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Taking the physio to you

Local company filling a void in the private home health care system.

Recognizing a need in the community and following through on the courage to go it on her own Kim Hall is a prototypical small-business success story.

Hall, a licensed physiotherapist, will soon be entering her third year operating Physio2U, a mobile physiotherapy clinic.

The long-time Richmond resident and Queens University graduate had always been active in the fitness community, having worked as a fitness and swimming instructor during her university years. When she landed a physiotherapy job at Richmond Hospital back in 2005, that's when the wheels started turning, quite literally.

On the job she met numerous people in transitional care asking her to go to their houses so she started making home visits by request here and there.

"I quickly realized there was a need and demand for private home care services. What Vancouver Coastal Health was providing was very limited," said Hall.

In early 2012 Hall eventually left her job and started Physio2U. She began marketing her website, slapped some decals on her little Toyota and promoted herself through the connections she had already made.

Those wheels started turning quickly and today the company employs four other physiotherapists.

"I tried to appeal to everyone but the people who have needed me the most are the elderly and those with orthopedic trauma," explains Hall.

She said mobile clinics are gaining traction as the population ages. She also noted many people like the convenience factor of not having to navigate the ever increasingly congested roads to get to a clinic.

We get some mothers with young children. It's too much hassle to go to a clinic," said Hall, who estimates about 80 per cent of her clients have extended health care, allowing them to use her services frequently.

The price points are higher than the typical visit to a walk-in clinic as Hall says a Physio2U appointment has several added features.

For $135 Hall or one of her colleagues will visit for one hour one-on-one and bring all the necessary equipment to one's door. There's no charge for driving hours.

Many of her patients have ICBC or Work Safe claims and it has taken these years to build a relationship with the government entities to get referrals.

"It took a lot of groundwork to get those connections," said Hall.

As part of starting her business Hall has had to delve into what was once an unknown world.

"I'm a trained physiotherapist but I've had to learn all the business skills like accounting, bookkeeping and marketing. I've had to do that in addition to providing high quality clinical care," said Hall.

While the company started in Richmond, Physio2U offers services throughout Metro Vancouver.

You can visit their website here.