First Settlement Physical Therapy settled into a new location in downtown St. Albans this month, launched by a little luck and a long-running commitment to community health and well-being.
The outpatient physical therapy clinic held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event at the site on June 4, with St. Albans Mayor Scott James, St. Albans Chamber of Commerce members, and other well-wishers in attendance. Treatments for patients began on Monday, June 22.
Simon Hargus owns the family-run business, and he explained last week how the St. Albans venture began.
“My mom started First Settlement about 20-plus years ago, and my wife and I are also in the business,” he said. “We came to St. Albans out of a request from local physicians. They needed our type of services in their community. We kind of lucked into finding that location.”
Hargus explained that property owner and longtime Loop Pharmacy pharmacist Bill McFarland was seeking a tenant that operated in a health-related field and intended to be at the location for an extended period of time.
“He’s really proud of that building. Bill was kind of particular about who took over the space. His preference was health care. We were a really good fit.”
Hargus said the St. Albans clinic, with a staff of three at the outset of operations and more expected over time and client growth, is geared to provide a wide array of physical therapy services.
“We’re sort of anything and everything to do with physical therapy. We’re a community clinic, serving small kids to adults to seniors. As a community clinic, we have to be ready to see whatever comes through the doors.
“We have all of the standard physical therapy equipment. We can see everything from stroke recoveries to post-ops to sports to pediatrics,” Hargus said.
He added that First Settlement Physical Therapy accepts all insurance companies from its patients. “That’s an ethical, principled stance for the company,” he said. “We do that at all our clinics.
“A big thing to us is that we see people for an hour and we treat them like family. I think physical therapy is one of the last practices in health care where a long-term relationship still exists. You get to know someone one on one. We’re really proud of that,” Hargus said.
He noted that cautionary measures are also firmly in place at the clinic to counter COVID-19 risks and concerns.
“We’re following a kind of combination of CDC and state guidelines,” he said. “All of our employees wear PPE. We’re taking temperatures and doing health screenings at the door. Only patients are allowed in the building. For health care, we have to take that extremely seriously.”
Founded in Marietta, Ohio, First Settlement Physical Therapy has established 25 locations throughout the region over the past 21 years. The company name originates from Marietta being the Northwest Territory’s first settlement.
Along with the new St. Albans site, First Settlement Physical Therapy clinics in the area include facilities in South Charleston, Teays Valley, South Hills in Charleston, and Sissonville.
The newest First Settlement Physical Therapy clinic is located at 72 Sixth Ave., next door to Loop Medical at the Loop, in St. Albans. For more information or appointments, call 304-470-4388.
Operating hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but “once we have a caseload, we’ll be doing extended hours, which are usually 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Hargus said.