2019 Annual Letter to Stakeholders
A collective conscience is a ‘set of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within a group of people’. This concept isn’t new – it was coined by French sociologist Emile Durkheim in 1893 – but since The ScoliClinic was created a mere 3 years ago, we’re only experiencing this concept coming to fruition in the present. Even though we aren’t a public company that’s required to issue annual letters to its shareholders, we still strive to hold ourselves accountable to our key players – clients, their families, physicians, trade partners, mentors, and staff – our stakeholders.
Over the past three years, the particular group of people that contribute to The ScoliClinic’s collective conscience has been growing in numbers, clients, locations, our contribution to the community, and our understanding of ourselves, and we’re gaining more clarity around what it truly means to be guided by our values.
During that time, our team has engaged in countless purposeful discussions during small group leadership and 1:1 mentorship meetings and most importantly as a whole, during what we now affectionately refer to as Wisdom Wednesdays. These weekly hour-long gatherings have provided an opportunity to come together and share personal wins and client successes, ask for help with tricky situations, debate clinic policies, expand our understanding of body and mind, respond to client requests, and brainstorm ideas for the future. We’ve used this time to settle into our company values, refining our beliefs and attitudes which have acted as a compass to guide our ship.
As a result, ‘The ScoliClinic’ that occupies a space in the world today is an out-picturing of this collective conscience. Cohesive and fluid, we adapt to requirements and needs presented to us while maintaining our fundamental composition and what we stand for. This ability to identify new organizational requirements, decipher existing and unarticulated market needs, then formulate new ideas and better solutions can be summarized by one word: innovation.
In developing any new innovation, we’re learning to set intentions rather than expectations. There’s an ever-growing list of successes and lessons, and here are some of the most prominent identified needs and how we addressed them. We express gratitude to our clients whose questions and suggestions have spurred these innovations.
- “Can I do yoga?”
True to the birthplace of Lululemon, our Physiotherapists sensed a trend of clients with scoliosis asking about the appropriateness of yoga. This led to the development of our Scoliosis-Friendly Yoga program. First trialled at a nearby studio, our turnout was low. Through brainstorming with our dedicated Yoga Instructors, the classes were transitioned to our clinic spaces. We’ve tried the drop-in structure and also a structured 3-week series, but it’s evident that accommodating varying skill levels and schedules while maintaining small classes continues to challenge us to design a more viable structure. We’re not yet sure how to move forward but one thing has been confirmed – the people who do it LOVE it!
- “What can I do at the gym?”
We took this common question, deconstructed it, and crafted the 5-day ‘Summer Shake-Up’, meant to shake up the typical treatment sessions in-clinic while maintaining a heavily educational experience. Each day focused on out-of-clinic modifications: classic scoliosisspecific exercise, yoga, TRX, core, and weight room routines. This was held at our flagship location, our lovely space shared with Kids Physio Group. We plan to hold another series this coming summer.
- “Vancouver is far from the Fraser Valley and it’s hard for us to get here”
The word about scoliosis-specific services is slowly spreading beyond Vancouver’s municipal borders, and an increasing number of clients were driving over an hour to access treatment. The past 3 years has been a time of nurturing relationships with our trade partners, particularly Hodgson Orthopedic Group. Their recent acquisition of a company in Surrey equipped them with a large second facility, and they generously allowed us to renovate and use a treatment room as our Surrey Satellite clinic which opened January 2018. Beyond addressing the immediate need for a Fraser Valley location, this site represents the potential for a deeply collaborative experience between Orthotists and Physiotherapists to maximize the benefit for scoliosis clients.
- “The traffic is really challenging coming from the North Shore”
Similarly, clients from North Vancouver were struggling to access our East Vancouver space in a sustainable way. After-school appointment slots were as full as the highways during rush hour. Synergy Physiotherapy’s offer to build out a shared space on Esplanade was a welcome one, and we opened our doors in November 2018. The renovation process was a rollercoaster ride, with highs of replicating operational systems in a new space with ease, lows of mismeasurements and city code issues, and the twists and turns of late-night rockclimbing wall construction and an endless ‘should’ve, would’ve, could’ve’ list.
- “Our back-end preparation for our clients is overwhelming”
- Our mission to provide a 7-star experience to our clients includes facilitation of optimal learning. This necessitated a significant amount of Physiotherapist prep for each session that wasn’t sustainable. For instance, we were making each exercise handout from scratch; long hours of formatting frustrations triggered the push to brainstorm lists, execute multiple photoshoots, and create the documents that are now our coveted exercise library.
- Detailed radiological image analysis was also demanding, sometimes requiring 20 minutes per image. We designed the position of X-Ray Analyst and transitioned one of the Schrothcertified Physiotherapists into this role. With a keen eye for detail, she now examines over fifty X-Rays per month, enabling standardization of data collection for future research and massive time-savings for treating therapists.
By harnessing our collective conscience into effort, our team’s sum has shown to truly be greater than its parts. Several notable statistics demonstrate this philosophy:
- New clients: from April 2018 – March 2019, we welcomed 455 new clients through our doors, resulting in a total of 934 clients that have been assessed since The ScoliClinic’s inception
- Intensive Treatment Blocks: this past year drew visitors from all over the map seeking scoliosis-specific physio – they hailed from Interior BC, Vancouver Island, Yukon, California, Montana, Mexico, and even Abu Dhabi
- Staff: people come and go, and integrating new Physiotherapists into our team requires a series of careful steps of selecting the right fit, supporting them to obtain Schroth Method training in the USA, and allocating over fifty hours to their onboarding and mentoring. Over the past year, we’ve added 3 Physiotherapists and 1 Client Coordinator to the team, bringing us to a total of 11 staff!
- Revenue: we experienced a 45% growth in revenue from last year, which allowed us to invest in the physical and personnel expansions of The ScoliClinic
Although our diverse staff is comprised of strong individuals with their own values, talents, and contributions, our shared belief that scoliosis management can be so much more is what unites us. The only thing that’s constant is change, and our collective conscience is no exception. It will continue to evolve as each of us does, and the coming year of The ScoliClinic’s ever-growing presence in the world will demonstrate this.
Owner, The ScoliClinic