Well, I have been a physiotherapist for 33 years. I started in Nigeria and worked there for eight years before I went to South Africa. Afterwards, I got recruited by the Republic of Ireland in Dublin and worked there in a rehabilitation hospital from 2001-2008.
When I finally moved to Canada in 2008, I landed in Ontario and ran a private physio clinic. I was then advised by AHS to come to Alberta but wanted to go private. So I started my market research and looked for a place that needed a clinic.
During that time, a friend of mine that I haven't seen since university suggested I should visit Drumheller. And so I did, and soon as I came down to the valley, I was surprised by its beauty. I talked to the doctors here and was assured that the town needed one. So I opened my first location here in Drumheller, then Three Hills in 2017, Innisfail on 2019, and in Carstairs on 2021.
For physiotherapy in Canada, you actually don't need a doctor's referral to see us. Whether it's an injury from sports, school, or work, they can walk in and book an appointment.
I wouldn't say we have overcome it yet, but the biggest challenge is getting the right staff. We would be ready to go if I could have even four physiotherapists. It is hard because many people want to stay in bigger cities.
We'd like to offer more comprehensive services than we have now in rehabilitation for post-surgical places. But that is only possible if we can create more awareness and have more people come in. If people can get to us earlier, we can do a lot more and have more offered.
Getting traction for the community to utilize our services is essential. As our mantra says, "an early intervention leads to a better outcome."
With the restrictions opening, I hope people would be more comfortable doing in-person treatments. Over the past two years, we have been able to use our software and do virtual video assessments, but we hope the numbers pick up and everybody will feel more comfortable coming in.
Personally, I am a very sociable person. I like the interaction with business owners, the ability to connect with the community, and the chance to contribute. Through the Chamber, I am given an opportunity to contribute and give back the help.