Founded in 2016 by David and Carolyn Lawrence, The Mission Gait Foundation is an extension of their personal faith and commitment to serve others and make a difference. They created this public charity 501(c)(3), to provide training, education, and research to improve the quality of care provided to those with gait pathologies here in the United States and around the world.
After only 3 years, Mission Gait’s training of 101 professional clinicians will reach 202,000 patients. 375 students have been trained in-person, and there are countless free resources on the website for college professors, all across the US, to utilize with students. The Mission Gait YouTube channel, offering free educational videos, is a HUGE hit around the world, with over 106,000 video views in 100+ countries!
We encourage you to explore the Mission Gait Foundation website, where you will find free helpful resources for patients and caregivers, event information, and inspirational stories on the blog!!
So how did all of this come to be?!? Read below, a letter from David and Carolyn
Hello friends and patients,
You know us as the proud owners of the physical therapy practice, Lawrence Rehabilitation – The Gait Center. We personally wanted to answer questions we hear on a daily basis regarding the larger-than-life-sized posters in our lobby, the numerous framed newspaper and magazine articles, as well as, the wall signage – What is “Mission Gait/The Road to Recovery?” Let us start by giving you a little history about how The Gait Center came to be the community/family environment our patients have come to know and trust for physical therapy. Thirty years ago I came to Virginia to the McGuire Veterans Administration Hospital with the goal of creating a physical therapy model that would provide the highest quality of patient care. My focus was on treating patients suffering injuries or illnesses (sometimes catastrophic) which limited their ability to walk and live independently. My model of care proved successful…leading to my passion and commitment to always provide care to patients in this manner, as well as, create and provide education and training for other therapists.
Fourteen years ago, as our country's healthcare system was evolving towards a high patient volume, fast paced, low physical contact, and thus lower quality model, Carolyn and I chose not to go down that path. Instead, we believed in our model, and opened The Gait Center. As you have experienced, we provide the highest quality care to all patients, including those with the greatest needs, through a lower volume, slower paced, and high contact approach. So with our unique and successful patient care model, and now a successful PT practice model (both outside of what has become the norm in healthcare) . . . we have proven that this type of quality care can be provided and sustained.
Carolyn chiming in here! David really does “know what he is doing.” He has been asked for 25+ years to lecture across the country and around the world on aspects of our model and educational materials. Let me brag a bit . . . He is a sought-after internationally renowned rehab professional and educator!! #proudwife It has been incredible to see the changes that he has made in people’s lives, and his never-ending passion to share his knowledge with other therapists and students. We both agreed that there must be a better way to make a measurable improvement in the quality of physical therapy across the profession, not just within our Gait Center. Patients come to us from many miles and many states away because they need the level of quality care we provide. However, this is not sustainable, patients deserve quality care in their communities. We knew we needed to make a more significant impact! So right as we were becoming empty-nesters this happened . . .
At the end of 2016, with encouragement and support from grateful patients, we launched our nonprofit foundation, Mission Gait. Woo Hoo! Our goal was, and is, to empower rehabilitation professionals to better serve patients in their own communities by providing training and advanced educational and research materials. Our talented team at Mission Gait is developing new intellectual materials needed to truly help patients. These are materials and research that simply didn’t exist. With the Mission Gait platform we are able to share these vital resources to healthcare professionals and patients alike across the globe. Materials online are all free of charge! www.missiongait.org We encourage you to make use of these free resources and share with your family, friends, and caregivers. (Our YouTube channel videos are especially popular!) The more you share, the more people will receive the level of care they deserve.
So, who are the people on our life-sized posters? Our Mission Gait heroes/ambassadors! These are real patients of The Gait Center who are sharing their experience to help “tell the story” of why the work of Mission Gait is so desperately needed. They believe in the patient care model because they are living their lives each day with more freedom and ability – thanks to the type of rehabilitation they received. They are “the proof!” www.missiongait.org/the-proof The walls of our lobby are also covered in inspirational stories of triumph over physical hardships. Again, these are all Gait Center patients. They have become our friends. These are people we care about and why we are inspired to reach and help as many patients as possible with Mission Gait.
We would very much like to keep you aware and informed of the good work being done through our foundation, Mission Gait; including the latest resources, research, activities, events and campaigns. www.missiongait.org
We are truly proud to provide these resources and we hope you will find them both inspiring and beneficial. Thank you in advance for your interest. Please stay safe and well.
David and Carolyn Lawrence
Owners, Lawrence Rehabilitation – The Gait Center
Founders, Mission Gait Foundation