Mary Kroth-Brunet, 57, Gorham, Physical therapy entrepreneur
Mary Kroth-Brunet, a co-owner of Back in Motion Physical Therapy, has created a physical therapy empire of sorts in Greater Portland.
With three clinics in Gorham, South Portland and Portland, the practice focuses on “high quality, hands on, one-on-one treatment to get rapid results.”
Kroth-Brunet prides herself on continually seeking new education and training on physical therapy, for both her employees and herself. She routinely travels to other physical therapy clinics around the country, teaching as a faculty member for the McConnell Institute, an international training resource based in Australia.
In Maine, she works alongside her husband, Michel Brunet, also a co-owner of Back In Motion. Together they have four children. She said she also enjoys kayaking, golfing and skiing.
She graduated from the University of Alabama Birmingham with a master’s in physical therapy, but also went on to advance her manual skills by graduating from the Kaiser Advanced Orthopedic Manual Therapy residency program as a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist.
My Generation spoke with Kroth-Brunet about Back In Motion, the desire to keep learning and what’s next in her career.
Q: You’re at the top of your game professionally. Is this the path you planned?
A: I look at my current position as an expert in orthopedic manual physical therapy and as a business owner as a progression of individually planned-out steps. When I first graduated from PT school, I knew I needed to learn from the best. Working at Johns Hopkins hospital for five years in four different sub-specialties gave me a solid medical foundation. I expanded my knowledge into work injury management and prevention by apprenticing for three years with Dennis Hart, physical therapist and Ph.D. and a pioneer in this field. I furthered my formal education when completing a one-year residency program in orthopedic manual therapy. After the program, I realized how vital my skills were and how much I loved teaching others. I became an instructor for the McConnell Institute, providing continuing education courses to physical therapists throughout the United States. I moved to Maine with my husband to begin our adventure as small business owners. We created and expanded our business so that we could give patients the quality of treatment and customer service they deserved.
Q: What has changed the most in your career and how have you adjusted?
A: The health-care environment has increased insurance regulations while at the same time decreasing reimbursement. We have adjusted by educating our patients to advocate for choice and take responsibility for their treatment. We continue to look for ways to maximize our efficiency while expanding our ability to provide excellent care. We‘ve also seen a steady increase in patients using their physical therapists as their musculoskeletal specialists. They realize they can come to us directly instead of through a physician referral.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: Expanding our clinics and offering other services that will help improve the quality of life to those in the Greater Portland area. I personally want to expand my educational reach to more businesses and the public so that those who are interested can start taking simple steps to improve their future health.