Portraits of students using the new physical therapy clinic at Brenau University's Downtown Center.
Students test out some of the equipment at the Brenau Rehabilitation Practice, which opens its doors to the public Monday, April 18.

Community Focused: Brenau to Open Physical Therapy Clinic Serving Gainesville Patients

Apr 15, 2016
Brenau Staff

Brenau University, in partnership with Gainesville Physical Therapy, on Monday, April 18, will open a new outpatient clinic located within the university’s physical therapy department at the Brenau University Downtown Center, 301 Main St. SW in Gainesville.

Specializing in balance, fall prevention, bariatrics, sports medicine and treatment of developmental, orthopedic and neurological movement dysfunctions, Brenau Rehabilitation Practice will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling (678) 971-1839.

“Our focus will be on physical therapy evaluation, treatment and education of common problems associated with all age groups,” said Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Jim Lewis.

In addition to offering the public a highly specialized health care option, the enterprise will provide opportunities for doctoral candidates in Brenau’s physical therapy program to work directly with patients under supervision of six full-time, licensed and experienced faculty members.

“We want to promote education and advancements within the field of physical therapy and health care,” Lewis said, who noted that the clinic will also provide opportunities for faculty research in developing more effective patient care practices. “We want to promote Brenau as the leading research environment for teaching and health care delivery.”

“In a region so strongly grounded in community outreach and care, the department is building offerings at many different levels,” Lewis said, “and the faculty practice will house our highest level of specialty therapy.”

Longtime Gainesville-based physical therapist Gail Whonic will assist Brenau faculty by offering rehabilitative services at the facility two days a week.

“We’ve transferred all of our balance patients to the new clinic,” said Hollie Mann, Gainesville Physical Therapy marketing director. “Our ultimate goal is to have [Whonic] over in that clinic full time as the program grows.”

The new faculty practice emphasizes several specialized areas of physical therapy, including gait, prevention and wellness, temporomandibular joint disorder and spine rehabilitation.

The clinic also gets students acclimated to the business of outpatient care, Mann said, by teaching them charting, billing and other private practice fundamentals. “It also gives us the opportunity to be a bigger part of our community and help provide a safe environment for students to work with real patients, and for us to share our expertise along with what the faculty has to offer,” Mann said.

“Providing this learning experience in the same location where classes are taught offers an exceptional value to students who can step from a classroom to a clinic just across the hallway,” said Brenau Chief Financial Officer David Barnett. “Students will use this experience in concert with others’ experiences in locations across the region to provide them exposure to a variety of specialties and general practice training.”

Students test out some of the equipment at the Brenau Rehabilitation Practice, which opens its doors to the public Monday, April 18.