Two local professionals who have worked on their own in recent years have decided to pool their talents and share a single office space. Physiotherapist Joanne Gailius and chiropractor Michelle Mayer are now working out the second floor of the Family Practice clinic on 16th Avenue North.
“We have a lot of patients who see both of us,” Gailius said. “Now they can book their appointments close together so they are making only one trip.”
“It’s great to be able to collaborate with a colleague after working on my own for several years,” Mayer added.
Mayer has been a chiropractor for 11 years. She worked in Calgary before relocating to Creston, her hometown, in 2005. For the last three years she operated out of her own Canyon Street office.
Gailius, a physiotherapist with 28 years of experiences, has been working from a home office on the Canyon farm that she and her husband, Drew, operate. She was an occupational therapist, but is no longer able to offer specific OT services.
The Gailius family moved to the Creston Valley 12 years ago from the Comox Valley, where a daughter was suffering from asthma and needing a drier climate.
“That was our main goal, to find a less humid place for her to live,” she said. “It has been fantastic for her here.”
When the family arrived in Creston, Gailius worked at the old Physioworks clinic below the hospital, then with the palliative/homebound program. Since setting up her own practice on the farm, she has worked primarily as a physiotherapist, though her OT training adds to the expertise she offers to patients.
Much of her personal time is now devoted to studying women’s health issues. Somehow she manages to carve out time and allot energy to the four-year program as she continues with her full patient schedule, farming and family commitments.
Gailius said she has kept her eye out for a suitable central location for her practice for a couple of years.
“Drew and I concluded that we didn’t want to be a commercial building owners, though, so when this space opened up in the Family Practice building I took it,” she said.
Mayer and Gailius have consulted about patients’ needs for several years, so the opportunity to work together made sense for both. They can now share a receptionist and bookkeeper, and consult informally, all to the benefit of their patients.
“In Joanne I’ve met my kindred spirit,” Mayer said.
She added she is pleased at the variety of services the pair can offer Creston Valley residents. Mayer is also an orthotics specialist, which is a service often needed by patients who are seeing her and Gailius.
If space becomes available, the pair would like to offer other related services, including acupuncture.
“We have had discussions with a Creston woman who is currently studying acupuncture in Nelson,” Gailius said.
While many chiropractic and physiotherapy patients are being treated for injuries, Mayer and Gailius make the effort to promote the need for proactive, preventive activities among the general public.
“I would like to remind Advance readers that this is Bike to Work Week, and offer some tips that may help others get started or continue cycling without injury,” Gailius said.
Cycling, she said, can help reduce joint pain and stiffness while keeping muscles strong. A physiotherapist can prescribe an appropriate cycling program and help you choose the right bike. A cycling program prescribed by a physiotherapist will help determine the right amount of aerobic exercise, as well as help to treat muscle soreness and strengthen one’s core to dramatically improve cycling efficiency.
“Cycling is great exercise and a very efficient, low impact way to travel, too,” she said.
While Gailius is unable to accept new patients at this time, Mayer is extending her workweek to accommodate new patients. They keep separate phone lines; Mayer can be reached at 250-402-2044 and Gailius at 250-428-8424.