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( OTCQB : FCHS ) ("FCHS," "First Choice" or the "Company"), one of the nation's only non-physician-owned, publicly traded healthcare services companies focused on the delivery of total musculoskeletal solutions with an emphasis on Orthopaedics and Spine care, today announced that Steve Ryland, PT, DPT has been appointed to serve as the Company's Director of Physical/Occupational Therapy ("PT/OT"). In this role, Dr. Ryland will oversee the PT/OT Division and implement key expansion initiatives that will increase the number of First Choice-owned and operated, state-of-the-art PT/OT centers serving Florida's high growth Space Coast service region from one to five centers in 2017 -- with the second and third centers slated to open in March and the fourth and fifth center slated to open shortly thereafter. The new First Choice PT/OT centers will be strategically located throughout the service region, currently spanning 72 miles north to south on Florida's central east coast. As the volume of both surgical and non-surgical patients served by First Choice's Medical Centers of Excellence in Brevard County have continued to increase through employment of additional world class physicians, so, too, has demand grown for best-in-class physical and occupational therapy services for thousands of First Choice patients. Whether prescribed for rehabilitation after a hip, shoulder or knee replacement or spinal fusion, or prescribed as conservative therapeutic care for a musculoskeletal condition or injury, PT/OT is a vital component of achieving optimal care outcomes for patients; and in many cases, PT may be mandated by a medical insurance payer prior to surgical remedies being pursued. According to Kris Jones, First Choice's Vice President of Medical Operations, "Our surgical and non-surgical Orthopaedic and Spine patients each require, on average, a PT/OT regimen of 10 treatment sessions with qualified therapists to achieve the best possible outcomes.Considering that the Space Coast service region covers such a broad geographic footprint, to help ensure compliance with prescribed rehabilitative treatment, our physicians and surgeons were having to refer patients to other PT/OT providers. With our planned geographic expansion and leveraging Dr. Ryland's expertise and leadership, not only will First Choice maintain payer compliance with PT/OT mandates, but more importantly, we will be able to provide all of our patients requiring rehabilitation with optimal choice and travel convenience while retaining management and control of their full episodes of care -- from diagnosis to treatment to recovery." Similar to First Choice's current PT/OT center located in Melbourne, each new PT/OT center will be equipped with the industry's most advanced rehabilitation equipment and staffed by the region's best-in-class physical and occupational therapists and care specialists.Once all First Choice PT/OT centers are operational, they will have total capacity to administer up to 85,000 patient visits each year, generating up to $8 million in annual revenues. Prior to joining First Choice, Dr. Ryland was the founder of a very successful PT company, which operated five out-patient physical therapy clinics in Brevard County, Florida for over 15 years.After receiving a Bachelor's degree in Economics and International Affairs from Florida State University and a Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Central Florida, he earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Boston University. Specializing in acute care, sub-acute rehabilitation, outpatient Orthopaedics and home health care, he has also provided preventative care and training to elite and professional athletes, including members of the Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Washington Nationals professional baseball organization. Since forming his private PT practice in 2002, Dr. Ryland has consulted several leading PT providers and business owners across the U.S.
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