Being a part of the vibrant, growing Tri-Cities area is a point of pride for physical therapist and clinic director Kyle Stewart. For the patients who seek care at Therapeutic Associates Pasco Physical Therapy, the pathway to recovery is a collaborative one, where Kyle and the clinic team create personalized treatment plans designed for optimal outcomes. While he’s extremely passionate about his career as a PT, his family and their adventures are the one thing Kyle says he could never go a day without.
Q&A with Kyle Stewart
Q: What’s the most important personal attribute you bring to your role as a physical therapist?
The thing that makes me most successful as a physical therapist is my ability to educate people. The way I approach patient care is I often want to teach people about their health, and the way I can bring them into knowing about their own health has been a real strength of my practice.
Q: Has your interest in patient education driven any passion projects for you as a PT?
Most of the time swimmers don’t like to exercise out of the water, but there’s a lot of research out there that shows it’s really beneficial and prevents injury if you do supplement your swimming with a strengthening program. A passion project for me has been the dryland program we started here in conjunction with the local Channel Cat Swim Club. It is a dynamic exercise and strengthening coordination program for swimmers.
Q: Not everyone realizes that athletic performance and injury prevention are aspects of physical therapy. What else do you wish everyone knew about PT?
I wish everyone knew that they have direct access to physical therapists. In every state, it is within the scope of the physical therapist to see a patient without a referral. Now there are some insurance requirements, and our front desk can check on those requirements for you. Another thing I’d like everyone to know about physical therapy is that we treat head to toe, we treat the entire body.
Q: What is your favorite way to spend a day or a weekend off?
My favorite way to spend time off involves my family — my wife and our three daughters. Right now, oftentimes, it’s going to some kind of dance competition or performance. And otherwise, it’s going out to eat, it’s hanging out or going out on a hike … something like that, just spending time with my family.
The other thing that I like to do on the weekends, which is usually early in the morning, is go out on a run on the trails around Tri-Cities. There are quite a few great trails around here that include some hills where you can get in some good elevation and then take some pictures of some really nice views.
Q: Other than the camera, what’s the most used app on your phone?
Spotify and Stitcher. They might be tied. So, Stitcher I use for podcasts and Spotify for music. I play drums in a band and so I definitely have to review all of the songs that we’re going to play, and so that’s most of my Spotify playlists. And then just other music that I like to listen to. And then there’s a bunch of podcasts that I listen to, some professionals, some just for fun.
Q: Do you have a favorite podcast that you've listened to or a favorite genre?
It depends on the time of year. Right now, almost every day I listen to the CBS Fantasy Baseball podcast because, well, you’ve got to keep up!
Q: So, you’re a sports guy, what’s the most exciting professional sporting event you’ve ever attended?
Off the top of my head, I can’t remember exactly what year it was, but it was the Supersonics versus the Denver Nuggets in the final game of the series. The Seattle Sonics were the number one seed and the Denver Nuggets were the number eight seed. The game went into overtime. We had tickets right in the top row. My dad got us in on these scalp tickets … But the environment was electric. It was amazing. Now, even though the Sonics lost that game, it was a really, really exciting game to be at.
Q: Sports aside, do you have a favorite board game?
I don’t really have a favorite board game, but I do have a favorite game — I like to play Magic the Gathering. It’s a really nerdy game, but it’s really fun, and it helps me exercise my strategic mind. I usually play in a multiplayer format, and so I get a group of friends together and we throw down some games and have a good night in of really clean fun. And I’ve been enjoying it since I was a teenager and still enjoy it to this day.
Q: What about your crazy side? Is there something you’ve done that you can’t wait to do again?
One of the crazy things I do is I run ultramarathons. And last year I did a 50-mile ultramarathon locally — The Badger Mountain Challenge, and I completed it. So, this year I attempted the 100-mile, and I didn’t complete it. And that’s one of the crazy things that I want to try to do again. Maybe in a year, maybe in two years. But I want to try that 100-mile distance again.
Q: That is ambitious! What was the driving force behind your ambitious decision to become a physical therapist?
The honest answer is that I didn’t have to take organic chemistry … but also that I wanted to be in healthcare. My favorite part about being a physical therapist is being a sage for the people that I work with, helping them recover and do better. It may seem cliché that I got into healthcare to help people, but it’s exactly why I did. I had that desire and that’s why I got into physical therapy, and that’s why I still enjoy being a physical therapist today.
Your Healthcare Partner
At Therapeutic Associates Pasco Physical Therapy, we take pride in helping our patients reach their goals quickly and safely. Throughout your personalized PT journey, you’ll have our whole team working with you, rooting for you, and sharing their knowledge along the way. We strive to empower our patients and community with the education and tools they need to stay healthy and active.