Preventing Injury Before it Happens in the Workplace
Dr. Delaine Fowler a business owner, forward thinker and keynote speaker who works to actively help prevent injury before it happens. This is one great conversation with Delaine to learn how she works with organizations to educate them about how the body moves and what can be adjusted to prevent injury. She is a wildly brilliant women and this is a conversation that you don’t want to miss.
HR professionals, business owners and operations at all levels are struggling to figure out what needs to change. Our system has been shocked practices have been questioned, and conversations are finally happening. We all know there has been a huge shift in what people want. inclusion and diversity are common phrases. But often misunderstood generations are coming together more than ever on what's important. Mental health has been brought to the forefront of everyone's mind. Let's humanize these conversations. Let's talk about what's important for employees to be successful in life and at their job and how companies can create an environment to allow them to do both because successful people will make up a successful workforce. I'm Leighann Lovely. Let's get this conversation started. Dr. Delaine Fowler is a recognized expert in Work Health Connections, a physical therapist specializing in workplace injury. Delaine has helped 1000s of patients on their road to physical recovery. After years of treating people in her office, she could not help think there was a better way to help people before their problem ended up in surgery. After watching surgeons Chase pain from one body part to another and employees waiting for the doctors to ask the same question she realized this was not going to happen. She decided to start collaborating with companies to find out if changing the way people work might stop employees from what would in many cases be a lifetime of pain and suffering. Due to multiple surgeries only chasing symptoms she quickly discovered treating employees as individual athletes and applying her skill sets in care and coaching had a profoundly positive impact on employees based in the companies today she dedicates her focus toward preventing the strains stress and injury that cost companies millions Delaine company serves 10,000 employees by placing physical therapy and certified athletic trainers where they're needed most the workplace. Her clients include major brands like Aldi, gelled one and Dillard. Delaine is a popular keynote speaker and workplace safety thought leader known for her practical approach and industry shaping insight. Delaine thank you so much for joining me today. I'm excited to have this conversation. Family. And I'm excited to be here.
Dr. Delaine Fowler 02:49
Thanks for having me.
Leighann Lovely 02:50
Yeah. So why don't you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Dr. Delaine Fowler 02:54
Sure. My name is Delaine Fowler, I'm a physical therapist by trade. I fell in Super luckily, early on in my career into helping employees be well and feel well. So I was I got frustrated in my PT clinic, because I was seeing all these employees at the same jobs, getting the same kind of injuries and then having the same surgeries. And so one day, just a few months into my practice, I started calling companies and asking them like, Hey, can I come and look at these jobs, like super curious about what people do, and just had an opportunity to start watching how people work and what people actually do, which is really incredible. To watch how people work and how things are made and how things get done and how food gets to our table. It's just a blessing to us. And a miracle honestly, that we can all come together to make make the world go round. So that so I have been an injury prevention specialist. As a physical therapist for 19 years. I have my own practice. And we now help Bistro, I started out with my little office 15 years ago, helping about 15 people a day. And now we help about 10,000 people a day across the US with our programs.
Leighann Lovely 04:08
That is Wow, that's awesome. And I think when you and I originally spoke and just kind of got to know each other a little bit, the thing that really stood out with me was that you physically go in to some of these companies, when you see, you know, repeat people coming in with injuries that are similar. It just It like makes so much sense. You know, you don't see, you know, you don't see a surgeon going in and saying, Wow, I've seen this injury a million times and they all come from the same. You know, they just they don't do that. Well, they probably don't have time or they don't have time to do that. But it makes so much sense that if you see somebody or a group of people who are working at the same company, well, gee, why don't we go figure out why they all have the same, you know, shoulder injury, what are they doing to To create this same problem, right? So I want to I want to talk about that because I'm, I am wildly fascinated by this. Like, it just seems like so much makes so much sense. You know, and I know there are some of these monster sized companies out there who have, you know, clinics right on site? And I'm sure it's it probably kind of, it's because of that well, and because, you know, hey, if we can treat our employees here, why after them, but tell me a little bit about how you consult with those companies and what you what you do?
