Daily archive for April 7, 2013

Halloween Hoopla

If you’ve been around Northern for a while, you know how we love a good excuse to dress up.

As always, we opened our poll up to friends, patients and community members to see which clinic knocked it out of the park this year. After a week of voting (and 574 votes!) the results are in, and the bragging rights this year go to The Coopersville Ninjas! Way to go, guys! And, be sure to read all the way to the end of the post, we’re showcasing some of our smallest fans.

Coopersville Clinic – Ninjas

Cedar Springs Clinic – Gumby

Grant Clinic – Snoopy & Woodstock

Sparta Clinic – Angels

Wayland Clinic – Duck Dynasty

This year we invited our staff to share pictures of their favorite little trick-or-treaters.

Thanks to all who participated, we can’t wait until next year!

West Michigan Woman Welcomes Northern Yet Again

Gina and Janis have become regular contributors at West Michigan Woman, both in their print and online publications. They’ve taken this opportunity to educate readers on various topic of interest and things they commonly see in the clinics.

Most recently, they discussed balance and falls and how those symptoms can affect us as we age.

Seeing our loved ones age can be a difficult process. We want what’s best for our parents and grandparents, and as their health changes it’s not uncommon to worry about their safety. A serious side effect that we, as physical therapists, often see with aging is the increased risk of falling and loss of balance.
Read the article in its entirety here.

In addition to the balance and falls article, you may have also seen their article on back pain. Back pain is one of the most common issues that patients face, but the goods news is, you don’t have to live with pain.

We often get patients in the clinic who explain their back pain, along with a lengthy description of the different treatments, surgeries, and medications they’ve encountered along the way. “Nothing worked. I’m hoping you can help me,” they say. Physical therapy is a safe alternative to surgery and medication, and it can help you live pain-free: Our goal is not just to mask the pain, but to find the cause and treat it.
Read the article in its entirety here.

And finally, Gina and Janis spent some time this summer discussing whether to heat or ice an injury. There is often confusion as to which method is better for your injury.

One of the most common questions we get is whether to use heat or ice for an injury. Both are beneficial when used properly, but the best option depends on what type of injury you’ve incurred.
Read the entire article here.

Gina and Janis enjoy the opportunity to educate people on proper body mechanics and practices. They always remind people that you don’t have to live with pain.

Mentoring PT Students to Help Them Grow

Mentoring students and working with Grand Valley State University’s (GVSU) physical therapy program is something that has always been near and dear to us. A majority of our therapists are graduates of GVSU’s PT program so we know first hand how excellent their curriculum is. Physical Therapists Janis Kemper and Gina Otterbein, (who are also NPT’s owners) are both graduates of the program, and they have continued to build their relationship with GVSU by being guest lectors for the physical therapy program, conducting clinical interviews, and by assisting students with interviewing, resume writing, leadership, and management.

At Northern, it’s not uncommon for a majority of our interns to be GVSU students. We enjoy the opportunity to offer them excellent, real life experience, and help them grow. It’s rewarding to us as an organization when a recent graduate selects Northern as their first choice when looking for a job in our industry. When we see an all-star student come our way, our veteran staff members welcome the opportunity to hire them on as a staff therapist upon graduation. One of our most recent hires is Corey Kuipers, who spent a great deal of time with Northern as a student. Corey showed a great desire to learn, helped patients to the best of his ability, and was a top notch team player. We were pleased to have him back full time.

“Northern Physical Therapy is such a great company to work for. When I was completing my Bachelor’s Degree, I worked for Northern from 2009-2011 as a patient care specialist. This was a great opportunity for me because I was able to learn the ins and outs of physical therapy. In addition, I was able to learn about the values and principles related to patient care. After completing my Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree, I returned to Northern as a Physical Therapist. The reasons are many, but the most important reason is that the staff at Northern works as a team and is interactive with the community it serves. I also really enjoy the patients that I get to interact with on a daily basis. Northern Physical Therapy is a great place to work!”

Corey Kuipers, Physical Therapist at Northern Physical Therapy

We would also like to introduce you to our three current interns, who are all students at GVSU. Stop by and say hello to them if you are in the area!


Emily Bougher, Melissa Fisher, Bridget Martz

Emily Bougher, Northern Physical Therapy Intern
Being able to help people learn to live healthier lives is what originally drew me to the field of physical therapy. I am a senior in the Honors College at GVSU, studying exercise science. I hope to continue my education at GVSU by being admitted to the physical therapy program for the fall 2014 semester. I am originally from the small town of Chelsea, MI, where I was able to develop my love of exercise by playing sports from a young age through high school. I danced, played volleyball, and ran hurdles for the track team. When I’m not busy studying or working, I enjoy reading novels, running, lifting weights, and crafting.

Melissa Fisher, Northern Physical Therapy Intern
Originally from Osceola, Indiana, I came to Michigan to attend college, where I am currently studying Clinical Exercise Science at GVSU. Upon graduation I plan to attend grad school at GVSU to get my degree in physical therapy.

Bridget Martz, Northern Physical Therapy Intern
Currently a senior at GVSU, I will soon be graduating with a degree in Clinical Exercise Science, however, I plan to continue my education by obtaining a graduate degree through GVSU’s physical therapy program. In addition to my interests in physical therapy, I was a figure skater for seven years and am currently a member of Phi Sigma Sigma.