Katie Ferraro, PT, Cert MDT, will be the physical therapist at Step & Spine’s new location in Eagle Crest. photo provided
Katie Ferraro, PT, Cert MDT, will be the physical therapist at Step & Spine’s new location in Eagle Crest. photo provided

From a start in a 200-square-foot storage room at Cascade Fitness, Step & Spine Physical Therapy has grown to include a flagship clinic in Sisters, a large facility in Redmond, and a clinic in Bend. Now, the Sisters-based physical therapy clinic is set to open a facility at 7555 Falcon Crest Dr. in Eagle Crest resort between Sisters and Redmond.

"We have quite a few Eagle Crest patients here," Barrett Ford, co-founder and physical therapist at Step & Spine Physical Therapy, explained. "They're an active aging population that want to continue playing and doing what they want."

The new clinic will be more convenient for them than a trip into Redmond or Sisters, and the space will also serve as an administrative office for the growing practice.

With treadmills, stationary bikes, and other training and rehabilitation equipment, team members can attend to the varying physical needs of patients, while allowing for privacy when needed.

"Thanks to continued growth, we needed more patient treatment space in our existing Redmond clinic," said Ford. "Our administrative offices will be relocated to Eagle Crest, which will allow for additional treatment rooms in Redmond."

Ford attributes the growth of the clinic to a philosophy of connected, hands-on interaction with patients.

"Our philosophy has always been to really connect with patients," he said, "helping them understand their problem so that they have some tools to keep them better."

Step & Spine now has 11 physical therapists in Redmond; two in Sisters; and five in Bend. Katie Ferraro, PT, Cert MDT, will be the physical therapist at Step & Spine's new location in Eagle Crest.

It's a long journey from seeing patients in the back room of a gym with karate and spin classes going on just outside.

"I'm kind of amazed that anyone came in to see me!" Ford said with a grin.

Growth was always part of the plan.

"I always wanted to make a difference," Ford told The Nugget. "The more people you can love on, treat, help, the better it feels, I guess."

And, he noted, "I do like to grow; I do like to expand. Business kind of intrigues me. But honestly, it really is out of patient experience."

That experience is built around being the first line of helping someone overcome a physical injury or ailment. Physical therapy is "conservative care," Ford notes - early effective PT can head off more extreme interventions such as surgery.

Ford feels passionately about the impact his work has on patients' lives - and he works with people who share that passion.

Ferraro matches that profile.

"She's been a PT probably 20-years-plus," Ford said. "She's been with us multiple years. Katie is one of those ones that really connect with people."

Ferraro was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut. She received her undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University and went on to physical therapy school at Finch University of Health Sciences in Chicago.

In addition to her deep experience in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy, Katie has experience working in pediatrics, home health and work conditioning.

As is frequently the case in the field, Katie became a physical therapist after recovering from a severe injury and seeing the transformation that can come from physical therapy.

"My experience helps me better relate to my patients. I understand how it feels to have physical limitations, and I strive to help people feel stronger and more confident in their ability to do the things they enjoy," said Katie.

She loves treating patients of all ages, but is especially passionate about working with older athletes.

"Even though age brings limitations, these athletes have the drive to continue playing their sport, and I love helping them keep going," she said.

Katie is the mother of two children. Her husband is a seventh-grade math teacher in Prineville. When not working, Ferraro enjoys the many activities she helps her patients continue to enjoy: winter sports, camping, paddleboarding, kayaking, hiking and attempting to run - as she admits, very slowly.

Step & Spine Physical Therapy will have a soft opening at the clinic on

February 18.

For more information visit www.stepandspine.com.