Dr. Delaine Fowler 05:40
Sure. And it can be a myriad of things, but are are, what makes an impact with our employers is when we place an athletic trainer or physical therapist in house, with their their company, within the warehouse, or what it however they want us to structure it. And we are basically their frontline health care provider for anything musculoskeletal, and most injuries on site are going to be musculoskeletal related. Because it's kind of like in the military in the military, an army especially they'll send when you get injured, they send you to the PT and PT decides is a musculoskeletal or not. If it's not, you go to the physician right away, right, there's no you go directly. But if it is, then you stay with pte. And so we took that model and applied it in on site. So and these people, they're really not to the injury point, they're even before that they're with just the this is this is tired, this is a fatigue, this is sore. And so you really are going directly to the cause of that issue. Dealing with it very early that way we're dealing with problem when it's this small, not when it's this big. And trying to say okay, well, let's, let's see if we eyes and do all the first aid things that we can here, and then we're gonna go to where you work. Let's figure out like, Oh, are you lifting that box in an odd way? Are you grabbing those potato bags like this instead of, you know, underhanded, like you should, and then coach them into their good habits. So we have a care side and a coaching side of our business. And we'd like to all together, and we like to be that relationship driven person in house with the knowledge. You know, that's usually the problem is that you have these caring HR people, environmental, health and safety employees who want to do the best for their employees, but their knowledge base is in a different direction. And so to have a health care provider there with that knowledge base to say this is musculoskeletal, or this is the reason why this is happening, has had a tremendous impact on our clients.
Leighann Lovely 07:48
And that's absolutely awesome to be able to have somebody physically come in and watch and see. So do you make, you know, do you go then to management and say, Hey, I'm gonna make a recommendation? Can we? Or can we change this up and, you know, alter the way that things are being done?
Dr. Delaine Fowler 08:10
Certainly, and, and we, we definitely put the coaching into the employee because we want the employee. Yeah, we tell our employees a lot alike, you might work at this location, this job for two years, five years, five months, 10 years. But no matter where you go after this, you're going to take your back your shoulder, your neck with you. And so let's teach you into good habits here so that you're carrying them forward, no matter where you go. Now, if it's this line design is improper. So really the way I fell in love with this job and what we do is way back forever ago, I was I was called out to a company, I was watching this lady work and she walked up to me, she said, Hey, should I moved from that line to this line a couple months ago, and ever since my wrist is killing me. I was like, okay, so Well, let's, let's watch, I'll just watch your work. And I realized after like, a few minutes, she was reaching over and pressing this button with a really weird hand posture. Like every 70 seconds. I was like, okay, so I called the maintenance guy over and said, Hey, can we move that button? Like from there to somewhere else where it's a little bit more accessible? And he's like, Yeah, I don't see why not. So I came back just a few weeks later, and the lady almost tackled me she was so happy because she her wrist pain went away. But even more important, all the people on that line had told her Thank you. They had told her thank you because she was the advocate for them so that nobody else on that line had to deal with that risk. So they were all having wrist pain, right? They're all having wrist pain. And so I was like, Oh my gosh, we went to the source, we fix the ergonomic issue. And there it is. And sometimes the ergonomic issue is about line design, but a lot of times it In the bad habits that we build up over time thinking that they're good for us, or that we're, we're getting products faster onto our pallets, or you're making a product widget faster or something. And usually it's not really true. Yeah, it's just a training issue.
Leighann Lovely 10:17
Interesting. And the fact that so many other people stayed silent on that for as long as they did, which is, and we, I guess, as a society, we've just, we've become silent. And we've, I guess, we've taught our employees that that's the way we want them to be. And now we're trying to unravel that behavior. Hey, you're in pain all the time? Well, okay, let's, let's talk about that. Is there something that I can do that's within reason, I mean, obviously, you can't pick up an entire machine or you can't complete, you can't reconfigure the machine completely. But if it's a reasonable accommodation, that's going to actually stop you from being in pain, which inevitably is going to make you more productive. At Why don't people bring it up. And that comes down to fear? Well, if I, if my employer is upset with me, or if I, you know, I mean, but something as simple as that, like, Hey, move this, move this button. But here's something that's I also find, so I was talking to, you know, a friend of mine, and there was a, there was a fan sitting on the floor, because it was a wildly hot day. And unfortunately, where the outlet was, made it so that the cord came across the walkway. And so as somebody was walking through, they said, You need to move, you can't have the fan sitting there. And he's like, Okay, I understand. And then he goes, however, you do realize that the way that this machine is set up, causes the vacuum, that I have to put in the machine to be completely across the walkway every day. So the little tiny cord, that is the you know, trip hazard is nothing in comparison to this vacuum that is set up. So there is often you know, things that our companies are aware of, and they still just turn a blind eye to it unless it's, oh, gee, the cords not supposed to be there. But you know, hey, my vacuum cord might pull vacuum is, you know, it's like, some companies are still very guilty of will break the rules when it satisfies us. But not you know,
Dr. Delaine Fowler 12:50
And, and companies can't do everything all at once either. We found that many of our companies, their management teams, they you know, we've been on this Lean management system for several decades at this point. And so lean management sounds nice. But if you don't have people to take take care of the people, right, and to take care of the problems, you know, if your engineering department gets ransacked through, you know, hiring and turnover, then those lists have to do get longer and longer. And so that's what we find with our especially the find that our clients are companies that hire us. They obviously care a lot about their employees if they're putting a physical therapist or athletic trainer in there to take care of people that in and so but I agree that's that it's like, well, what's the next priority, right? And that gets put in front of some things that seem like well, why can't we just take care of this and some one work area, that those tasks may not even affect this area over here. And so you're sitting there for however long waiting on things to get done. So I can see it both ways. There are there are some companies who could care less like they're just trying to get products out the door and products in the door and but the employers we work with, we can tell that there, they really are trying hard to accommodate and trying to take care of the people especially now like you're really right, that we've come to this point where we realize that our people are our most valuable things. And if we're willing to take care of them, and just even in as many small ways as we can, and not not like just putting lipstick on a pig, like actually caring about them and saying how can we make this workplace better because they're going to spend a third of their day with us? I think those companies are the ones that are actually going to win in the end.
