Where to even begin?
In 2019, we started the hopeful tradition of writing an annual letter to our stakeholders – the people impacted by the existence of The ScoliClinic – our clients, their families, fellow medical professionals, our own staff, and the public. Our intention with these letters is to share the successes and challenges of our company, as we strive towards our goal of changing the game of conservative scoliosis management.
Along came 2020; being engulfed in ensuring the survival of our business, we didn’t have the capacity to communicate what was happening. Though the world screeched to a halt, there was one thing we knew for sure: that there were still people out there with scoliosis seeking support. We just had to persevere and problem-solve to maintain the connection with them in any way possible.
What did we learn?
As with many major life events, the struggles can transform into valuable lessons, which we can then bring forward with us and grow as individuals, and as a company.
Change is the only constant
At each turn, we’ve adjusted our budgeting, forecasting, and strategizing, with the best laid plans in place. We’re thankful we’ve developed these strong habits, but this year reminded us that these forecasts are exactly that – forecasts.
With change being the only constant, we shifted our mindset to one of agility. Admittedly, we felt hindered with some changes, but those hindrances have truly transformed into gifts. The most significant event was the advent and societal acceptance of virtual services. Initially a logistical migraine, our Telehealth service now allows our clients to continue treatment plans without the commute, and from rural communities all over British Columbia.
After navigating some significant changes in our senior team, our leadership has also evolved and strengthened with Physiotherapist Madison Williams now as a co-owner of The ScoliClinic, and Sarah Harrington joining the team as an experienced Office Manager.
Prioritizing the long-term over short-term pays off
Trusting that the challenges of this year would resolve soon enough, we used space in our dynamic schedules to plan for the future: by hiring and training more staff, investing in business mentorship, and building out our company infrastructure even further, we’re preparing for exponential growth over the coming years. The future is yet to arrive, but we’re already experiencing the fruits of our labour as year 5 comes to a close.
Optimize for the whole over the individual, and everyone wins
High stress times can often trigger individual decisions for self-preservation, but we witnessed many members of our team consciously put in the work to process their own emotions, staying grounded throughout the year.
Our team demonstrated that the sum is truly greater than its parts, contributing their individual efforts in the best interest of the team. From volunteering to review complex cases with other therapists, to offering to call some of the hundreds of clients when schedules were shifting, to openly contributing thoughtful solutions when developing Telehealth and other ventures, we’re collectively experiencing the truly positive effects on the team as a whole
So what next?
In a recent survey to our clients, we asked them to share their biggest frustrations in their scoliosis journeys. We identified two major themes:
1. There was an overwhelming common wish that more healthcare professionals were aware of conservative management options for scoliosis like scoliosis-specific physiotherapy – again and again, we heard frustration about the lack of support at various stages of the scoliosis journey, some being told ‘you just have to live with it’, and others being given conflicting information
2. Although we’ve grown our operations significantly over the past five years, there are still many factors limiting the accessibility to scoliosis-specific care. We’re highly aware of the very-real barriers to our services. Whether it’s due to finances, geographical location, scheduling, or other pressing responsibilities, we acknowledge the challenges that our clients face.
As we strategize for the coming years, we’re integrating all the lessons that have been gifted to us. We’re moving with intention to address these frustrations with the following projects:
Expand scoliosis awareness and support
- Create more detailed educational materials for sharing information about scoliosis to our peers in the medical community, and strive to participate in more speaking engagements
- Fortify our in-house training for Physiotherapists, Registered Massage Therapists, and Pilates & Yoga Instructors joining our team to ensure that the collective knowledge of our team is documented and shared throughout our practice
- Launch a peer mentor program, to enable greater connection and emotional support to those who need it
Improve accessibility to scoliosis services
- Expand our suite of services to include high-quality offerings at various price points, from 1:1 in-person treatment sessions, to group classes, to low-cost live virtual scoliosis-friendly classes, to free short workouts on our YouTube channel, we aim to create something for everyone
- Further improve our Telehealth service, expanding our reach to all corners of British Columbia, and (most recently) Yukon
- Populate our website with thoughtful resources such as articles and interviews for teens and their parents, and adult clients
As we strive towards our mission to change the landscape of scoliosis management, we need to remember that change can be incremental and seemingly invisible. Here are some notable statistics demonstrating the constant movement:
New Clients: Over the past year, we welcomed exactly 500 new people through the ‘doors’ across all our locations, resulting in a total of almost 2000 kids, teens, and adults who have accessed scoliosis-specific services since our inception
Staff: With the addition of 5 new Physiotherapists, 1 Massage Therapist, and several Office staff, each contributing their own talents and strengths to the group, The ScoliClinic is now a strong team of 20!
Revenue: It’s challenging to compare this past year to any previous ones, however we are on track for a record-breaking year, affording us the breathing room to focus on the aforementioned projects and invest in further growth
While not wanting to forget this past year, we’re optimistic and ready to move forward as a more cohesive, developed, and mature company. We thank each of you, our stakeholders, for your continued support in every way.
Co-Owner, The ScoliClinic