By Chuk Azubike

Upon walking into Rehab 1st’s corporate office, I was greeted by the same small-town hospitality that the residents of Allegany County and the tri-state area have come to expect from this ever-expanding rehabilitation clinic. I was welcomed by Tracy Greely, Rehab 1st’s Outpatient Marketer who began her position in August 2017. Tracy is the liaison between Rehab 1st and the medical and local community. She meets with physician practices, regularly providing a variety of educational resources and updates about Rehab 1st. Her duties assist her in developing and maintaining strong relationships within the local community and marketing Rehab 1st to potential new patients.

Background

Rehab 1st is a comprehensive rehabilitation center with convenient Maryland locations on Main Street in Frostburg, on the Downtown Cumberland mall, and further east in Olde Towne Gaithersburg. Seeing a need for various rehabilitation offerings in the tri-state area, Rehab 1st was established in 2001 by Rob Boyle and Bill Freas. Since then, Rehab 1st has been well-known for their top-notch customer care service, abiding by the motto, “Where patient care ALWAYS comes first!”

Services

As Rehab 1st continues to grow, their service offerings are also always expanding. Currently, they offer comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation services such as physical, occupational, and massage therapy, specializing in hand therapy, women’s health, and pediatric therapy care. Rehab 1st offers customized treatment plans treating major and minor injuries, neurological conditions, pre/post-surgical care, workers compensation, sports medicine, and customized splinting. Their facilities are complete with rehabilitation equipment, spacious rehabilitation gym, private treatment rooms and a pediatric space containing interactive equipment such as toys, puzzles, and art for children needing pediatric rehabilitation.

Challenges

While the company has been quite successful since its establishment, its main challenge is continuing to market services throughout multiple platforms in a growing population. Tracy explained the various media platforms, such as radio, television, newspaper and social media etc., can present a challenge when targeting new and existing customers.  Media platforms are constantly changing. Tracy attends webinars and other educational offerings to stay ahead of the curve and make sure Rehab 1st’s branding is reaching its maximum audience.

Because of the nature of the rehabilitation industry, businesses like Rehab 1st are not necessarily meant for life-long customers, since the focus is on healing and hopefully a total recovery; however, Rehab 1st has targets and goals that need met.  The key to the Rehab 1st’s success has been raising local awareness of their services.  A solid marketing strategy has been a major factor in Rehab 1st becoming local residents’ first choice in selecting a rehabilitative care provider.

Reaching Out  

In order to stand out in the minds of potential patients, Rehab 1st uses several marketing methods to advertise their services and offerings.  They currently have a contract with WCBC, a local radio station based in Cumberland, which helps to regularly promote Rehab 1st to the station’s listeners.  For more tech-savvy audiences, the Rehab 1st manages a Facebook and Instagram page to keep in touch with the younger generation.  Rehab 1st also currently runs a few television advertisements, but they are also looking to stream commercials on Direct TV and Dish Network to reach a greater audience.  For the most complete descriptions of Rehab 1st’s services and offerings, their website (www.rehab1st.com) provides a wealth of information to help potential patients decide if the company is the right fit for their treatment needs.

Rehab 1st also allows their patients to assist in their marketing efforts in the form of customer reviews and testimonials. As each patient is discharged, they are asked to complete a survey rating their customer service experience and provide feedback on the care they received.  The responses collected are uploaded into a system, where others can read the patient reviews.  In addition to these surveys conducted by Rehab 1st, their Google and Facebook reviews also give good insight about the care and services the company provides.

Why Do People Seek Rehabilitation?

Oftentimes, many health issues and surgeries can be prevented if people simply had proper physical or occupational therapy. Rehab 1st accepts referrals from physicians, physician assistants, and certified nurse practitioners. All therapy services require a current order (prescription). When selecting a physical and/or occupational therapy practice to receive treatment, it is important to research where you’d like to go.   Some clients have made the conscious choice of Rehab 1st for their rehabilitation needs thanks to the company’s extensive advertising, event sponsorships, and sometimes simply by word of mouth recommendations. In 2018, Rehab 1st strives to ensure that more patients are choosing Rehab 1st through their marketing efforts. They plan to hold workshops to highlight the large variety of services they offer. The company hopes that these additional methods of community outreach will increase brand recognition and put Rehab 1st as the first choice for potential new patients.

What Makes Rehab 1st Special?

Rehab 1st does not see itself as an ordinary rehabilitation center.  Tracy reports that all of Rehab 1st’s staff members work well together and share the common goal of making their patients feel like family.  With experienced and well-qualified rehabilitation specialists, highly-trained staff, and the company’s commitment to always putting the patient first, Rehab 1st has set itself apart from its local competitors.  This winning combination of compassionate staff, high-quality care options, and dedication to serving the community has resulted in very few negative reviews online or elsewhere.

Advice 

Tracy’s advice for others who want to own or work at a rehabilitation center is to be passionate about rehabilitation so that it never has to feel like a day at work. An outgoing personality is also an important quality, as open communication and positive interactions play a big role in the company’s overall success.  Friendliness and openness are key traits in forming relationships with current and potential clients and other community partners.

Looking Ahead

In the next five to ten years, Rehab 1st sees itself growing even more. They hope to enlarge their patient base by expanding their marketing reach in order to target new potential customers.  The company plans to utilize more nontraditional advertising outlets to maximize their exposure and promote their business.  Plans may also be in the works for adding even more services to their already extensive line-up of offerings.  Regardless of what comes next for the business, their commitment to the community they serve will always stand as the foundation of their mission.

Learn more about Rehab 1st by visiting their website!
www.rehab1st.com