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Matt Currier Adds PT to Seattle/King County Clinic

Welcome to our new feature:  PTWA People, where we will highlight a PT or PTA who goes the extra mile for the profession.

Matt Currier-PTWA PeopleOur first profile is about Matt Currier. I had the pleasure of meeting Matt at a PT Pub Night over a year ago and we chatted about an idea he had about adding PT services to the Seattle/King County Clinic. Physical therapy had never been a part of this fabulous resource for the uninsured and underinsured. Matt was determined to change that. During this four-day event at the end of October in 2016, about a dozen volunteer physical therapists saw 174 patients and provided around $30,000 of free care. Overall, 3,947 volunteers provided $3.9 million in dental, vision and medical care to 4,492 individuals.Oh yeah, did I mention he is a relatively new grad? 

1.  Tell us about yourself
I'm a 4th generation Seattleite. I did my undergrad here at UW, and then headed east to complete my DPT at University of Illinois at Chicago. Things were a little too flat in the Midwest, so my wife and I ended up heading back home after PT school. I've been practicing for a little over a year and a half, and have loved every minute of #FreshPT life!

2.  Give us some details on how you got PT into the SKCC
Basically by asking. I tried to sign up to volunteer and realized they didn't have PT as part of the clinic. I asked if there were plans to add us and got a call from the director saying they had been looking for someone to help get a PT section up and running, but also weren’t quite sure how we’d fit into a four-day clinic. We got to talking about things like injury screens, fall prevention and education that would maximize impact. I offered to help recruit volunteer, and that turned into me being the area lead. Thanks to the fantastic network of PTs in the region we were able to get a full roster of volunteers who gave valuable time and materials. The medical directors were really excited to have us on board and we had a lot of freedom to plan and run our area as we saw fit, which was awesome.

3.  How was the experience?
The clinic was an amazing experience. It was health care as it should be. Anyone could receive care without question. The need was obvious as people waited overnight to get into the clinic and close to two hours to be seen by a therapist. The diversity of patients was incredible with representation from the entire socioeconomic, age, ethnic and language spectrums.  I cannot speak more highly of the PTs that gave up their days off or closed their clinic to serve. They were awesome, collaborative, willing and flexible enough to handle the wide variety of cases that walked through our door. These bosses were able to see 174 patients over the weekend in a small suite that had room for two treatment tables and a couple of chairs.

4.  What do you want to accomplish for next year?
Priority number one for the upcoming year was more treatment space - and I’m excited to say we got it! We’ll be converting a separate lounge area into treatment space, as well as keeping our suite on the medical floor. This effectively gives us triple the space, so we can have more PTs and more efficiently treat patients. We would love to set up group education sessions to hit some of the more common topics that would benefit the people of the clinic. It would also be great to have a solid network of practices that would be willing to take on some pro bono or sliding scale patients to help with continuity of care.  Now for the wild card question….I am a huge music guy of all genres and I believe everyone loves music! I also believe your musical tastes say a lot about you, so with that in mind……

5.  What are your favorite three albums of all time?
Top three albums is a hard question! I have lots of favorites, but probably the ones on constant rotation are:
  1.  Outkast – Aquemini
  2.  A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
  3. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow. 
I want to thank Matt for taking the time to answer these questions and telling us more about the Seattle/King County Clinic experience….especially since he received these questions a week before his first baby was born!   As we continue these profiles, we will be looking for PTs and PTAs across the state who exemplify the profession. If you want to nominate someone to be profiled, email their name and why you think they should be profiled to alodato@physiocarept.com.

Andy Lodato
PTWA PR Committee Chair