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South County Physical Therapy shares story of success more than 50 years in the making

Roy Culver Sr., the first physical therapist in the Mid and South county area, started his career working with children at the Hughen Center. But adults would often approach him for help that he couldn’t give.

“So he saw the need for outpatient physical therapy, took a big risk and opened South County Physical Therapy,” office manager Tonya Culver said.

South County Physical Therapy is located at 6767 9th Avenue in Port Arthur. (Monique Batson/The News)

And it was a risk that proved well worth the reward, as 55 years later the center has become a premier location for physical therapy needs.

Roy Culver Sr.’s love for community inspired his son to continue the legacy.

“I had the good fortune of serving in the Navy and I was proud to put on the uniform,” said Dr. Mark Culver Jr. “When I got out I wanted a job I would be proud of. My dad was proud of what he did. He got up every morning and went to work. So watching him, seeing him — and not only his impact in the clinic but impact in the community.”

Mark said when he was younger the family would occasionally go out to eat, and it seemed everyone in the restaurant would stop to talk to his dad.

“He’s retired now,” Tonya said Thursday of the facility’s founder. “He’s still doing well at 93. He was just here today exercising.”

But what once was his big risk has become a place for physical therapy in the area. Mark, a certified McKenzie Spine Specialist, also works with Dr. Gerardo Ruiz, an orthopedic clinical specialist. He’s the only one between Houston and Lake Charles, the team says.

“Having them both here is a big benefit to our clients because they can work together to collaborate on things,” Tonya said.

That, and patient care, is what sets them apart, the couple said.

South County Physical Therapy has been family owned and operated since 1966. (Monique Batson/The News)

“The two things that have been our success have been customer service and word-of-mouth,” Mark said. “We really treat our patients compassionately but with the best care. We’re going to do evidence-based medicine. We have done what it takes to provide the standards of care that you’re going to get anywhere, and on top of that, we’ve put that hometown touch of compassion and care in our customer service.”

And it’s not just the customers that are cared for.

“We consider the people here part of our extended family,” Tonya said, “so the staff that’s here is family. We lovingly call them ‘staffily’ — a combination of staff and family.”

As a certified strength and conditioning specialist, Mark provides professional-level care to elite and professional athletes.

Some of the many other services provided and issues treated at the facility include: outpatient physical therapy, orthopedic injuries, pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, neurological injuries, work- and industrial-related injuries, pre- and return-to-work screenings, functional capacity evaluations, vestibular rehab, outpatient would care, a wellness program for exercise, a weight loss program and dry needling.

This year the City of Port Arthur honored the business with a proclamation naming June 6, 2021, as “South County Physical Therapy Day,” and the company recently won the Better Business Bureau Torch Award.

No referral is needed to seek treatment at South County Physical Therapy.

“We’re never trying to replace primary care physicians, but we want to work with them,” Tonya said.

South County Physical Therapy is located at 6767 9th Avenue. Call 409-985-9365 or log onto southcountyphysicaltherapy.com for more information.