Southside, Tidewater physical therapy merge

Published 11:26 am Monday, October 3, 2011

Jeff Verhoef, left, chief executive officer for Tidewater Physical Therapy, and Kevin Schrack, owner and founder of Southside Physical Therapy, have merged their companies. SUBMITTED

FRANKLIN—Tidewater Physical Therapy and Southside Physical Therapy have merged. It marks the first time in Tidewater’s 25-year history that it has merged with a company of Southside’s size.

The merger aligns Southside’s 22 employees and clinics in Franklin, Chesapeake and Windsor with Tidewater’s Performance Center and 27 therapy offices in South Hampton Roads, the Virginia Peninsula, Williamsburg, Gloucester and Richmond. Tidewater employs nearly 300 physical therapists, physical therapy technicians, personal and sports performance trainers, front office coordinators and a corporate headquarters staff.

“You’re going to see a name change, but our staff is still here,” said Kevin Schrack, owner, founder and physical therapist with Southside Physical Therapy. “We’re doing this to become better.”

For Schrack, the genesis behind the merger was to adapt to changes in healthcare and provide better benefits to employees while maintaining a high dedication to clinical excellence.

Tidewater Physical Therapy is an independent, physical therapist-owned, outpatient practice established in 1986.

Schrack called it the best match for his company.

“I wanted to stay with a practice whose sole product is good patient therapy,” he said.

Southside and Tidewater grew up together. When Schrack was starting his practice in the early 1990s, Tidewater President Wayne MacMasters advised him. The companies have stayed closely linked.

Schrack formed Southside Physical Therapy in May 1992, opening his first clinic in Franklin under the name Franklin Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy Inc. While that first location was under construction, Schrack primarily saw home patients until the office was fully open in August 1992. The first clinic thrived and in 1995 Schrack opened a second location in Chesapeake and moved the Franklin clinic to a larger space.

Southside Physical Therapy offered aquatic therapy programs. With increased demand for aquatic therapy, Southside expanded in Franklin again, building a heated therapeutic pool.

In 2002, Southside added its third office in Windsor, and in 2005, moved the Chesapeake clinic to a larger building. Recently, the Franklin office grew from 3,000 square feet to roughly 7,500 square feet.