Our History & Philosophy
To provide high quality rehabilitative and preventive care to enhance the active lifestyles of northern Michigan.
Evolution of SMC
Doctors Loyal Jodar, Joseph Hance and Steve Vorenkamp, orthopaedists had a vision of providing state of the art Sports Medicine rehabilitation in northern Michigan. Having enlisted the expertise of nationally known consultants, they opened their facility in Petoskey in January 1988 with an Athletic Trainer and Chuck Smith as the Physical Therapist.
In July 1988, Ethel Larsen, PT and Chuck Smith began commuting to Rogers City to provide the hospital with in-patient, extended care facility and outpatient coverage. That coverage expanded to a staff of three full time PT's, up to seven days per week until that facility closed in 1993. They stayed on in Rogers City, moving across the street and opened Rogers City Physical Therapy.
In December 1990, the Community Memorial Hospital in Cheboygan had more patients requiring PT than their PT could manage so Rogers City Physical Therapy began contracting to provide PT coverage there. Over the next several years, Community Memorial Hospital's PT retired and Rogers City Physical Therapy expanded the PT staff up to three full time and one part time Physical Therapists and one Athletic Trainer.
In May, 2003, Rogers City Physical Therapy parted ways with Community Memorial Hospital and opened Cheboygan Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, offering the first therapeutic pool in that community.
In 1998, the residents of Indian River were driving to Cheboygan, or Petoskey or Gaylord for their PT needs. Many of the Indian River clients we were seeing in Cheboygan asked that we consider a location in their town. As plans proceeded, we learned that Ron Vance, PT planned to open an office in town as well. After several conversations, we each decided to continue with our plans and opened Indian River Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine within months of each other. Now, ten years later, both offices continue to co-exist in Indian River.
In 2000, we had made it through the millennium safely and needed more space in the Petoskey clinic. At the same time, Bay Street Orthopaedics had purchased property and was planning their new building. We contacted them about renting space in their new basement and in April 2001 moved into our current location on Cedar Bluff Drive.
In the process of planning and announcing that move, our Harbor Springs clients, representing nearly 25% of our patients, asked if we might open a location in Harbor Springs, saving them the drive “all the way around the bay”. In June 2001, we opened our location in the Harbor Plaza in Harbor Springs. In 2005 we moved into larger quarters there and added a pool to that location.
In 2003 we faced a similar situation. Approximately 20% of our clients being seen in Petoskey had Charlevoix addresses. We heard a similar plea: how about a location in Charlevoix? We had provided Athletic Training Services to the Charlevoix High School since 1994 and had that connection in the community. In September 2003 we opened our 6th clinic, in the Kmart plaza, bringing a warm-water pool and our Sports Medicine approach to patient care.
Our growth since that time has been internally. We have strived to create uniformity in all of our clinics and to refine how we care for our patients and each other. We continue to explore those means, new program opportunities and continuing those we have offered over time. We look forward to the next 20 years of evolution ahead!