• A.V. DEL CARMEN
Touching lives through quality physiotherapy care in southern Negros.
And if plans materialize, more southerners will have access to this quality health service.
“We are considering expanding to Sipalay City and Hinoba-an in the near future where rehabilitation services are scarce,” said Augustine Rey Rivas, proprietor and chief executive officer of the Kabankalan City-based PhysiTera – Physical Medicine and Sports Rehabilitation Clinic.
The facility was founded in 2016 “to respond to the needs of clients and patients who need physical rehabilitation services in Kabankalan City and neighboring communities in the southern Negros,” Rivas said.
The goal of our clinic, a community-based center, which is the only privately-run facility of its kind in the area, Rivas said, is to provide quality physical rehabilitation services to Kabankalanons and the rest of southern Negrenses.
At the same time, he said, we ease the burden of patients traveling for about 100 kms. to and from Bacolod City for their rehabilitation needs.
Rivas said the clinic serves around 350 patients every month.
Other than Kabankalanons, those who avail of the clinical services are from the rest of the Fifth District as well as the Oriental areas of Mabinay and Bais City, which is about 70 kms. away, and localities north of the city, from Himamaylan and as far as Isabela and Pontevedra, which is a 90-minute ride away.
“Even friends from Bacolod City come down here for consultation and treatment,” Rivas said, adding that PhysiTera attends to the following:
• Neurological cases, like stroke, brain and nerve Injuries
• Musculoskeletal injuries, like sprain, strains, myofascial pain syndrome, fractures and coliosis
• Sports injuries
“We also offer sports conditioning services,” he added.
Other than being a licensed PT from St. Paul University of Iloilo, the PhysiTera CEO holds both bachelor and masteral degrees in Nursing from Riverside College and Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology, respectively.
He is, likewise, a TESDA-certified caregiver. His wife, Richelle Audrey, who is also a registered nurse, helps him manage the clinic.
In keeping with the clinic’s commitment to also provide sports rehabilitation and coverage, the PhysiTera CEO attended AFC medical conferences and completed sports physiotherapy courses in Doha, Qatar last year and in Chengdu, China in 2019.
Adding premium value to the sports-related services of the clinic is Rivas’ wealth of experience in the field, particularly in football, apparently the reason for his holding a sports consultant’s position in the Kabankalan City local government unit.
He is a licensed coach under the Asian Football Confederation and a certified team physiotherapist.
He had served as the therapist of the Philippine age group/youth teams under the Philippine Football Federation that saw action in, among others, Jordan, Indonesia, Thailand and Laos.
It was the same position he handled during the prime time of the now-defunct Ceres-La Salle Football Club.
He has attended allied national training programs on sports rehabilitation and conditioning, football emergency medicine and anti doping.
Enriching his early sports experiences, too, were his designations as tournament coordinator of various football events as well as being the secretariat head and match commissioner of various regional, local and international events held in Bacolod City.
At present, he is a member of the Negros Occidental Regional Football Association and also heads the Kabankalan City FC – from 2024 to 2028.
Rivas’ rich background in health care and wellness include his experiences as a former PT staff and fitness instructor at the Dr. Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital.
He was a nurse supervisor, PT staff and x-ray clerk at the then Southern Negros Doctors Hospital, where he worked prior to the establishment of the clinic. I put up the PhysiTera after the hospital ceased operation, he said.
Beyond wellness and sports, Rivas active in community service. He is the incoming president of the Rotary Club of Kabankalan City and is past president of the Junior Chamber International for the CHICKS United area.
The PhysiTera service rate is P700 per session (P560 for senior citizens and persons with disabilities), regardless of the patient’s case. It is lower compared to that in private clinics in Bacolod City, he said, as it is my desire to make physiotherapy care accessible to more residents of southern Negros.
Clients have been appreciative and grateful for the services they received from the clinic.
Among those who expressed gratitude is Noel Celwyn Cartera, 19, an Ilonggo swimmer who won two gold medals in the Special Olympics World Games held in Berlin, Germany in June last year.
The Special Olympics is the world’s largest inclusive sports event, where athletes with intellectual disabilities compete together.
“Thank you for all your help to [make] me physically for my international competition… I wouldn’t be where I am today without your help. You made a huge difference in my life since you [extended your] care for my health condition…”
Cartera, an Iloilo City resident who trained with his Kabankalan-based coach, Kurt Garzon, in preparation for the Berlin Games, was under Rivas’ physiotherapy care for more than a month prior to the international event, where he topped his two events – 50-m backstroke and 50-m butterfly.
The PhysiTera proprietor and his staff are thankful for patients’ testimonials, like that of Cartera, and are grateful that they have the opportunity to touch the lives of Negrenses by helping them reconstruct their functions physically. It’s a great source of fulfilment seeing patients recover and return to their normal functions under our care,” Rivas said, adding that while others may not have recovered 100 percent but, at least, they are functional in their community life.
Rivas reiterated the vision of his physiotherapy endeavor: “We hope to be the leading Physical Rehabilitation Service provider with quality and holistic physical rehabilitation opportunities for people with disabilities in Kabankalan City and the rest of southern Negros.”
PhysiTera – Physical Medicine and Sports Rehabilitation Clinic is located at 54 Bonifacio Street, Barangay 7 in Kabankalan City. It is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. | NWI