25 Years of Dubuque Physical Therapy: An Interview with Jason Meyer

By Dubuque Physical Therapy Team

September 8, 2021

This summer, we have been highlighting our 25th Anniversary, so we wanted to hear from the man in charge, the owner of Dubuque Physical Therapy, Jason Meyer, PT. I recently asked Jason a few questions about the things he has learned along the way, where DPT started and where it is headed. Check out the interview below!

 

Did you always know you wanted to own your own PT clinic? What made you decide you wanted to be a clinic owner?

Jason – Not initially, but soon after starting my career as a PT for another company, I quickly realized I wanted to do things differently.  I grew up working in my family’s small business and I got to see the advantages and disadvantages of being your own boss. When the opportunity came for me to buy Dubuque Physical Therapy (DPT) in 2008, my wife and I decided it was the right choice for me professionally and for our future.

 

What did you learn from Mel and the other veteran PTs you worked with at the start of your career that you still use today?

Jason – I first met Mel Harvey, who was the previous owner of DPT, in 1998 when I was a PT student at the University of Iowa doing one of my last clinical rotations before I graduated. He was my clinical instructor and I had the opportunity to work and learn alongside him for 8 weeks. It was amazing. You could even say life changing looking back on it now. I remember on the last day of my rotation we were meeting to talk about the past 8 weeks and I told him that if he ever needed another PT he should hire me. About 2 years later that call came and I joined DPT as a staff physical therapist in 2000.  I learned a lot both clinically and professionally from Mel over the next 8 years. He was always willing to share his years of experience and knowledge to help answer any questions I had about a patient and he created a very positive learning environment.

 

Over the past 25 years, what has surprised you about the growth or direction of Dubuque PT? Did it go just the way you planned?

Jason – When I started with DPT it was a small clinic, just Mel and I as PT’s and a few support staff. DPT started in the basement of Westside Orthopedic building owned by Dr. Field. As we grew, we moved up to the third floor of that same building. I took ownership of DPT in 2008 and later that same year opened our second location on Delhi St in the lower level of the Klauer Optical building where we continue to see clients today. In 2016 I moved DPT from the Westside Orthopedics building into our current location on the corner of Asbury and John F Kennedy Rd. DPT has seen a steady growth since 2008(except 2020 obviously, thank you COVID-19). I think that growth can be attributed to our reputation of providing exceptional service, bringing the latest techniques and technology to the area, and the extraordinary staff I have had over the years.

I would love to say things went exactly as I had planned but anyone who has run a business know things never go as planned. Some things you just can’t plan for – like the building you are renting gets sold or COVID-19 happens. When plans change you must adapt. I did not have a business degree, marketing degree, or HR experience but had to learn those things along the way. The journey has not always been smooth but I would not change how things have turned out so far.

 

How does Dubuque Physical Therapy try to bring the best therapy to the area? What sets Dubuque PT apart?

Jason – It has always been my goal to be on top of the latest techniques and technology but still incorporate all the things that have worked so well for so long. DPT was the first clinic to bring instrument/augmented soft tissue release(ASTYM), vibration therapy, dry needling, Class IV deep tissue laser, and now musculoskeletal diagnostic ultrasound to the area. I also encourage all my therapists to work in a collaborative manner to get clients the best possible outcome. We all learn from each other and sometimes two or three brains are better than one. We try to promote a positive and fun environment because lets face it, sometimes PT is not always fun. Finally, I feel what sets DPT apart is definitely my staff. I am a big believer in fate or luck, whatever you want to call it. I have been fortunate over the years to have some of the most talented, knowledgeable, professional, and compassionate staff work at DPT.

 

What do you love about your job?

Jason – For me, there is nothing better than helping people who are in pain or have lost the ability to do things they enjoy, get back to living their lives. I like the process of trying to figure out what is the source of someone’s pain or figuring out what is preventing them from enjoying life and helping restore a better quality of life. I also enjoy the ability to get to know all my clients on a personal level. When you work with someone for 45 minutes 2-3 times a week for weeks to months, you get to know about them, their hobbies, and families. I really do have a very fulfilling career (except for paperwork and dealing with insurance companies. Anyone who works in healthcare knows what I am talking about!).

 

Where is Dubuque PT heading in the next 10 years (or 25 years!!)? What would you like to see grow/improve?

Jason – I am excited for the future of DPT but can’t predict what will happen. The plan is to continue to strive to be the best at what we do, continue to learn and grow along the way, and try to have fun doing it.

 

(Interview conducted by Dubuque Physical Therapy Marketing Director and physical therapist Laura Timmerman, PT, DPT, OCS).