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  • March 28, 2018

    Saco Bay Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy Marks 30th Anniversary

    Local therapy provider grows during the course of three decades due to clinical expertise, community loyalty and national company backing

    Saco Bay is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a provider of outpatient physical rehabilitation within Maine’s communities. The locally owned and operated company was founded in April 1988 in Saco by Larry Risigo, P.T., OMT, and Kurt Jepson, P.T., SCS. Saco Bay has since expanded to include 12 centers and three partners, and is a proud brand within the Select Medical Outpatient Division.

    Saco Bay was born on the principles of exceptional patient care, talented and caring professionals and the latest in evidence-based clinical practice. During the past 30 years, Saco Bay has been committed to those same values and to enhancing patient access to high-quality orthopaedic physical rehabilitation care in Saco, Portland, Kennebunk, Standish, York, Windham, Scarborough, Bridgton, Falmouth, Westbrook, Gorham and Wells. Additional centers are planned for this year and beyond.

    “Thirty years and 12 centers ago, never in a million years did Kurt and I imagine this celebration,” said Mr. Risigo. “We were college friends who had a passion for helping others through physical therapy. We came to the Saco area and named our practice after the building we opened in and worked hard to build solid relationships with doctors and patients.”

    Mr. Risigo and Mr. Jepson, while the original owners of Saco Bay, welcomed other partners during their 30-year journey. Mr. Art Chase, P.T., OCS, FAAOMPT, joined the team with the opening of the Kennebunk center; Mr. Bill McCormick, M.S., P.T., came on board with the Standish center; and, Mr. Robert Coughlin, P.T., became a partner with the York center. The five partners worked together in running the centers up until early 2010 when talks began with Select Medical regarding selling the Saco Bay practice.

    “We hadn’t thought about selling, but we were approached by Select Medical to sell part or all of Saco Bay,” said Mr. Coughlin. “At that point we had eight centers, but we were operating in silos a bit and needed additional support and resources to create an even better business. Since Select Medical was started by a physical therapist, they felt like a natural fit with us. We believed we would be in good hands with them, and that’s proven to be true over and over again.”

    In 2012, an agreement between Saco Bay and Select Medical was reached. Mr. Risigo, Mr. Chase, Mr. McCormick and Mr. Coughlin maintained a percentage partnership with Select Medical, with Mr. Jepson retiring and selling his shares to Select Medical. Mr. McCormick sold his shares to Select Medical in 2014. Since the sale, more centers under the Saco Bay brand name have opened, new programs have launched – including those for cancer rehabilitation, Parkinson’s disease, concussion and pelvic floor therapy – and mentorship opportunities for Saco Bay clinicians have taken off, all with Mr. Risigo, Mr. Chase and Mr. Coughlin at the helm.

    “The success of Saco Bay is due to our dedicated employees,” said Mr. Chase. “Many of these individuals have been with us for several years. These relationships have been pivotal and we continue to value them. We learn just as much from our team as they do from us, and it is all to the betterment of our organization and our patients.”

    “We launched ourselves into the millennium with a new website, social media platforms and diverse services to reach a broader range of patients," noted Mr. Couglin. "Larry, Art and I are up for best supporting roles while our company is being run by the best of the best – Select Medical’s Outpatient Division and a new wave of dynamic therapists.”

    Mr. Risigo wholeheartedly agreed. “The best decision we ever made was going with Select Medical. The backroom support they provide has enabled us to grow and provide even better care to our patients. Thirty years is no small feat that we accomplished, primarily on our own. But now with Select Medical, I’m looking forward to 30 more prosperous years of serving the community.”