Lifestyle is a key word at the Axis Sports Medicine center in Frisco, run by Jennifer Gotantas. An experienced physical therapist who has been working in Summit County for 19 years, Gotantas strives every day to help her patients return to the active lifestyle they enjoy.
Gotantas previously worked for Howard Head Sports Medicine. Recently, Vail Valley Medical Center took over management at Howard Head, prompting the opening of a new practice called Axis Sports Medicine (ASM). Gotantas, 16 other physical therapists and six staff personnel decided to make the change to ASM.
Now, Gotantas and her fellow physical therapists are owners of their own locations. Each has a 49 percent share in ownership of Axis Sports Medicine. This grants them direct control over their individual practices, allowing them to make decisions and implement them immediately.
"It provides them a flexibility that they have not had before," said ASM spokesperson Topper Hagerman. "They have the opportunity to be more flexible and more creative now because they are their own owners, and can make their own decisions more quickly, to the betterment of the patients and the community."
Gotantas, located in Frisco, has only been open since Nov. 1, but she's already got a full schedule, and is enjoying it immensely.
"I feel really lucky that after 21 years to still be doing what I do," she said.
Gotantas' enthusiasm is noticeable when she talks about her job, and when she works with her patients. She says she still sees patients that came to her when she first started up in Breckenridge. This isn't surprising, as Axis Sports Medicine puts an emphasis on the importance of relationships, and not just with patients, but with physicians and the community as well.
"You have that combination with the physical therapist, the patient and physician all working together as a team, and that's very unique," Hagerman said.
"The commitment to excellence inspires me and motivates me every day," Gotantas said. "Our relationships in the community include patients, physicians, community groups, and I think that not everybody has that balance."
When patients walk in, they usually have a specific idea of what they want, Gotantas says. It's her goal to make sure that they get it.
"They're very considerate of what I want to do," said Lynn Eauer of Dillon. Eauer has been seeing Gotantas for the past year for a shoulder injury.
As with the other ASM offices, patient care with Gotantas is highly individualized. Treating everything from sports injuries to issues caused by stretching too far or picking up a heavy object, Gotantas provides a varied service. Her patients include repeaters, walk-ins and out-of-towners.
"It's this wonderful bond, which takes a lot of energy," said Gotantas, of her relationship with her patients. "It's so worth it. I get paid to do this every day."
Working with ASM means being more hands-on. This means with patients, with the administrative aspects of running the business and among the colleagues within ASM.
"The team is very important for me," said Hagerman. "It provides culture. It provides the mainstay of who you are. You look at that and it becomes a foundation, just like the values are."
This is very much what it means to be part of ASM, according to Gotantas.
"It's about being part of something unique," she said.
Three ASM locations are now open in Summit County - one each in Frisco, Breckenridge and Silverthorne.