Business owners share COVID impacts

ENRIQUE HAZEL Guest Columnist

“We’ve managed to keep our employees employed, paid and insured through this pandemic. It’s because of Enrique’s rather heroic and creative actions, and our love for our employees.” – Emily Fontana, co-owner Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness and resident of Grandview

By ENRIQUE HAZEL, Guest Columnist 

As a business owner, I can say without a doubt that this has been the hardest period I have gone through. It actually makes the ’08-’09 recession look pale in comparison and that was bad. We are seeing a total disruption in supply, demand, and the supply chain.

As a small business owner, being up front and honest about the challenges ahead is the best thing, but it is also imperative that you give everyone a roadmap to when this is over. So, communication is very big at Endeavor.

My role with Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness is a mixture of many things from running operations, marketing, growth to treating patients. Currently, the main role is leading the company through this difficult period.

Endeavor was started in 2007. It was actually one of my business plans during my MBA program at St. Edward’s University. The journey of Endeavor Physical Therapy is like many others, first you go to the bank and they say no or laugh, then you get family and friends. So with friends and family support.

It would take until 2014 to open our 2nd location which was in the Four Points area as the conditions presented themselves as favorable. It worked out great because my business partner Emily Fontana, OTR, CHT lives about a mile down the road and is able to treat patients at that location with our wonderful staff of Diane Hodges-Popps, DPT and Stephan Miller, DPT.

Our business has been classified as essential workforce deeming from the fact we are in healthcare, and the very nature of our healthcare work is restorative and rehabilitative in nature. So, we have been fortunate to remain open during this coronavirus stay-at-home period. 

We adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended guidelines in our clinics along with adding some others. We limit the number of patients in the clinic, this allows the patient to feel safe, but also allows us to be compliant with CDC guidelines. 

We have added telehealth for those patients at higher risk that wish to begin or continue treatment but do it from the comfort of their home. Telehealth is new in the physical therapy industry, but as our industry has learned to adapt, we are finding ways of maintaining patient experience. 

Our office managers, every hour on the clock, conduct a cleaning disinfecting sweep of the entire clinic, especially high traffic areas and doors. These measures not only protect the community, but the staff as well. 

All of our staff members wear masks in the clinics, surprisingly the patients have responded very well to this as it shows our commitment to protect others and ourselves.

ENRIQUE HAZEL Guest Columnist

I can say I have been fortunate to have the employees and team that make up Endeavor, we all recognize that this is an adjustment period. The level of support from all of the Endeavor employees have left me speechless and at times I have shed tears from the support. It only reaffirms my commitment to what we are doing. I am an eternal optimist by trait, so this too shall pass and when it does, we just will just keep moving on forward. 

Enrique Hazel is the founder of Endeavor Physical Therapy and has over 20 years of experience as an occupational therapist, specializing in hand and upper extremity rehabilitation and is certified hand therapist. 

Company gathering at Christmas time.