Del Valle Physical Therapy treats their patients like family
Written and photography by ROB MCCORKLE
Mark Figueroa finalized his career decision when his mother needed physical therapy after brain surgery. While she respected her doctors, it was the therapists she would rave about. He had pondered becoming a physician, but her experience with physical therapy helped him realize he would rather have more intimate connections with his patients. He says, “It wasn’t until after I started practicing that I learned I had done the right thing.” Over 22 years later, he’s still excited to help patients recover.
DEL VALLE PHYSICAL THERAPY DOESN’T JUST AIM TO TREAT YOU LIKE FAMILY, THEY ACTUALLY DO.
Mark’s career and my life intersected when I had shoulder surgery in fall of 2017 and several friends recommended that I undergo my therapy at Del Valle Physical Therapy, where Mark is the owner and one of the therapists. From my first day, when Mark spent an hour with me discussing my injury, the resulting corrective surgery, and his plan for helping me regain use of my shoulder, we started building that connection. Each day after I did my battery of exercises, Mark would physically manipulate my shoulder, increasing my range of motion and my confidence. We’d talk about anything from personal heroes to favorite foods to sports, strengthening that connection as he worked.
Of course, he isn’t the only therapist at Del Valle. The clinical staff includes physical therapists Corey Christensen, Isaac Acosta, Don Thome, and Noel Gonzalez, who is the only out-patient certified hand therapist in Las Cruces, as well as physical therapy assistants Yashania Alvarez and Mike Gurule, and physical therapy technicians. Mark feels good about his staff, from the excellent post-graduate training they get at the North American Institute of Manual Orthopaedic Therapy to their longevity with his company and their years of experience. For example, Corey has been at Del Valle for 13 years and Isaac for 10, while Practice Administrator Delia Candelaria has been with Mark for 16 years.
He is also proud of the culture they have established under his leadership.
We know you, your family, your children. We’re very interactive with our patients. We don’t just see you as a number. We really enjoy what we do, and we do it at a very high level.” The delicious spreads they put out for holidays, ice cream sandwiches they pass out during clinic time, and trivia pop quizzes help keep everyone connected, too.
The clinic is buzzing throughout the day, with patients going through exercise routines, getting electrical stimulation, undergoing physical manipulation, and getting guidance from staff as they work. Exercises being done incorrectly are quickly spotted and adjusted. Assistants and technicians work closely with therapists to adjust exercises as patients gain mobility and strength.