After spending a lifetime in various medical professions, Melanie Reynolds is a little perplexed by the lack of medical services near her home in the Eagle Crest Resort.

So Reynolds, 62, was overjoyed to learn that Step & Spine Physical Therapy was opening its fourth location in the resort.

“It’s going to be fantastic, I’m going to love it,” Reynolds said Feb. 21, the day before her first scheduled appointment at the new Step & Spine at 7555 Falcon Crest Drive. “I’m excited about having one much closer. I wish there were a lot more things out here.”

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a day on the golf course, Eagle Crest might be the place for you. But for residents of the resort’s 1,500 homes, essential services have usually meant a trip to Redmond or Sisters.

Residents like Reynolds hope that could be changing. The new Step & Spine location had a soft opening last week, with services to help with musculoskeletal and movement disorders gradually being phased in.

After moving from Illinois to work at Redmond’s Step & Spine location, physical therapist Katie Ferraro noticed a large number of her patients came in from Eagle Crest. She said the majority of her clients were dealing with injuries from sports like golf and pickleball, which are a way of life at Eagle Crest.

With Eagle Crest’s Redmond mailing address, it was not easy to initially detect how many clients came from the community, located six miles east of town.

“The more you speak to people, they say, ‘I live at Eagle Crest,’ ‘Oh, I live out there,’ ” Ferraro recalled. “Someone rolls over and says, ‘Oh, I live out there, too.’ ”

Hiking is another activity popular around Eagle Crest that also leads to physical therapy visits, Ferraro said.

Ferraro is starting off splitting her time between the Redmond and Eagle Crest clinics. She said the new location will start with only her and an office worker, but will add a second physical therapist in the next couple months and will eventually move administration from Redmond, allowing that clinic to expand.

“Usually, when you start a clinic, you start with a skeleton crew and build from there,” she said.

Along with Eagle Crest residents, the new clinic also serves people who live on ranches and other property between Redmond and Sisters, where Step & Spine has another location (the fourth location is in Bend).

“That’s what surprised me, I thought it was a Sunriver type resort, but there are a lot of residents,” Ferraro said.

As of the 2010 census, Eagle Crest had just under 1,696 residents, though it was unclear how many live there year round.

The response to the new Step & Spine has been positive.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of people say, ‘If I don’t have to go into town, I’m thrilled,’ ” Ferraro said.

While Ferraro is seeing patients in one of the four treatment rooms at Eagle Crest, Step & Spine was still waiting for permits to remove a large wall, allowing it to put in a 500-square-foot gym area, she said. The new clinic will also have a 660-square-foot open therapy room. She estimates that will take another week or two to get permits, but the remaining work will be completed quickly afterward.

Reynolds, who now owns a Salem-based in-home care business after also working for years as a medical assistant and dental hygienist, said Ferraro might be the new location’s best asset.

“I think she’s a great P.T.,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds hopes the physical therapy location is only the beginning for Eagle Crest.

“I think there’s no reason people can’t share an office,” she said. “To have a few facilities out here, I think, is just a smart move.”

— Reporter: 541-548-2186, gfolsom@redmondspokesman.com

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