Dr. Michelle Collie, DPT, MS, OCS, grew up on a sheep farm in New Zealand and after a high school sports injury required her to attend physical therapy, she found her passion. In 1994 she earned a bachelor's degree in physiotherapy from the University of Otago. Within the year, she found herself moving to Rhode Island to work and help with the shortage of physical therapists in the U.S.
In 2000, Michelle joined Performance Physical Therapy when it was just a 2-clinic practice in and around Pawtucket, RI and spent the next 3 years working with patients during the day and attending graduate school in the evenings. In 2003, when Michelle was 8 months pregnant, she took over as the owner and CEO of Performance and began the journey of taking the practice to new heights.
Over the next 5 years, Performance evolved, opening new locations in Providence, East Providence, Barrington, and Pawtucket. At this time, most of the current leadership team also began their careers with Performance. Our COO, Dr. Lisa DeCoste, DPT, OCS and Chief Compliance Officer, Dr. Yvonne Swanson, DPT, MSPT, OCS were working as physical therapists. Our Chief Programs Officer, Dr. Brian Hay, DPT, MS, OCS was working as an exercise specialist while attending the University of New England, and our Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. David Pavao, DPT, OCS, CSCS was completing student hours while earning his Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Rhode Island.
Michelle was growing a business and family together, “and it was a chaotic juggle of excitement” she smiled. It meant making many scarifies at times, choosing between business, family, and friends. "Performance has always been a part of my family and will always be one of my babies "she expressed. At times, the sacrifices could be challenging, but treating Performance as part of the family has really helped Michelle mold Performance to be supportive, understanding, and respectful of every individual who walks through the door whether that be patient or staff. “We know that everyone has family, obligations, illness, tragedy, happiness, and excitement with life, but being a part of Performance means traveling through those journeys together and being there to support both staff and patients through it” shared Michelle.
From 2013, the Leadership team strengthened, and Dr. Lisa DeCoste, Dr. Brian Hay, Dr. David Pavao, Dr. Yvonne Swanson, and Dr. Joe Russolello, DPT, OCS, became minority owners of Performance, allowing Performance to continue to be a 100% locally owned and locally operated physical therapy company. Diversifying the ownership and the development of a partner program allowed for increased opportunities for our local healthcare providers.
In 2016, Performance hit one of its greatest milestones, opening the flagship clinic out of Pawtucket. This 10,000 sq. ft. clinic with state-of-the-art equipment, an anti-gravity treadmill, and HydroWorx pool, allowed our staff greater access to the tools needed to provide the best care.
Performance has continued to increase its geographical footprint in Rhode Island due to the desires of staff wanting professional opportunities and our understanding of the need for physical therapy access throughout the state. Locations have opened in Smithfield, North Providence, East Greenwich, Middletown, Woonsocket, Warren, Richmond, and even expanding the way into Attleboro, MA. And with each new location comes a new clinic director that is willing and able to lead the clinic and provide the best care to that community.
Performance will continue to strategically grow and evolve based on the needs of our community and the desires of our staff. Performance is here to challenge the status quo of what healthcare can offer a community and teach the community that physical therapy is much more about health and living life than just managing an injury, disability, or illness. Performance strives to push boundaries and challenge the traditional biases of what healthcare is and should be. Most importantly, Performance educates and empowers the community to live healthier lives and provides innovative and result-driven care so we can provide the best care for patients, and the people that work here.
Dr. Collie envisions that one-day physical therapists will be a part of everyone's healthcare team, so if someone is having back pain, is unable to work or complete a leisure activity, or anytime they find themselves having limitations to their daily life, they will contact their physical therapist