Leighann Lovely 14:43
Yeah, I completely agree. And there's an but if you truly looked at the list, right? Because look at the list of all of the different things that you could that you could do to improve your employees life. That list becomes really long, like with all of the offerings out there, you've got Training and Development you've got, you know, giving, offering extra vacation or, you know, there's companies out there that are now buying employees their lunches or providing lunches on site with huge, you know, read redo your lunch room, redo your space, physical therapy, making sure that I mean, the lists of different that and it's, it's overwhelming for, for companies to be like, Well, how am I going to implement all of this? So the awesome thing is that you are actually seeing companies starting to implement one thing at a time over a period of time. And, and they're not just saying, okay, yeah, we're going to do that they're intentionally making an effort to make their employees lives better. But it's, it's like anything else, it doesn't happen in one day, it doesn't happen in two it happens in, you know, days and months and years. And, but I have seen drastic improvements, you know, there was a time where, when I would walk into some plants, I'm like, Well, I'm not going to use the bathroom here. Because they were, you just knew, like, you walk in and you're like, oh, this place is disgusting. And now I've walked into some manufacturing companies, and I'm like, Oh, my God, I could eat off this floor. It's so clean, it's so pristine. It's, you know, they, they make a huge effort to keep the temperature from being, you know, extremely high, despite the fact that they're running these hats, you know, large machines. They've got huge fans, you know, and that's a huge that's a big deal. Especially when, you know, machinists, you know, back in the old day, you expect them to come home dirty and covered in grease. And that's, that's not, that's not the way that it is anymore. And, and trust me, I grew up my it's, you know, just saw my, my dad to see or doing work. I just thought he, you know, when I was a little when a little kid, he worked at a at a machine company, and he used to come home and he was filthy. But now those those companies you don't, that's not the way that you have to come home anymore. I mean, and there's always the exception. You know, if you've ever walked into a foundry, it's possible to keep a foundry clean. But anyways, I digress. I'm completely off on a tangent here. So tell me a little bit more. Obviously, we've talked about you going physically into these organizations. Tell me a little bit more about you know, what you your business, you know, does back at your, you know, do you do everything from sports medicine to then tell me a little bit more about that.
Dr. Delaine Fowler 17:58
So PT clinic again, we're celebrating our 50th year anniversary today.
Leighann Lovely 18:03
Seriously, it's today? Yeah, today is
Dr. Delaine Fowler 18:05
our day. So we're everybody's excited. And you know, I started my PT clinic helping about 15 people a day. And again, now we help 10,000 people a day, and we help a lot of people my clinic, I'm lucky to have a tremendous team of physical therapists who see everybody from that little kid who is on the spectrum, and their mom just wants them to walk up and down the stairs better, right. So we'll see that kind of issue all the way, you know, to our athletes and our industrial athletes are our people who get hurt on the job. And we really rehabilitate those people who have had surgeries, and all the way up to our, our 90 plus year olds who are live and kick in and say, Look, I just want to be able to, you know, swing my golf club without my shoulder hurting. And so we take a lot of pride in helping our community in Salisbury and in Concord, North Carolina, with our PT care. So it's a lot of fun. It's great to be a part of the community. You know, everybody thinks about physical therapists and all you only go there when you have like when you're an athlete or something like that. And I am really trying to change the paradigm that if it's musculoskeletal, if it's an ache or a pain, that's from your muscles or your joints, a physical therapist should be in your ring of care. You should be in the middle of that care. We love to communicate with our physicians, we love to communicate with chiropractors and acupuncturist and massage therapists, whoever is in that paradigm for you. We think physical therapists should be one of those people and so I try to get the word out as much as possible that you know, so because some people will like it. Well, my I have arthritis in my hands and like yes. But is that really why you're hurting? It could be just tissue tension, because you're getting tight. So yeah, yeah, yeah,
Leighann Lovely 19:58
I've come to understand stands so much more about, I see, I see a chiropractor. And I've come to understand so much more about, you know, the nervous system and understanding, you know, if you get that nervous system working properly, and you know, all of that kind of stuff, and I've seen a physical therapist multiple times throughout my, my life, I'm starting to get old now. So I can, you know, now check the box of all of the doctors that you know, I've had, and as you start to
Dr. Delaine Fowler 20:31
get older every day, yeah.
