FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – WANE 15 caught up with Fort Wayne resident Silvia Diaz walking slowly to her physical therapy appointment. Earlier this year she had surgery on her left foot for Planter Fasciitis, a tissue inflammation that can cause intense heel pain. But thanks to a Spanish speaking staff she’s on the road to recovery at Steppin’ Up Physical Therapy. “Es muy importante para mi,” said Diaz. Translated, that means “It’s very important to me.”
Jordan Tait is Diaz’s bilingual physical therapist. “It’s very important for Silvia to have a Spanish speaking physical therapist because she can understand everything that’s being said to her, not just some things,” said Tait. “When it comes to her treatment we’re really just helping provide different aspects to calm her pain down and to help the surgery that she had done in a way that she can get back to walking normally.”
“You have to take care of the person first and then get to the specific physical therapy components,” said Steppin’ Up owner Jason Hazelett. “Patients that come that speak Spanish but can’t speak English can come and have their session in their own tongue. They don’t have to bring a translator. Sometimes that’s a problem with scheduling. If you have to bring a translator you’ve got to get their schedule to match yours.”
Steppin’ Up has a handful of offices around Fort Wayne. The location at 3805 South Calhoun Street on Fort Wayne’s south side has the most Spanish speaking employees. “There’s a handful of us at this clinic and we’ve just hired a new therapist that speaks Spanish,” said Tait.
“It’s been 16 years,” said Hazelett. “We started on the south side and it’s just been good to be in the community.” Steppin’ Up follows a motto Hazelett adopted years ago. “It’s compassion, hospitality, and results. “I always say people don’t really care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
For patients like Silvia Diaz that “care” also comes in the form of a Spanish speaking staff that has been instrumental in helping her get back on her feet. “She’s come quite a long way,” said Tait. “There’s still a little ways to go but she’s making very good progress.”
“Muchas gracias por ayudarme a seguir adelante,”said Diaz. Translated, that means “Thank you very much for helping me move forward.”
Watch WANE 15 Saturday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m. for a half-hour special called Indiana’s Hispanic Heritage. Steppin’ Up Physical Therapy is sponsoring the 30 minute program.