South County Physical Therapy helping generations; shares keys to longevity
Published 12:26 am Sunday, April 17, 2022
The field of physical therapy is evolving, and South County Physical Therapy has been at the forefront of that change.
The facility, located at 6767 9th Ave. in Port Arthur, states patient safety and customer service as two rules of the business, but that’s second to their mission.
“Our mission is to provide the best physical therapy that we can and, as the profession has changed, we have changed,” said Dr. Mark Culver, owner of South County Physical Therapy. “We’ve gone from Bachelors of Science to Doctorates of Physical Therapy, and as a result, we have always been part of the rehabilitation team and now we have the opportunity to facilitate and initiate the rehabilitation team.”
Culver is a doctor of physical therapy, certified strength and condition specialist, a certified spine specialist and more.
From the beginning
South County Physical Therapy got its start with Roy Culver, Marks father.
At that time there was no outpatient physical therapy facility in the area and Roy Culver was the physical therapist at what was once the Hughen Center for children with disabilities.
He was also the physical therapist for Doctors Hospital in Groves, Park Place and St. Mary Hospital in Port Arthur. None of those hospitals are open today.
Roy also helped at Port Arthur Home Health, which was one of the first home health agencies in the area.
While at the Hughen Center, Roy would run into people who had been injured and needed physical therapy but he wasn’t able to bring them into the facility for children.
Seeing the need for outpatient physical therapy, Roy opened his first site on 25th Street, converting a home to a physical therapy center.
He worked from there for 45 years before opening the current location on 9th Avenue, said Tonya Culver, registered nurse and office manager.
Mark Culver attended Texas A&M, got his degree, then went into the U.S. Navy as an officer. Afterward, he went to physical therapy school, then came back and began working at his dad’s business.
SCPT offers a number of services, including wound care. Tonya said oftentimes they have a patient who has dealt with chronic wounds for months or years.
“We’ve had patients come in, and the doctors will say, ‘We’re probably going to need to amputate because this is just not healing,’ and they’ll send them to us as a kind of last ditch attempt,” Tonya Culver said. “It’s not going to heal over night if it’s been there for two years. For us the challenge of what’s going on with this that hasn’t been addressed yet and figuring out what’s going on and address it. Then the wound gets better and they get to keep their leg and that’s a good thing.”
SCPT is the only outpatient facility the area that does wound care, likely because it’s not a “money maker,” she said.
Taking on this challenge is what founder Roy Culver opened the business for.
“Our mission is to provide the very best quality care that we can and to help people recover,” she said. “But it goes even further than that, to say that it’s an honor to serve this person. I think that’s one of the things that sets us apart and part of the reason that we’ve been able to stay around. It’s an honor to serve each person that comes through the door.”
SCPT offers a wide array of services, including caring for orthopedic injuries and neurological injuries, prosthetic training, vestibular rehabilitation for chronic dizziness, wound care, among others.
SCPT is also a teaching facility and offers internships through Lamar University and others they work with.
Part of their work as professionals is knowing what is new in physical therapy and knowing what’s true in physical therapy.
Mark Culver says they work with people of all ages.
“We are fortunate to see pediatrics to geriatrics,” Mark said. “We’ve been blessed to see multiple generations, because a parent saw us, their kid may be injured now, their grandkid is injured, because we’ve been here for 56 years.”
“It’s really is humbling to have people say ‘that’s our family’s physical therapist’ much like you’d hear someone say ‘that our family physician.’ Mom used them, kids used them, and now the grand kid is using them,” he said. “It’s humbling on our part to be in that lineage and that line so that people can say we trust you.”
Mark Culver offered thanks to the area for giving SCPT the opportunity to assist them.