Leading Edge Award Winner: Gateau Physical Therapy

Gateau Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, started over 20 years ago, will receive the Small Business of the Year Award at the 11th Annual Leading Edge Awards ceremony June 22 at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Center. The company was chosen for the award by the Small Business Development Center at the College of Southern Maryland for their services to Calvert and St. Mary’s counties

 “They are so good at servicing clients. It probably came as a complete surprise they were nominated,” said Linda Craven, a counselor at the Small Business Development Center. “These are the people that have their head down doing all the work. They are so busy helping people.”
After opening her first practice in 1987 in Lusby, Maryland, owner Bonnie Gateau decided to open another practice over the bridge. “It was a very tiny place and we grew into 4,000-square-foot facility,” she says. “In 1992, we opened in St Mary’s County. First in Hollywood, and then moved closer to the Navy base.”
Currently, Gateau Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine is located at 11855 H.G. Truman Road in Lusby, and 22454 Three Notch Road, Suite 103, in Lexington Park. However, in September, the Lexington Park branch plans to move to First Colony Shopping Center. With this move, Gateau will also open the very first medically oriented gym in the state of Maryland.
“Bonnie has been in this area for 20 years, and she’s stepping in to this new endeavor with the medical gym,” said Clinical Director, Ellie Sweum at the Lexington Park office. Gateau boasts that this new medical gym will “bridge the gap between medicine and fitness.”
Along with providing services to anyone interested, this gym will specialize in providing services to patients recovering from cancer, those suffering from weight issues or diabetes, and other medically compromised patients that may not receive the attention they need at other facilities.
“It’s not just about the people that will go there, it’s about the attention they will receive,” said Sweum.
The idea began in 2005 to recreate the Lexington Park Gateau Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine office into a split facility: one side gym, and the other physical therapy. Gateau said, “It’s been an interest, but Ellie has been really good at moving it along.”
Modeled after the Deville University’s program with a hospital in New York near Buffalo, Gateau and Sweum have been working closely with their program to understand how to run a medically oriented gym, and how to avoid any mistakes in advance that may arise.
“Once we see a wall, we’ll know we are getting close,” said Sweum. In addition to the new medical gym that Gateau is opening, her practice is unique in the way that their clients can see specialists on various problems. “One thing that makes Gateau a very successful business is that Bonnie encourages her staff’s many interests,” said Sweum. Gateau Physical Therapy provides certified physical therapists that specialize in different medical problems that vary from vertigo to women’s health.

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