Leighann Lovely 20:33
And I completely agree you, you absolutely you need to, you know, have all of those individuals communicating. Because if they're not, it's like just throwing darts at the board, and hoping that you hit the right spot. But yeah, I, I still do the recommendations of my physical therapist and my chiropractor and keep myself, you know, straight as I hunching over in my chair.
Dr. Delaine Fowler 21:08
And so that's what I'm talking about physical therapy. Do
Leighann Lovely 21:12
I know sit up straight, like, oh, yeah, not my past.
Dr. Delaine Fowler 21:16
The dreaded P word, the posture or Yeah.
Leighann Lovely 21:20
And my posture is terrible. Like, I'll remind myself on a regular basis, like stop like hunching over, like, yeah, it's terrible.
Dr. Delaine Fowler 21:31
You see thing with a chair, when you sit in a chair quite a bit like I do a standing desk. So I, it took me a couple of months to train into it, to stand like I used to, I will be able to stand in the morning, but towards about two o'clock or so I'm like, not think anymore, let me sit down so I can think. But it took me about six weeks. And now I can stand and think and write and do all those things. So I like my, my standing mobility desk is like falling because I can put my feet up and I can put my feet in any way just move whatever I want. But the nice thing about chair is that you can take a towel and roll it up about this big and put it in your low back. And then that that automatically pulls you back. And so you don't even have to think about it. It's just there. So when you're driving when you're sitting in a chair, and I
Leighann Lovely 22:15
actually have a pillow that little, the little the little minute. However, I never actually
Dr. Delaine Fowler 22:22
you can't get back onto it.
Leighann Lovely 22:23
I never actually sit back I'm always on the end of my chair. Which is terrible. Like I always am on the end of my chair, always leaning forward always. And that's my, that's my horrible, like posture thing. And then by the end of the day, I'm like, Why do my elbows hurt? Because I'm always leaning on my elbows. I'm always you know, have my, my, you know, and if the if the audience could actually see us, you know, I'm putting my chin and my hand and by the end of the day and my face hurts because I'm like, doing all these goofy. I don't know, I my husband is my husband would come in to you. And he's like, you've got that look on your face. And I'm like, what look and he's like that stupid. Look, you get what you're deep in thought. And I'm like, Ah, thanks, honey. But I have friends who I've met. I'm actually met at work. who've known me for 15 one well, one my actually one of my best friends. She She says it too. She's like, you get this work. Look. She's like, and she goes, it's like the stupidest look. And I'm like, great. That's That's fabulous.
Dr. Delaine Fowler 23:32
When my when my middle son my nine year old is really if he's done this since he was little when he's really focusing he sticks his tongue out. Oh does see. Jordan, you know, like, Yeah,
Leighann Lovely 23:42
I do this thing with my lips. Apparently. Where am I pucker my lips or something? And I've had multiple people go, what are you doing with your lips? And I'm like, I don't know. Thinking, right? The game really hard. And then one day I actually saw my my grandfather doing something with his lips. And I was like, I wonder if that's what I do. He's like puckers his lips out. And I'm like, I bet you that's what I do. It looks really dumb.
Dr. Delaine Fowler 24:16
We all have we all have our studies or kind of crazy things we do.
Leighann Lovely 24:19
Yeah. Yes, we do. We all have our, like resting. I'm gonna say that for the rest of your face. But yeah,
Dr. Delaine Fowler 24:29
Yeah, I always say we're all beautifully and wonderfully made and all unique. And so we have to appreciate that uniqueness about ourselves and accept it for what it is.
