Mischa Jemionek had a vision for years to open a facility that would allow her to merge rehabilitation with fitness.
Three months ago, the Certified Athletic Trainer and OPEX CCP Coach, who owns OPEX North Scottsdale, was finally able to realize her dream.
She teamed up with Josie Harding, another athletic trainer and CCP coach, in June and opened a sports medicine clinic at her individual program design-based OPEX-licensed gym in Arizona.
“Clients here now have the opportunity to do maintenance or preventive work (as well as individual program design). They can do everything in-house and all of us work together and communicate together,” said Jemionek, who has two other CCP coaches working for her, as well.
Jemionek and Harding work with both individual design clients—some of whom also require their athletic trainer rehab services- well as strictly rehab clients. They also provide athletic training to the two other CCP coaches’ clients—if and when there’s an injury or deficiency—that’s difficult for the coach to address through a fitness program.
Keeping it all in-house makes communicating with various clients’ coaches a lot easier. This, of course, helps the coach develop a better understanding of what their clients need to do at the gym, making their program that much more effective, Harding and Jemionek explained.
Currently, Jemionek and Harding both spend approximately 50 percent of their time working as athletic trainers and the other 50 percent of the time administering individualized fitness to their clients.
What prevented Jemionek from pulling the trigger on the concept in the past was frustrating red tape, she explained.
“Each state has different laws about what an athletic trainer can do,” Jemionek said. In many cases, it means you’re only able to work with a formal sports team under a medical doctor.
Jemionek tried to do what she’s doing now when she lived in Pennsylvania, but it proved “nearly impossible to execute,” she said. In Pennsylvania, for example, you can’t work with a recreational soccer player as an athletic trainer because that person isn’t on a legitimate team, she explained.
“I kept running into legal issues…red tape,” she said.
Enter Arizona: “In Arizona, the way an athletic injury is defined allows an athletic trainer to treat the general population, “Harding explained. Hence why Jemionek and Harding are now in Arizona.
So far so good:
Not only do both Jemionek and Harding feel like their facility is much more equipped to properly help their clients now, but the addition of the rehabilitation clinic has also been a huge financial boost.
Their ID clients pay a monthly rate for individual program design and monthly consults with their coach. Then they charge an hourly rate for any additional individual rehabilitation session, which might include things like manual therapy, cupping, or simply working on better quality movements or fine motor skills, they explained.
Further, Harding has also been able to convert many of her existing rehabilitation patients into individual design clients since moving her practice to OPEX North Scottsdale in June.
“This just makes way more sense,” said Jemionek, who worked at various Division I universities back east as an athletic trainer prior to moving to Arizona.
“It’s just the way I always worked (as an athletic therapist). And the reason I was drawn to OPEX is that when you look at how the gym is run, it looks more like an athletic training room: People are there doing their own things and there’s one coach walking around (helping). And now we have added this other component where we can actually do some hands on rehab before we send you out there (to train). It just makes more sense.”
Harding added: “I think our big advantage is that we can switch hats between the two worlds (training and rehab),” which ultimately allows them to provide the best possible service to their clients, they said.
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