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Intecore Physical Therapy Thriving in Poulsbo

 •  5 min read



Annette Griffus

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Bradley Scott Commercial was instrumental in helping the practice expand to its third location in October

Intecore Physical Therapy Managing Partner Andrew Vertson, middle, opened the third Kitsap peninsula clinic location this fall. Physical therapists Cole Tomlinson, left, and Miranda Aguilar, right, are two of the 13 employees for Intecore, which has offices in Bremerton and Belfair.

POULSBO – It has been a labor of love opening a third Kitsap peninsula office of Intecore Physical Therapy for managing partner Andrew Vertson.

Despite the challenges of an interior renovation during a pandemic-led lockdown, and keeping clients and a staff of 13 on schedule, Vertson couldn’t ignore the need for his services in North Kitsap.

Vertson operates clinics in Bremerton and Belfair as well as four offices in California. The Poulsbo location – which opened October 19 – had been on Vertson’s heart for several years.

“It really was going to be the second location to open,” Vertson said of the Poulsbo location. After opening the Bremerton practice four years ago, the Belfair office opened next. Expanding to Poulsbo remained a top priority, however. It took about a year to find his current location, 20730 Bond Road, with access to Highway 305 in the North Kitsap Medical Building.

“When I look at putting a new practice in, I always want to look at it from the patient’s perspective,” Vertson said. “How easy is it to find? How easy is it to park? If they have to go looking for you, they’re not going to come to you. Again, we have to lower as many barriers as possible to get them in the door.”

Vertson did not want an office that was sterile. His vision was to continue the company’s core values that include a family focus and creating a relaxing environment. When he reached out to Bradley Scott Commercial and spoke with broker and property manager Chris Wray, soon everything was clicking.

“When I called Chris, he was responsive, he got back to me right away,” Vertson said, adding Wray quickly found out what Intecore needed in terms of office space.

Wray also had a feel for the local area and knew what was available on the market, which was a big plus Vertson said. “Dealing with someone who knows the area, knows the building, made a huge difference.

“And it made it easy even when it came time to doing the tenant improvements,” he added.

Staying on target in terms of the budget and timetable during a lockdown was challenging, but Vertson said working with Wray made the process better.

“I was dead set that we would be in this space before November 1,” Vertson said. “And we opened the doors October 19. Three weeks from the time we signed the lease we were able to open the doors.”

Opening a new location is not easy under the best of circumstances, let alone during a statewide lockdown. There were many sleepless nights not knowing what was going to happen the next day, Vertson said. Intecore continues to adjust protocols as requested by the state but has also been proactive in helping their clients stay on track.

In one aspect, Vertson said, the pandemic opened his eyes on how to revamp remote physical therapy and wellness for clients. One of the very first things Intecore did was reach out to clients and send them a home exercise program.

“In order for them (the clients) to make it through this pandemic, they have to have the tools,” Vertson said.

Other adjustments Intecore made is using ‘telehealth’ whether through a phone conversation or video conferencing with clients. Vertson also offers what he refers to as a ‘Knee-KG’, similar to an electrocardiogram (EKG) for the heart. Those changes, made from necessity, led to what Vertson hopes will be positives moving forward while keeping the one-on-one business model intact.

“To me, the pandemic … from a business standpoint it really got my business juices flowing,” Vertson said. “Since the start of the pandemic we’ve probably doubled in size from an employee standpoint, opening this office and hiring new employees. We’re bigger than we were at the start of the pandemic.”

Vertson views physical therapy as part of a whole-health and wellness program for his patients and promotes prevention of chronic injuries rather than solely rehabilitation. It likely stems from his time growing up in a small-town in Southern California, and finds that same community feel in Bremerton, Belfair and Poulsbo.

“I love that about the Kitsap area, the Kitsap peninsula,” he said. “You don’t find that in a lot of places anymore.”

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