Leighann Lovely 24:38
And now in the Zoom world and in all of the technology, I am forced to look at myself and realize the faces that I sometimes make and I'm going Oh, okay. So what are some what are some of the advice you give to people, whether they're, you know, standing all day working or sitting all day? I mean,
Dr. Delaine Fowler 24:59
Yeah, So so for people who work from home and people who are in offices, we were we weren't built to be still, whether it's sitting or standing, we were built to move, even, they did research on astronauts, and they put them up into space and said, Okay, when they sleep because there's no gravity, they're going to move, they're not going to move. Because they won't have the weight, their joints won't want, don't, don't need to readjust, they'll be happy. But the truth is, they move all the time. And in space, and almost as much as they do on Earth, while sleeping. And so I want to, for everybody to own the fact that our bodies and our brains are very much connected, that that we have to emotionally unwind, physically unwind within that rest time while we're sleeping. And so getting good rest, it's not just good for you to for just your brain and your body, but them together. So I always encourage people, like, if you want to have a better work life, getting that sleep and unwinding in that sleep and allowing yourself to unwind in that time is really, really important and finding a quality sleep. And then from a desk point, again, I call my desk, my mobility desk is a standing desk, but I can put my feet up, I can put my feet over on my desk, I can work like this, I can work like this, I can work straight on. So I give myself a lot of options to stand, I change my shoes out, I'll take my shoes off, I'll do all those things. So it's it's good to stay mobile. You know, you can do all sorts of split stance, like, put one foot behind the other to work. And all that is really good for you throughout the day. But just standing in one place, or sitting one place all day, it really is draining on our energy sources in our middle capacity throughout the day.
Leighann Lovely 26:59
Interesting. So I gotta go back to this in space thing. Yeah, so even. So I always assumed that the reason that your body you know, when at rest, that the reason that your body moved is because you were putting pressure in for a long period of time on on one side of your body, or you're putting pressure on on something and that you're adjusting for what you just said, because it's an uncomfort thing, or so even in, in rest in space when there is that that concern because there is no gravity, you have no pressure point. The brain is still saying that you should move. And why do you why do you think that is?
Dr. Delaine Fowler 27:49
I think again, I just think that our systems are built to move people are meant to move, we don't move enough. And in our in our societies today, we've devalued Exercise and Movement. And what that would what that really looks like for human beings, right? We've been using these big ol brains and saying, Well, we got to pick our brains, why do we need the rest of it? Right? This little meat pod that I'm in can just do whatever. But with why I think the astronauts move is because and why we move at night is because we're emotionally unwinding throughout the day. So I don't know if you've ever had an emotional release. I'm so lucky that as a student, as a PT student, I had this lady and she was lovely. I was trying to help her get her right shoulder. It was a phrase that she had a frozen shoulder. And we were working on it working on it. But we couldn't get that last like 20 degrees of flexion. She just could not get there. And so one day is like Okay, listen, I'm gonna stick my hand in your armpit. I'm gonna massage a muscle that's in there just to see I don't know, you know, I'm just gonna try this. Are you good with it? She's like, Yeah, we get we're having a lovely conversation laughing talking. I stuck my hand in her armpit and she lost it. Like full a full on ugly cry. And she said, I don't know why I'm crying. She's like, it doesn't hurt. She's like, I don't know why I'm crying. She cried three more times. We got the range of motion back. But in that moment, I realized that we get emotions and memories and all these things stuck somewhere. Occasionally, I wouldn't say they're all the time. But and if we're not moving enough, we're not allowing our emotional selves and our mental selves to have the full capacity of their our health. Right? We do it so so I think the astronauts move because they're they're physically manifesting their thoughts and emotions and they need to a way to escape.
Leighann Lovely 29:50
Interesting and wow, that and that's that's an amazing story. And and I think that you're very correct in that move. meant is is not just about the simple movement that there's there's more to it that it is our brains way of expressing. Because, again, you'll see that in, in a complete crowd, for instance, who's experiencing something profound or for you go to a concert, right? All of a sudden, you see everybody at the same time jumping up and down, and you're like, why is everybody's reaction to jump up and down at a very, you know, excite exciting sound? Why isn't it? Right? And then all of a sudden, you go to, you know, a different venue where it's a very emotional song and you see everybody go very still, you know, you don't, it's, it's almost, like you said primal, it's, it's like your body is natural reaction is it follows the brains, obviously, the brain, you know, controls the body, but those, you know, you don't see somebody jumping up and down. Typically, when it's a very emotional, you know, sad or profound, you don't typically somebody jumping up and down, right?
