Volume 43 | Number 2 | Spring 2013

Jonathan Barker is one of Bryan Wright's hires from ISU.

ISU Photographic Services/Bethany Baker

A Confusion Brings Career Clarity

Spring 2013 Issue | By Becky Molyneaux

Bryan Wright's passion for physical therapy came after his mother had a significant knee injury. He was able to accompany her on visits to the physician. When her doctor confused Bryan for her therapist, he became very interested in physical therapy.

Wright took his passion for physical therapy and joined the Physical Therapy program at Idaho State University.

After graduating, Bryan's interest in the spine led him to become the first mechanically-certified back and neck specialist in the physical therapy field in Twin Falls. He then started his own company, Wright Physical Therapy, and it is off to a strong start.

Wright Physical Therapy currently has four Doctors of Physical Therapy and one physical therapist assistant all of whom are ISU graduates. The ISU "connection" is helping the people of Twin Falls improve their quality of life.

ISU graduate Jonathan Barker completed his Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science and later went on to complete a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree at ISU and now works at Wright Physical Therapy.

"ISU was a great facility for learning especially in my program," Barker said. "Exercise sciences lead me directly into what I wanted to do and that was to be a physical therapist."

Barker was positive that he wanted to go into the health care professions, but was unsure which route to take. He said that throughout his studies at ISU and by interacting with influential professors, it became clear to him that physical therapy was the career for him.

"It was a great transition program with awesome professors," Barker said. "I felt I was prepared going into the professional world and I felt I learned the skills to be a competent practitioner."

The facility was built two years ago and new additions to it were made last fall. Wright Physical Therapy specializes in spine, joint and sport injury and it provides several different services to help clients. The therapists assist a wide range of patients to get them back to their daily activities; from the young, competitive athlete wanting to rise to the top or get back in the game, to the pregnant mother that has three others to care for. They care for the grandparent wanting to play more with their grandkids to the hard worker who needs to get back to the job. They specialize in working through an injury from start to finish, and provide a take-home program to prevent injury from repeating in the future.

Shawn Higbee is another ISU Doctor of Physical Therapy graduate at Wright Physical Therapy. His studies led him to understanding the importance of preventing injury in children.

"Young kids should not be doing a lot of strength training. We should make sure young kids do not overuse their bodies," said Higbee. "It is important to have a balance with children because there are changes that happen in the body and those things need time to develop fully."

At Wright Physical Therapy, its practitioners provide knowledge of exercise and training to help prevent injuries in all different types of people. They believe it is important to strengthen several muscle groups in the body to help prevent injuries.

Wright Physical Therapy is just one example of how ISU has impacted the health and welfare of the people in the Magic Valley. The opportunities the people of Twin Falls have are increasing every day. ISU produces the most health care professionals in the state and many pharmacists, physician assistants, nurses and other health care professionals in the Magic Valley are Bengals.

ISU programs in Twin Falls have had major success ranging from producing the region's educators to providing its health professionals. ISU began providing courses in the Twin Falls area in the 1960s. In 1981, the University established the Twin Falls Resident Center to meet the growing demand for higher education in Southern Idaho. It was later moved to the College of Southern Idaho Campus in 1992, where it is still housed today.

The ISU presence in Twin Falls is something for all Bengals to be proud of. In the early 90s, ISU had a health care mission to bring completion programs to the Magic Valley area. Since then many different programs have been offered. Many Magic Valley residents go to the main campus for health care programs and then return home to take up practice, providing services and helping to improve the lives of their community, families, and friends.