Concord’s longtime provider Foothills Physical Therapy to close

  • Staff at Foothills Physical Therapy, left, in 1990 and in 2019. Photos courtesy of Foothills Physical Therapy

  • Foothills Physical Therapy group photo Teddy Rosenbluth—Foothills Physical Therapy

Monitor staff
Published: 4/3/2022 8:01:06 PM

One of Concord’s few independent physical therapy providers, Foothills Physical Therapy, will soon close its doors after more than two decades.

The practice’s three partners, Julie Dewdney, Maggie Donohue and Brigitte Cook, will each retire in June.

Foothills will refer its patients, sell its assets and lease its brick building across from Horseshoe Pone to another independent physical therapy provider called The Center for Physical Therapy and Exercise. CPTE already has several locations in Manchester, Nashua, Hudson and Merrimack.

Dewdney said Patricia Wolber, the chief operations officer at CPTE, has a similar healthcare philosophy.

“She has pretty compatible values and sees the world of physical therapy very similarly to how we do,” she said. “It’s just a good match.”

CPTE was founded in 1989 and has since become one of the region’s largest independent physical therapy practices.

Before CPTE, several large corporate practices expressed interest in taking over Foothills.

“We investigated those and decided that that’s not the direction we wanted to go with because it just didn’t fit our model of care,” Dewdney said.

The two providers ironed out the details of their agreement last week, Dewdney said. She said CPTE intends on providing care to the same number of patients that Foothills did. Dewdney said she hopes most of the staff from Foothills will continue to work at the location under the new ownership.

When Foothills opened in 2000, the partners made the decision to operate independently from larger health corporations, giving them ample time and the latitude to care for each patient as they saw fit.

“If you’re within another larger corporation, there’s often outside parameters or metrics that kind of control how you practice,” she said. “If we have an idea of how we want to do something, we can do it. We’re not having to go through several other layers within an agency.”

This model of care created a large base of loyal patients — from Olympic athletes to older adults with Parkinson’s — who returned to Foothills again and again across decades. Dewdney said the practice almost exclusively grew through word of mouth. She estimates the practice has cared for thousands of Granite Staters over the years.

They were also careful to treat each other with the same respect they showed their clients.

“We all have to come to a place where we feel good about what that decision is,” she said. “It’s a way of bringing in the best of all your thoughts and arriving at a true consensus.”

Months ago the three physical therapists all came to the consensus that they didn’t want to sell the Foothills name and brand — they wanted the practice’s brand to come to a natural end. And so, the green and gold Foothills placard will be retired when Dewdney, Donohue, and Cook retire.

“It’s been a real relationship with those people and with this whole community,” Dewdney said. “When I look back at what we’ve created ... it’s very much about personalized patient care.”

Teddy Rosenbluth bio photo

Teddy Rosenbluth is a Report for America corps member covering health care issues for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. She has covered science and health care for Los Angeles Magazine, the Santa Monica Daily Press and UCLA's Daily Bruin, where she was a health editor and later magazine director. Her investigative reporting has brought her everywhere from the streets of Los Angeles to the hospitals of New Delhi. Her work garnered first place for Best Enterprise News Story from the California Journalism Awards, and she was a national finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists Best Magazine Article. She graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology.

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