Dr. Delaine Fowler 31:11
So the interesting thing about so even even a person who doesn't have their sight, if they are running and win the race, they still go into victory, even if they can't see that, you know, they still so we as as human beings, we have our signs for you know, I am victorious I am this I am that, why? Why do moms, dads probably do it too. But why do moms when they have their babies on their hip? Are they doing? Rock? Right, right? I don't hold my four year old all that much anymore, but I usually keep what usually wants me to hold him while we're at church. And like, there'll be music going on. So I just find myself like so, so funny, but I don't do it. If he's not I'm not wanting,
Leighann Lovely 31:57
right. No, no, I, I always whenever I was holding my, my daughter, and she's five now so I can barely pick her up and hold her for any length of time.
Dr. Delaine Fowler 32:09
Those suckers get heavy,
Leighann Lovely 32:11
I know, she tries to jump in my lap. And I'm like, I have to brace myself. Now. I'm like, Oh, my God. But But you're right, there is universal things that people do without, without even knowing that they're doing it. blind individual, even people who, you know, people who are deaf, they will make the same, you know, almost types of noises. And they can't even hear themselves. But they will still you know, and those who do make noises who do have some verbal, they will still make the, you know, ah, when they're excited? Yes. But they don't they don't hear that there are universal things that are ingrained in us from whatever, right, something it's the same thing again, you know, if you were to start to study animal behavior and things like that, why is it that animals that have never seen each other from across, you know, hundreds of miles of way? All do an act the same way? If they're the same species? Right? You know, then we can go into the whole psychology of how is it that the whales in the ocean seeing a new? Or is it whales or dolphins?
Dr. Delaine Fowler 33:18
Yeah, dolphins with my kids, we're talking about how different animals in the ocean communicate? And how, like, all the whales have a different song. And every year, it's different. Yeah, that's just incredible. And yeah, people are a lot like that. So and it kind of goes back to what you were talking about why, why why do people not self advocate? Why are Why are we sitting stuck with our employers, instead of you know, speaking up and having an outlet for it, we have some incredible employers. And so if if you have a complaint about your area, or something going wrong in your area, you can record it and goes on a task list. We've solved one big problem for one of our employers in there, where we're helping prioritize those task lists in an order of physical demand. And, and and how many people it affects, right? So it could be a low physical demand, but if it's affecting 400 people, maybe that's a priority, right? So and, and so we're helping that them along and have have certainly crunched down on their tasks, but it gives the employee an outlet, even if there's somebody who, you know, doesn't like to make waves or whatever. And I think sometimes, if we've had an upbringing to where, like mom and dad are the authority, they are right teacher is authority, he or she is right, you know, in and you're lost in that versus let me find my own voice. You may end up being that employee that's like, well, I can't say anything, even though like my wrist is killing me. So I appreciate companies who will give people a way to self advocate And also we need to remember to, on the employee side, assume one of my HR friends the other day said, assume good intentions. If we just started with, let's assume good intentions, until it's proven otherwise, on both sides of that coin, and to be kind to your manager, because a lot of times first line managers like, this is the first time they're doing this, this is like their first rodeo, and trying to figure all of it out, and you want them to be the expert, because because they have the title of manager or HR person or whatever. They're still growing too. And so I, we try to talk a lot about that as consultants as well. I tried to tell our athletic trainers, who might have been athletic trainers for a long time and doing consulting with with us in our industries and say, look like you're gonna run into managers with the managers for a long time, you got ones that were just last week in the employee shoes, and now they're managers. So let's, let's give them the benefit of the doubt and help them along.
Leighann Lovely 36:02
Right, right. And those in those first time managers are often you know, everybody's going to run to them, they have a relationship with all the employees, everybody's going to unload on them. And they're gonna go, oh, I can't go to my manager with all of this, because you know, now they're trying to navigate what that looks like,
Dr. Delaine Fowler 36:22
right? Yeah, my husband's. He's, he had a small management group, before he took his new job, and now he's over managers. And so that's been a new dynamic for him. It's been fun to watch him grow in saying like, how do I, it's not really about me, managing all the people under my team, it's about me helping my managers be better managers, right. And so it's kind of fun to watch his progress as he develops. And then and to take that in as myself to you. I have a I have a team of 50 people and 40 and 40 to 50 people that that work in our company. And so, yeah, it's easy for me just to pick up the phone and solve a problem that that's maybe probably not what I should be doing. And so I try to remind myself, like, let me let my manager sign. Let me let our CEO shine and do the right things.
Leighann Lovely 37:09
And that's amazing. So I want to point that out again, before we start to wrap up, and I asked you the question the season, you said 15 years? It is because this is not going to go out today. It is September 1 today, and you've celebrating 15 years in business. Congratulations. That's absolutely amazing. You started off with just you and how did your business start?
