strong sense of responsibility for your patient.”, words later echoed by Michael Moore during the first day of Folsom’s long-term course. Masa knew this was the career he wanted, and graduated from the School of Technology for Social Medicine in Tokyo Japan in 1999, then from the PT curriculum at Fresno State in 2005.
It was in Fresno that Masa first met Michael Moore and Tim McGonigle, who were teaching one of Folsom’s short-term courses there. “I was impressed at how detailed their evaluation and treatment techniques were. At that time, what I knew of orthopedic PT evaluation was nothing compared to what they were teaching.” This inspired Masa to enroll in FPT’s year-long course, which he has completed three times, most recently in 2012. He has also taken the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar weekend courses at least 3 times each.
When asked what was different in FPT’s long-term training, Masa responded, “They spend most of their time with hands-on practice and the development of manual skills. The focus is on palpation, and always providing us with something we can use with patients right away.”
After hundreds of hours of preparation and planning, Masa is sharing his learning experience with physical therapists in Japan. “The response from participants in the first course was great. Japanese therapists are very interested in mastering palpation and passive movement testing skills, and they hope to expand their knowledge of spinal mechanics.” Masa continues to develop his clinical and teaching skills at a private clinic in Madera.