Greg Zadow found a home for himself, his family, and his practice in Sisters — 20 years ago this month. photo provided
Greg Zadow found a home for himself, his family, and his practice in Sisters — 20 years ago this month. photo provided
In January of 2001, a new shingle was hung outside a small office space located behind the dental practice of Dr. Mark Francis. Zadow Physical Therapy was officially open for business and Greg Zadow was looking forward to bringing his specialized manual therapy skills to the community of Sisters.

What started as a one-man operation with limited hours grew to include another part-time therapist, billing specialist and eventually a front office assistant. In those early days, Zadow couldn’t have imagined what would evolve into what is now Green Ridge Physical Therapy & Wellness.

Originally born and raised in South Australia, Zadow came to Washington State in 1992 to further his training in a very specialized form of manual therapy. His plan was to be in the United States for two years and then return home to build his own practice. Best laid plans can and will be redesigned when love comes into the picture, and that is exactly what happened. Zadow met the love of his life, Kim Williams, and quickly realized that his future was here in America. Marriage, a growing family of his own, and a successful private practice in Seattle made life very fulfilling; however, the desire to leave the big city and relocate to a small town community eventually became their focus. With his stepchildren moving into adulthood and two younger daughters at a formative age, it was time to explore their options.

As a competitive cyclist, Zadow had enjoyed many opportunities to travel with his family through a variety of small towns in the Northwest and Arizona. Seeking sunshine, four seasons, less traffic and a tightknit community for their next chapter of life, they identified a list of potential spots — and Central Oregon was their primary target. Although Bend seemed like it could be a good fit, the town of Sisters quickly stood out as exactly what they were looking for. Everything fell into place, property was secured and the Zadows began to build their new home. As their home neared completion, they secured a clinic location and it was just a matter of time before this new life would begin for Greg, Kim, and their family.

Zadow began his Sisters practice while still commuting each week to his original clinic in Redmond, Washington. Spending part of each week going between Washington and Oregon was a necessary and exhausting commitment to a financially viable transition. For two years, Zadow caught 5 a.m. flights to Seattle on Tuesdays, working 12- to 14-hour days and then returning late on Thursday evenings. Mondays and Fridays were his “Sisters” clinic days and it wasn’t long before word spread that there was a new physical therapist in town offering a different and effective type of physical therapy treatment.

After spending over a year being a sole practitioner, Zadow was approached by another new transplant to the Sisters community. Marlene Dumas, also a physical therapist focused on manual therapy, had recently relocated from Orange County, California, and was exploring options for part-time work. The fit seemed perfect and Dumas joined the practice. The evolution had begun.

Over the years, the practice grew, and required larger office space. In that original location, the clinic expanded from leasing one space to eventually needing three. From there a move was made into a new and again larger space in Pine Meadow Village. At that time, the staff had increased to include three physical therapists and two massage therapists. After a short time, the Zadows made a decision to build the new clinic they had grown to require and with that move came a new name to symbolize what they had become.

Green Ridge Physical Therapy & Wellness was still a privately owned practice, however it encompassed much more. Their new clinic would provide room for five to six physical therapists, three massage therapists, a growing administrative staff, and it would offer the Sisters community diverse treatment options.

The business was created from a “build it and they will come” model with a few key principles. Zadow describes his ideals in this way: “Do what you are passionate about, to the best of your ability, every day. Surround yourself with people who will reflect and become an invested part of that commitment and focus 100 percent on what is best for the patient.”

By embracing this simple and integrity-based strategy, Zadow has found that “you won’t go hungry and things will be looked after.” With this refreshing approach, and without setting the traditional business goals, growth seems to have happened naturally.

Positive experiences affirmed by their patients mean everything to Zadow and his staff. Sisters resident Penny Whipps shared that, “Green Ridge Therapy has been part of my life throughout the past 20 years. It’s not only their dedication to continued learning and excellence in the field of physical therapy that keeps me coming back, it’s their passion for holistic healing and individual care of each patient that walks through their door. The Green Ridge team love what they do and they are the best at what they do. I am so grateful that Greg Zadow moved his practice here. Green Ridge Therapy is most appreciated and a needed part of my life.”

Twenty years later, Zadow has such heartfelt gratitude for the initial welcome that he and his family received here in Sisters and for the ongoing support and trust he continues to receive as a healthcare provider, business owner, and member of the community. It is here where he has forged incredible friendships, raised a family, built strong professional partnerships, weathered significant challenges faced by the community and enjoyed untold hours in the natural surroundings that truly feed his soul.

It is here in Sisters where he truly found his “home away from home” doing what he loves and sharing life with people who reflect the same appreciation for all that exists and is possible here.

Editor’s note: Carol Statton works at Green Ridge Physical Therapy.