Dr. Delaine Fowler 37:35
Yeah, so I had a front office person, me part time and a PT assistant part time and then I had to work another job to make ends meet. So so for about three years, I I worked part time in my business as I grew that PT assistant to a full time and kept working my other job. And then I was pregnant with my first son. And I took this leap of hiring this amazing PT and I and she was really taking a risk on us too, because she was already she had already been a manager. And I asked her and I'll never forget, I asked her in her interview, I'm like, you already have a great job, I cannot pay you what you're making. And I was like, why would you want to come work for me. And she said, Because I have a six month old at home that I see before she gets up in the morning. And after she goes to bed. Because as I managed a role she was working 1214 hours a day. And so I we I gave her her her time with her children back and gave her a steady job to work in and she gave me an amazing time. So that was 10 years ago, we just celebrated her 10 year anniversary. That's correct. And those those kinds of stories that's really it wasn't me that did it. It was all the people along the way that we're diving in to say we care about people and my you know, I can't I can't be in 22 states at one time, right? But we can find people who care about people who are we have a in our mission statement that we are a group of happy engaging passionate professionals. And so if we can show up like that every day for our clients and our employees like we're doing the right thing
Leighann Lovely 39:16
that that is an absolute amazing story and wow in sometimes that's that's what it takes is finding the people who who want to have that journey with you. However however selfish it may be, excuse me however selfish it may be. It becomes a an absolute beautiful story and a beautiful Oh, that sounds so cool. I was gonna say in a beautiful friendship.
Dr. Delaine Fowler 39:46
You know, and and I I love I love people in general and I care about people a lot. So it's it's fun to work with people that are just fun to work with. Right Yeah, in and keep growing, there are a lot of people to help. Our big goal is to help 50,000 People now, right? We're helping 10,000 People now, we want to help 50,000 people, well, we have the system, do it, we have all the data show it works. And and now we just are excited to help whoever wants to open that door.
Leighann Lovely 40:21
That's amazing. So I'm going to ask you the question of the season. What do you think will go down in the history books? From what the world has experienced over the last three years?
Dr. Delaine Fowler 40:33
Yes, well, I definitely don't think the world will ever be the same. And, you know, in the last three years we've had aI was happening before the last three years for sure. I've I certainly had different things that you would have to pay for that would write things for you and do things for you, a Netflix, Amazon, that's all AI. But with the Donna Donna, these more public domains that are free for people, and the start of computer learning computer model learning. I think that that in itself, the pandemic, it's going to change everything about how we all do our jobs. And I think the lesson we need to learn is that even though we all get older every day, there's no reason to stop learning, we have to keep learning because if not, we're gonna get replaced even as a physical therapist, even as an HR person, even as a podcaster. You know, is chat GPT good enough to replace the podcaster? No, because a podcaster is relaying off of what the guest is saying. And the guest is talking to so just the new jobs that are going to come out of this last three years, between the pandemic how fast we were able to create a vaccine from genetic, you know, genes and RNA, like, that's just mind boggling that we'll be able to tack attack, you know, outside sources that are at bay, you know, are keeping us at bay from a society to grow. It's just gonna be wild to watch. But I think the the lesson we have to learn is that we can't stop learning, we have to keep figuring out those next steps to keep us as a human race together. To love one another to care about one another. I, I borrow my kids from being online too much, because we have friends down the street. So I'd rather than going hang out with the friends down the street than the greater world even if they're best friends online. I'm like, Yeah, but they're not with you. Right? You need to be in their energy. You need to be with them and move with them, not sit out on the couch and and play with them. They are that's all well and good. And it can help people connect when they need to. But it's not a it's not a solution for community and care and all that. So I think that even though we have this world that's so vast now and like, Yeah, I'm calling you from your work together. I'm in North Carolina, where you are. And it's just so I think that learning how to connect and learning how to love one another even if we know our worlds are much bigger is really important.
Leighann Lovely 43:20
I that is an awesome, awesome answer. And I remember the first time like this was this was pokeymon go time. Okay, so this was quite a few years ago. But I remember the first time I saw a little he wasn't so little but he was he was probably about 12. He looked like he was 17 he was so tall. Such he was just a huge kid. His dad was a very large man. And I remember he and his friend were outside. And I'm like, I looked at my husband. I said, What are they doing? And he goes, I'm not really sure. And I'm like, do they have like an iPhone or an iPad? So they were outside they were they were outside playing? They must have been like, hey, go outside and play but they they had they had like a, an iPad. And they were doing this whole Pokeyman go thing and I'm like, I don't get it. Like, what? What happened to the days of kids just going outside and kicking a soccer ball around? And you know, and then we learned about this whole Pokeyman go thing happening? And then you just saw every button like, what is this? Like what is happening to the world where you can't even go outside and play without technology in your hand. I mean, and obviously this was many years ago, but this was still like to me who's 42 years old. I wrote in the summer, I rode my bike to my girlfriend's house. We then rode our bikes all over the city. We went to the beach and we went but again, we didn't have some phones. I didn't get my first cell phone until I was 18 years old 19 Sometime in that time period, and it was this, it was huge.
