Partner Feature: Get to Know Kimberly Sumner

What was your journey prior to joining ARC Physical Therapy+?

I began my career in the outpatient setting within a hospital. This allowed me to spend most of my time in outpatient but also fill in on the acute care side as well.

Following this I moved west to California for one year of contract work at a large hospital/outpatient campus.

Since returning to the Kansas City area 18 years ago, I have practiced outpatient orthopedics/sports medicine and spent the last 9 years with ARC Physical Therapy+.

When did you join the ARC Physical Therapy+ team and what roles have you held at the company?

I joined the ARC Physical Therapy+ team 9 years ago.

I began as a staff PT in our Olathe clinic, then moved to our Shawnee location as Lead Therapist. Five years ago, I moved to our Overland Park location and became a Clinic Director. I am still the Clinic Director in Overland Park and have also been a partner for the last year and a half.

What are your top goals in your current role as Partner?

My top priority for ARC Physical Therapy+ is to maintain our excellent quality of care and our role as leaders of innovation in treating the injured worker.

As our world evolves and changes, so do the demands on employees in all different industries. ARCPT+ has a history of doing all that we can to meet the specific needs of each employer and employee in order to give them the best outcomes. This takes creativity and innovation which are both areas in which we will continue to push the envelope.

I also am passionate about our therapists as a whole growing in our skill sets to address chronic pain or patients that have the potential to develop chronic pain. Chronic pain diagnoses have become much more prevalent over the years and I believe it is part of our responsibility as biomechanical experts to be able to explain pain in a way that patients can understand and begin to heal more quickly.

What is your vision for ARC Physical Therapy+ in the next 5, 10, 20 years?

My hope for ARC Physical Therapy+ is that we can continue to be leaders in providing quality innovative care to live up to our mission of being a catalyst of change in the marketplace by redefining excellence in healthcare.

To do this, we need be advocates for our profession as, “first responders” for musculoskeletal injuries and as movement and pain specialists with long term or chronic musculoskeletal issues.

We have a very talented staff. We continue to seek out learning opportunities and take pride in developing quality therapists that focus not just on the injury in front of them but on the whole person. This is necessary to return someone to work and all the activities they enjoy in life.

My hope is that we can continue to grow across the Midwest in the next 5-10 years and beyond that, all while maintaining our excellent quality of care and family of connected therapists.

What are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned in your time at ARC Physical Therapy?

Never ever judge a book by its cover.

Every patient has their own set of circumstances going on behind the scenes that may affect their injury or pain experience. Each patient needs to be provided with an individual treatment plan. No two shoulders, hips, knees, spines, etc. are the same.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?

So hard to pick one! There are several things that I am proud of.

When I was younger, I had the opportunity to hike and summit Mount Kilimanjaro which was a difficult and amazing experience.

I am also proud of all three of my children. They are all in different stages of life at the ages of 5, 16 and 24 but all beautiful independent women who are not afraid to blaze their own trail through life.

What three traits define you?

  1. Patient
  2. Genuine
  3. Adaptable

What is your personal philosophy?

It’s always best to be honest.

Who opened doors for you?

I’ve always been lucky to have excellent coworkers.

Physical therapist friends from my prior job helped me get on at ARC Physical Therapy+. ARCPT+ is truly a family. If you are willing to work hard and get to know the ins and outs of our business, there are so many opportunities. My fellow partners were key in helping me grow into a leader. We continue to push each other every day.

What does true leadership mean to you?

A true leader leads by example.

That’s one thing I love about our company. Everyone in a leadership position is either still working in the clinic or has ran a clinic/multiple clinics before. They know and understand the day to day.

I also believe a true leader is compassionate and kind, but also willing to hold others accountable. It takes a good balance to help your staff be their best and feel their best on a daily basis.

What are the top leadership principles that have led to your success?

Leading by example.

Adaptability

Healthcare is constantly changing, especially in today’s environment. We need to continually adapt to our referral sources and patient needs to provide the best care.

Listen, communicate, act.

I think the worst thing a leader can do is give an employee the impression that their thoughts or concerns are falling on deaf ears.

What do you find most exciting about the PT space now?

PAIN NEUROSCIENCE AND THE AMAZING CAPACITY OF OUR BRAINS AND BODIES.

There is so much research and new treatment techniques coming out to help us treat patients with persistent pain successfully.

It is extremely rewarding to see someone who has struggled for some time get back to the things they love to do. That is our main motivator!

What do you find most exciting about the PT/workers’ comp space?

Creativity! The fact that we have the capability to test workers as they go through the hiring process, treat them if they get injured, and take them through our various service lines (traditional therapy, work conditioning, onsite services) to return them to full duty is very empowering.

The physical demands on employees is consistently changing as technology advances and newer industries are born. I find it fascinating to learn about new jobs and to work with our onsite team to develop specific programs for these jobs.

What do you do to take care of your team?

Our team loves food and getting out in the community! We are ready for it to warm up again so we can safely enjoy some outdoor activities.

What are the keys to developing the next round of leaders?

I think it will be important for our next round of leaders to be creative and well rounded.

You can’t just be great at treating patients anymore. You also need to be great at educating others, marketing yourself and your skill set, and working on a team. We have to work together to provide the best outcomes for our patients in the most efficient manner possible.

Lastly, I think our future leaders need to be curious and always willing to learn. Each patient has their own unique pain experience and needs to be treated as such. As soon as you think you’ve seen every type of patient possible, someone with a new and interesting presentation will walk through the door.

How are you involved in the community?

We have always felt strongly about giving back to the communities we live and work in.

We currently participate in supporting the local United Way with Jeans Day Fridays. We are working on seeking out other opportunities to be involved and give back to those communities that support and trust us with their physical therapy needs.

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