BIG STONE GAP, VA – August 15, 2022 – Helping pediatric patients with their physical therapy needs is the goal Dr. Rebecca Bevins has for her new outpatient clinic, One Step At A Time, LLC. One of the things that makes her clinic unique is that it incorporates the use of hippotherapy – the use of a horse and the specific movements of the horse — as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment.
One Step At A Time, LLC was a recent recipient of a $10,000 Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) Seed Capital Matching Grant. An early fall opening is projected.
“One Step At A Time is perhaps one of the most unique seed capital applicants we have worked with,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “This is the first time we have worked with a clinic offering the tool of hippotherapy. The new business projects four full-time employees within five years.”
Patients will come to the clinic through doctor referrals or direct patient referral. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy will be offered.
“One Step At A Time is unique in the way that we offer outside the box therapy treatments,” Bevins said. “The use of equine movement along with traditional therapy treatment produces significantly improved outcomes for children with disabilities.”
Bevins, who earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Shenandoah University in 2009, noted hippotherapy is not a new treatment tool and said it has been around since approximately 1987.
“The American Hippotherapy Association is the overseeing body, of which I am a member,” Bevins said. “The term hippotherapy refers to how occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy professionals use evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning in the purposeful manipulation of equine movement as a therapy tool to engage sensory, neuromotor and cognitive systems to promote functional outcomes for the child.”
Bevins noted the average horse walks at a rate of 100 steps per minute, adding just five minutes on a walking horse represents 500 neuromotor inputs to the patient.
“In a typical therapy session, 15-25 minutes of equine movement may be incorporated by the treatment therapist,” Bevins said. “This type of unique therapy service is shown to produce significant outcomes for children, which produce greater impact on the child’s development.”
Three therapy horses are available at the clinic and Bevins noted renovations are going on now to develop the clinic area and office. For patients involved in the hippotherapy aspect, an indoor and outdoor arena will be available.
In the future, Bevins said, she hopes to offer student teaching and research opportunities through the new clinic. Additionally, she hopes to expand to do a program for veterans, focusing on those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
She noted she is currently working on insurance credentialing and in the meantime is developing welcome packets and meeting with area physicians to let them know about the clinic’s new services.
“The VCEDA grant opened the door for us to bring this to fruition,” Bevins said, adding, “because of it, we have not had to worry as much and it has been a big help for us financially, allowing us to focus on other areas of developing the business.”
Bevins worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) in developing her application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Wise County Economic Development Authority.
“Mountain Empire’s Small Business Development Center enjoyed working Rebecca,” said Becki O’Quinn-Purdie, SBDC director at MECC. “The VCEDA Seed Capital fund allows her to begin to fulfill her dream of her own business. One Step At A Time will provide young patients in this area with excellent local care. The Small Business Development Center looks forward to seeing this business serve the region.”
One Step At A Time is located at 5252 Powell Valley Road in Big Stone Gap and may be reached at 276-870-3134.
About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.
About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton.