By BRIAN SMITH
For Tara Copeland, it’s a homecoming of sorts.
The Peaster native had been working in Longview in the physical therapy business for the last 10 years and had wanted to come home to be closer to family and friends. Her dreams came true recently when she was hired to run the newest location of Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation Outpatient Services, located at 2035 Fort Worth Highway, Suite 300, in Weatherford.
“I’ve been awaiting this opportunity to come back for a job here as all my family is here,” Copeland said. “It’s just been a huge blessing for me, my husband and our kids.”
The Weatherford center offers many different ways to help rehab its patients. As with any new business, getting the word out on what Copeland and patient support specialist Brittany Steel do has been important since the business opened June 9.
“We are in our third week and have already had about 20 patients referred to us by doctors, which is really good for such a short amount of time,” Copeland said.
Copeland graduated from Hardin-Simmons University as a licensed physical therapist. Along with physical therapy, other services provided at the center include sports medicine, low back and vestibular rehabilitation, orthopedic injuries, spine injuries and developing an industrial rehab work strategies program to help in the work place.
There are many things that Copeland does not do at the center. Trying to dispel misconceptions on what exactly Copeland does is an ongoing problem.
“Many people think that we offer personal training services because they see the letters PT,” Copeland said. “We also have doctors telling patients they’ll be getting a massage and, in some cases they will, but it’s more of a soft tissue massage designed to help heal and not the normal massage designed for relaxation. We simply want to educate people on what it is we do.”