Dr. Delaine Fowler 45:11
I had the break that I was not allowed to touch unless it was an emergency in my car.
Leighann Lovely 45:15
Yeah, my parents had a had a car phone, it was actually it was actually installed in their car. And I used to pretend that I like was talking, because I was cool. But, you know,
Dr. Delaine Fowler 45:30
I nology it's amazing. Like, you know, technology's amazing. But it's not a replacement for connecting with one another. And it's not a it's not a replacement for not moving. Again, I think our mental health is suffering because we're not moving enough. And so I throw my kids outside as as much as possible not to get them out of my hair. I go and sit outside as much as possible. One of my friends was like, I was complaining about something she like, you need to check your vitamin D right. Now my mind would be fine, because I'm outside.
Leighann Lovely 46:00
Right? And that's the other thing is how like, mental health is suffering? Well, vitamin D, how many? How frequently do people sit in their homes versus sitting outside in the sun. And that is, you know, my doctor still to this day, in the winter will recommend make sure you take your vitamin D because you're not outside as as often. Well, how I mean, that's got to be weighing on the world, because we're not outside as much as we used to be. Well, anyways, we're,
Dr. Delaine Fowler 46:33
Those are mine. Those are my three, I appreciate your your thoughts, too, because it's, it's important. Yeah, it's important for us to raise a generation of the next generation in the right way. And to help people who work really hard. I always say, during the pandemic, when I would go to some of our facilities, one of them is a grocery store. And I would go there and almost start crying saying thank you to those employees for showing up to work. Because if they didn't show up, like I'm from the south, but I cannot grow a carrot like I can't, I don't hunt, I can't shoot a gun. So So and while I probably could shoot one, but I'm not gonna hit anything. And so to to have people who are showing up to work so I can have food on my table, I can feed my children, that's really, really important. And so I just really appreciate people doing the things that make the world go round.
Leighann Lovely 47:24
Yep. Oh, yeah. And that brings me back to something I was going to say before, when you when we were talking about the whole thing about moving, we were back when humans first existed, that is what the body was made for. We weren't made for having these high, intelligent brains, we had them. We were capable of making tools. But our bodies were created in order to have the capacity to hunt, to gather, to be able to be on the move from the time that we woke up in the morning until the time that we went to bed. And that, you know, and we don't do that anymore. We now go to the grocery store and buy our food. So I'm gonna guess that part of the reason that our bodies are created to move is because that's what we needed to do in order to survive. Right?
Dr. Delaine Fowler 48:13
Yeah, again, it's so primal. It's so fundamental, just to move in and to allow that instead of to fight that kind of like we talked about your lizard brain, right? The, you know, we're always talking my god fight your lizard brain. Well, maybe in this case, we don't need to fight our lizard brain, we just need to give into it and to be active. And once you crest over, oh, I am a human moving. I'm not just a human being, then then we can really get somewhere. I send my kids to a particular school. And I used to Jopling say I'm like, yeah, they move more than now I say no, they move they move more like they have more recess. They have more experiential learning where they're actually, instead of learning about the plane on screen, they're going outside and finding the plants. Right, yeah, all those things. And so I send my kids to their school because I know they move more. And that's more important to me than any book learning that they're doing during the day.
Leighann Lovely 49:06
Awesome. If somebody wanted to reach out to you, how would they go about doing that?
Dr. Delaine Fowler 49:11
Absolutely. So they are welcome to contact us and on our website, accelerate-pt.com And you can click on my name and email me right there. So that's the easiest way to get a hold of me. And if you want to talk to my team there, everybody's on there all the time so we can hit you back and love to chat.
Leighann Lovely 49:36
Awesome. This has been such an amazing conversation. I really appreciate you coming on and sharing. You know about yourself and your story. Yeah, I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.
Dr. Delaine Fowler 49:49
No I, appreciate you having me on me. This was great. Super Amazing as a host, so appreciate you.
Leighann Lovely 49:54
Yeah. Well, thank you. You have a great day. Thank you again for listening to letste Hawk HR I appreciate your time and support without you the audience this would not be possible so don't forget that if you enjoyed this episode to follow us, like us or share us have a wonderful day