A Time for Awareness and Action

By, ATI Physical Therapy

Helping others arguably represents the heart of who we are. While there may only be one day a year devoted to giving back, the cycle of giving extends far beyond this one day of service for those of us in the physical therapy industry. As we head into national physical therapy awareness month and PT Day of Service, this is a time for us to not only reflect on the lives we’ve helped in the clinic, but a reminder of the impact we make in the communities where we work and live. It’s also a time for us to refocus our strategies and tactics in actively promoting and supporting healthy and well-balanced lifestyles within our communities.


We play a unique role in society. Though we don’t wear capes or have psychokinesis abilities, our skills in healing provide more value than all other powers could offer. We change lives. We achieve the impossible. And best of all, we restore hope where hope was once lost. With so much influence in the lives of others, this month gives us a unique opportunity to overstate the power of PT and the role we play in helping people overcome the physical and mental hardships of an injury. And given the direness of the current opioid crisis blanketing our nation, our communities need us more than ever! So let’s make it our mission to work toward a goal where our communities strive and those suffering from pain are given the care they deserve.

Guided by this idea, our team of more than 7,000 spread across 25 states all share a common goal to build on our deep commitment of giving back to those who need it the most, both inside the clinic and out. In accomplishing this, we put much priority on encouraging and enriching our team to get out and help others. Realizing this takes some serious time and effort, ATI organizes and incentivizes special service opportunities and supports many organizations and causes, including our very own, ATI Foundation.

More than 10 years ago, we introduced the ATI Foundation, our charity arm dedicated to helping support children with physical impairments. As the shape of ATI’s legacy grew, it was crucial our commitment and compassion to our communities ran parallel. Through the work of our clinical and corporate team members, we raise funds to purchase medical equipment, pay bills, and even remodel families’ homes to accommodate a child’s special needs. But more importantly, we give families hope by offering a better quality of life for their child. To date, the ATI Foundation has raised more than $4 million for children and family in our communities.


Beyond the Foundation, ATI team members across the country participate and even host events of their own to support special causes. This month alone, we have thousands of team members joining in on the PT Day of Service festivities by helping others in need. In the past year, here are just a few of the many exciting highlights of ways our team and Foundation has helped to positively make a difference:

·       In 2017 alone, the ATI Foundation, with full support from ATI employees, helped raise more than $550k, benefitting more than 600 children and families.

·       On October 6, ATI’s very own, John Duncombe (PT, DPT, OCS, CIMT, CSCS, GCS) will run 116 consecutive miles from Illinois to Wisconsin to raise money for children with physical impairments.

·       ATI sports medicine teams introduced an initiative of ‘adopting’ beneficiaries where teams rally around one local kid and raise money to support their medical expenses through various fundraisers. As a result, our teams have been able to provide more than $20,000 to four kids in the last three years.

·       Recently, ATI teamed up with the Red Cross to help those affected by the latest round of hurricanes. As part of the alliance, ATI is committed to match each dollar donated, up to $10,000.

·       Over the summer, several of our Illinois teams came together to raise money for a run/walk event in support of finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.

·       To support hand therapy research, our hand therapists helped raise money for the American Hand Therapy Foundation during their Virtual 5K Run/Walk for Hand Therapy Research.

·       Customer support teams at our corporate headquarters teamed up with Feed My Starving Children to package food for children in developing nations.

·       In alliance with one of our patients who runs an inner city halfway house, our Chicago clinic purchased and donated goods to support those in need.

·       Dr. Chris Stout, ATI Vice President of Research and Analytics, recently joined the ‘100 Ton Club’ lifting 100 tons as a fundraiser for the Center for Global initiatives.

While October shines light on the remarkable things our industry has accomplished and the value physical therapy provides, it’s important that our helping hands don’t stop here. We must never forget why we are here and the difference we make in the lives of others. Our commitment and compassion helps create opportunities that bring happiness and joy to those who need it most. It’s important that as an industry, we continue to raise awareness and work toward providing a healthier, stronger tomorrow in the lives of those needing us today.