“If you build a clinic that stands for something much bigger than you, it will succeed.” – Kevin Schmidt, PT, MSPT, CMP, Pedal PT
Note from Holly: In today’s post, we’re taking a closer look at one of our favorite clients, Pedal PT out of Portland, OR. We spoke with Kevin Schmidt, owner of the private practice, about his journey, insights into growing a successful clinic, and why he chose to do business with EcoPro.
Meet Kevin from Pedal PT in Portland
In over 5 years, Kevin Schmidt has never driven a car to his clinic on a work day. Instead, the private practice owner and entrepreneur commutes by bike every day to Pedal PT, Oregon’s first sustainable, bike-friendly physical therapy business. Located on one of the busiest bike greenways in Portland and established in 2012, Pedal PT is both a Gold Level Certified Sustainability Business and a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Business. For Kevin, physical therapy and sustainability go hand in hand; he asks, “We strive to help people improve their lives…why wouldn’t we want to do that for the environment as well?”
A Michigan native, Kevin grew up around bicycles due to his father’s “borderline bike obsession,” and enjoyed mountain biking as a kid. When he moved to Portland in 2002, he began to ride regularly but his interest in bikes really grew when he started daily bike-commuting in “America’s Best Bike City.” Kevin’s fascination with efficient systems (bicycling has remained the most energy-efficient form of human transportation for 200 years) and the freedom he feels while riding combine to create a deep passion and allure for “the power of the bike” to positively change lives. He points out that physical therapy, bicycling and environmental sustainability all have the same underlying goal: to improve quality of life in the most efficient, non-invasive and creative ways. Matter-of-factly, he states, “You can’t be a bike friendly business and not consider yourself to be eco-friendly too. They just work hand in hand.”
How Pedal PT Promotes Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness
Pedal PT’s commitment to the “power of the bike” and urban loft feel make it stand out in a world of predictable outpatient physical therapy clinics. However, common business practices, such as EMR documentation, contributed to its Gold Level Sustainability Certification. Awarded by the City of Portland to recognize a business’s positive impact on the environment and community, the certification reviews five categories of business operations: Information/Education, Materials/Waste, Energy, Transportation, and Water. Due to full EMR charting and billing, Pedal PT is nearly 100% paperless. The use of durable plates, glass cups, and silverware in the break room eliminates waste from disposable plates and utensils. On the rare occasion that paper is necessary (there is no fax machine in the office), Pedal PT chooses paper products made from post-consumer recycled content.
Less common, but still feasible for most physical therapy clinics to implement, are the eco-friendly on-demand hot water heaters and low flow aerators installed at every sink to reduce energy and water use. Clinic temperature is controlled by a high-efficiency HVAC system and full-spectrum lighting hangs from the exposed beam ceilings.
Plus, as an EcoPro Customer, he’s able to save 2,600 gallons of water every year with each EcoPro Pillow Cover. Further helping Kevin and his clinic follow-through on their mission of sustainability.
Lessons from Pedal PT On Catering to Its Niche Clientele
Pedal PT’s focus on bike fitting and cycling-related injuries puts them in a unique position to engage in sustainability practices rarely seen in physical therapy. 100% of the staff commutes to work by bike. When Kevin provides on-site bike fits and cycling injury prevention presentations to local corporations, he transports his equipment in a trailer attached to his bike. Secure indoor and outdoor bike parking are available for patients, and the clinic keeps tools to fix flat tires handy for commuters passing by. Bike maintenance classes, led by local bike shop employees, are offered free of charge to the public in the clinic gym.
Pedal PT is one of only six companies in the state of Oregon to receive the League of American Bicyclists’ Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Business award, a prestigious honor preceded by a year-long investigative process heavily influenced by feedback from neighboring businesses and others in the community.
Additionally, the staff at Pedal PT supports the community in numerous ways, and they are best known for their monthly “Free Coffee for Bicyclists,” in which they provide local coffee for morning commuters on bike and foot in the neighborhood.