California State University, Long Beach
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PT@TheBeach Opens Its Doors

Published: October 1, 2013

You don’t need to look any further than the CSULB campus itself if you are in search of physical therapy.

“We created the ability for everybody to have access to our PT clinic program—students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community,” said James Buenaventura, doctor of physical therapy and the director of the newly open PT@TheBeach. “In California, you need to have a prescription from your physician to say you need physical therapy, so that’s the only caveat.”

So imagine being able to do your needed physical therapy three times a week right on campus, possibly during your lunch hour or in between classes.

“What sets us apart from other physical therapy clinics,” said Buenaventura, “would be the expertise that you would get from the physical therapy faculty and the accessibility of being right here on campus. If you are a student who needs PT three times a week and are in class from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can do it during a lunch hour or a break in between classes. It’s a great convenience.”

With health care reform one of the biggest hot button topics in California and throughout the United States, the goal of PT@The Beach is to achieve the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim which has three tenets to help facilitate health care reform—improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations and reducing per capita costs of health care.

The campus facility, in Kinesiology Room 105, is similar to an outpatient orthopedic clinic, but with the multi-specialized physical therapy faculty on campus, it provides patients access to highly skilled, evidence-based clinicians they may not see in other physical therapy clinics.

“To be in a faculty position here, you have to be the cream of the crop in terms of PT knowledge and skill,” said Buenaventura, “and, of course, we have some people who had to give up their clinician life to teach here. A clinic like this affords faculty the opportunity to practice, be consultants and see patients while being an educator.”

Buenaventura, who graduated from the University of Southern California, opened his own physical therapy practice in the South Bay three years ago. He began at CSULB two years ago as teaching faculty but it was his experience in running his clinic, in part, sited as one of the reasons he was brought in.

“I’ve been teaching faculty for about two years and then throughout this entire process I’ve been helping set up the clinic,” said Buenaventura, “so now I’m starting to transition my role to be the director and manage operations.”

Buenaventura is also excited that faculty will have the ability to treat patients right away, rather than serving solely as consultants.

“If you were to go to any other clinic and had a specific problem, an orthopedic problem for example, you may get a new graduate or you may get an experienced person,” said Buenaventura. “You may get a person who has an orthopedic specialty or you may not. The good thing about a faculty practice is that, if we have a patient with a neurological condition come in, or a pediatric patient come in we have faculty right here who are specialists in those fields to either be a consultant or provide direct treatment.

“Not everybody comes in just because of an injury or surgery to one part of their body,” he added. “They may have other comorbidities. So that’s the beauty of this, you can have another faculty specialist come in and add another perspective to give someone the best possible care and that’s what we want to do here.”

For additional information on PT@TheBeach, call 562/985-8286 or contact James Buenaventura.