Physical Therapists and Their Future -- How a Gatherings over Beer Got the Conversation Started

Physical therapists and their future – it’s a conversation that got started in pubs throughout the U.S. that that involved hundreds of PT professionals and students. With a mission to facilitate relationships that improve the PT profession, PTs in 120 cities and 40 states regularly participate in PT Pub Nights across the country.

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I realized the potential for connecting physical therapists could be achieved on a national level – perhaps beyond.

Bend, OR (PRWEB) July 28, 2014

Early this year, Miles Wilhelm, a graphic/web designer at Vantage Clinical Solutions in Bend, OR, took to Facebook with a significant announcement in his efforts to connect networks of physical therapists in areas throughout the country, a movement trademarked by Vantage as “PT Pub Night.”

“Today, we at PT Pub Night hit a new milestone: our first international event was scheduled in record time,” Wilhelm wrote. “And it wasn’t Canada or the U.K. as expected; it was a motivated [physical therapist] in Enugu, Nigeria. This is just the beginning…”

It was just the beginning, at least in the introduction of PT Pub Night to the international community. Here in the U.S., hundreds of physical therapy professionals and students already know about PT Pub Night, a movement founded a year ago with a mission to facilitate relationships that improve the physical therapy profession.

In this sense, Wilhelm’s announcement was simply a milestone in a journey that, at some point along the way, took on a life of its own – one that began simply as an effort to connect physical therapists, assistants, and PT students through casual community gatherings at local brew pubs. The idea spread thanks almost exclusively to a savvy social media campaign – first across Oregon, then across the country, and now outside the U.S. borders.

In just a few months, physical therapists (PTs) have hosted PT Pub Night-sanctioned events involving hundreds of PTs in 110 cities representing 40 states in the U.S. Internationally, PT Pub Night’s first non-U.S. event was held in Enugu, Nigeria, in mid-February and was soon followed by an event in Sydney, Australia. PTs in seven other countries – Canada, Spain, England, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, and Japan – have also shown interest in starting a PT Pub Night.

And these numbers are growing daily, which is great news for the physical therapy profession, said Tannus Quatre, founder of Vantage Clinical Solutions, a health care consulting, management and marketing company in Bend, OR. Quatre is also a licensed physical therapist.

“These casual gatherings are about more than just meeting up for a beer,” he said. “PT Pub Night’s function is to serve us, the physical therapy profession, by providing a connecting venue through which we develop real relationships with those around us, both locally and through the larger PT Pub Night community. Such relationships are catalysts for innovation, problem solving and progress.”

To create these relationships in a brew pub setting was simply an acknowledgement of the growing popularity of craft beer in the U.S. in general and Oregon specifically. PT Pub Night’s hometown of Bend, OR, for instance, boasts 20 of its own craft breweries, resulting in brew pubs becoming some of the community’s most popular gathering spots.

It was in one of these pubs, McMenamins Old St. Francis School, where Quatre held Bend’s first PT-centered pub night event in May of 2013. Based on the success of that first gathering, Quatre saw greater potential.

“I realized the potential for connecting physical therapists could be achieved on a national level – perhaps beyond,” Quatre said. “So with the help of our creative team here at Vantage Clinical Solutions, PT Pub Night was born.”

Mostly through the use of Twitter, Wilhelm began actively reaching out to physical therapy groups throughout the country to share the concept of PT Pub Night and to offer Vantage Clinical Solutions’ assistance in planning and promoting events, all free of charge. It’s not about money, Quatre says; it’s about strengthening the physical therapy profession now and in the future.

“PT Pub Night wouldn’t be what it is today without an effective Twitter (@PTPubNight) campaign and presence,” Wilhelm said. “It’s how we reach out to PT groups, and it’s how they find us when they have questions about starting an event in their individual regions. It’s also where dozens of messages and photos are shared under the #ptpubnight hashtag leading up to and during events, which are typically held the third Thursday of each month.”

PT Pub Night also maintains a strong Facebook presence, from which new PT Pub Night events are announced. And those with questions about starting or promoting a PT Pub Night in their area can visit the official PT Pub Night site at http://www.ptpubnight.com.

“As a rule, physical therapists are forward thinkers who are passionate about their professions and in finding better ways to deliver their services, and messages about their services, to the public,” Quatre said. “PT Pub Night is our way of encouraging these passionate people to meet through the promise of a pint of beer and some good conversation. From there, great things are bound to happen.”


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