by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG- We all suffer from aches, pains and injuries from time to time. Doctors take care of some of the more serious aspects of getting us on the road to health again. But in today’s medicine, physical therapy has become a very big part of recuperating from many of the things that cause us discomfort.
Cuchara Valley Physical Therapy got its start in Walsenburg in 1996. Owners, Vince and Diane Koutnik decided that after years of working for others, they would like to open their own physical therapy business. They met at Texas Women’s University in Houston. Men wanting to train in physical therapy were allowed at the women’s college. Vince was an Air Force brat who moved around quite a bit in growing up. Diane was from Wisconsin. Whether the college sanctioned them falling in love or not, they did and got married during their last semester.
From there they took jobs in their field in Denver for 8 years. After that, they decided they’d like to experience small town living to raise their family. An opportunity came up for Vince at the hospital in Walsenburg. After several years of both working at Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center, they decided to go into business for themselves.
They opened their first office on E. Sixth street in 2002 and after 5 years, decided to build some equity in the community and bought the building at 125 E. 5th Street for their business. Dr. Chris DiPersio ran his podiatry clinic there and still works out of an office one day a week in the building.
Cuchara Valley Physical Therapy’s mission statement is to provide quality care in a personalized and professional manner so clients can realize their highest potential for health, function and quality of life. Diane and Vince receive many doctor referrals for patients and a lot of word of mouth about their business. They also have a lot of direct access from people wanting and needing their services.
Diane specializes in orthopedics, sports rehab, women’s health and urinary incontinence. She has extensive post-graduate training in manual therapy for spine, extremities, head, neck and TMJ. Vince specializes in orthopedics, neurological, stroke and geriatric rehab. His expertise also includes evaluations for environmental barriers and safety, movement analysis, balance and gait training, wheelchair fitting and amputee/prosthetic training. Physical therapy involves a lot of treatment with various parts of the body that they both have experience with.
The Koutniks work hard to provide services for most everyone. They are Medicare certified, offer cash discounts and accept most insurances. Their office in La Veta is located at 300 South Main Street. Their phone number in Walsenburg is 738-3160 and in La Veta, 742-3375.
Raising a family has been a good experience for the Koutniks. Their 19-year old daughter, Melissa is getting a business degree at UCCS in Colorado Springs. Carlee a 2008 graduate of La Veta High School, is now attending the Air Force Academy and going through basic training. Both Vince and Diane have had relatives that attended the Air Force Academy in past years, including Vince’s father. Christina is 15 and a student at La Veta High School.
Physical therapy is a field with continuing training, so Diane and Vince take continuing education courses to keep up with the newest information and treatments in their field of endeavor. They are members of the Physical Therapy Association. They also teach exercise classes at the Community Center in Walsenburg two days a week for the Council of Governments. Raising children has kept them plenty busy for the past number of years. With the shortage of physical therapists in the area, Vince and Diane also do contract physical therapy work in Trinidad.
If you have health related issues, there’s a good chance you’ll come into contact with Vince or Diane Koutnik at Cuchara Valley Physical Therapy in Walsenburg or La Veta sometime soon, if you haven’t already. When you do, they both want to give you the personal one on one care that you deserve and get you back on the road to feeling good again. After all, that’s what Cuchara Valley Physical Therapy and their mission statement is all about.