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Avera takes over University Physical Therapy in Mitchell

Avera Queen of Peace Hospital Vice President and CFO Will Flett announced Tuesday that the hospital has acquired Mitchell's University Physical Therapy.

"We are excited to welcome the staff from University Physical Therapy to the Avera Queen of Peace family," Flett said in a news release. "They are an excellent addition to our rehab services."

The outpatient rehab center will be called Avera University Physical Therapy. The address and phone number will remain the same.

"We have been working with Scott Houwman, owner/operator of University Physical Therapy for the past several months, in order to expand our outpatient presence in Mitchell and the outcome of our discussions is Avera University Physical Therapy," Flett said, noting the goal of the purchase is to provide a dedicated and convenient outpatient therapy location with easy accessibility and curbside parking.

"We are very pleased and excited to employ Scott and his staff and to extend our services to this location," Flett said.

Under the new arrangement, the hospital will relocate most of its outpatient rehab services to the North Kimball site in order to provide better access for patients and to expand the availability and number of rehab services, Flett said. Inpatient rehab will continue to be provided at the hospital. Both inpatient and outpatient services will be under the direction of Dan Heesch, director of rehab services.

"Scott Houwman established his physical therapy practice in Mitchell in 1998 and has been very successful in providing services over the years," Flett said. "He has a well-trained professional staff and they will continue to provide excellent rehab services for Avera University Physical Therapy."

Flett continued, "In addition to his physical therapy duties at Avera University Physical Therapy, Scott Houwman, MSPT, will serve as sports enhancement and outreach therapy coordinator for Avera Queen of Peace Hospital.

"Over the past year or so, Avera Queen of Peace has been working to build its sports enhancement programs and the addition of a coordinator will strengthen our ability to provide this expertise."

"I think it was a good move," said Houwman, 46, who began University Physical Therapy in 1994 in Huron and moved to Mitchell in 1995. He is a 1993 master's graduate of South Dakota State University's -- and the state's -- first graduating class in physical therapy. He opened his current office complex in 2000.

Houwman's wife, Carla, works as an interior designer for Puetz Corp. They are the parents of two children, Tori and Tyler.

"I've seen the vertical integration of health care and felt I really needed a partner that had the same type of vision for the community of Mitchell," Houwman said. "Avera will allow us to reach a wonderful potential."