I’m Sascha and I’m the CEO of PhysioFirst PC INC. & Capture Therapeutics. I started these practices with one purpose: to offer an improved healthcare experience to everyone. This purpose, that I hold with such strong belief, is for the betterment of both our patients and our employees. I believe that I am pushing the pace to make a difference, a difference in which would encourage patients to trust the process, and feel like professionals are doing all that they can for quality of life betterment. I have lived it, seen it, and have heard patients discuss about how often they simply feel like “a number”, rather than a face in the healthcare system. Furthermore, I wanted to develop a clinic that would change this conception of health care, with a team of professional that worked together and truly communicated common goals within the context of patient-centered care.
I am originally from Grand Falls, New Brunswick. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick, and later pursued my Master’s degree at McMaster’s University in Ontario. During my years at McMaster, I truly discovered the potential of healthcare and was able to learn the ins and out of multidisciplinary care, to which I discovered that many patients were missing out on. In Ontario, I also had some exposure to women’s health and pediatrics. After completing my masters, I returned to Grand Falls to begin practicing privately and pursued a Doctorate degree through a program in the United States.
After my doctorate graduation I decided that I needed to start something from scratch, something that served a greater purpose. I wanted patients to have a safe and private space in which they could discuss their health issues without fear of being judged. I wanted patients to know that they were truly being heard, and most importantly, I wanted them to feel like they mattered. It was my goal to provide a feeling of comfort and ease in our clinics, and to eliminate the “medical” feel that most patients have experienced before. Thus, I have been able to create clinics that thrive on making patients feel “at home”. If you walk into one of our clinics, I hope that is what you capture: a sense of belonging and a group of professionals that hold your wellbeing at heart. I also wanted a state of the art facility where we could provide an edge for all patients whom are on the path to recovery.
Over the last year, I’ve had the honor of joining the Wallace McCain Institute’s ELP program, where I have been able to gain an exquisite level of knowledge. They have provided me opportunities I could not have dreamt of a year ago. The only way I can truly put this amazing program into words, is by comparing it to a compass; a tool that kept me from spinning out of control and guiding me in the proper direction for my life. The guidance from this program has given me clarity, which is key to execution.
My goal: I want to grow my practice in the local region, as well as, bring ‘OUR’ services to others throughout the Atlantic region. I want to serve the rural populations whom are lacking access to such services, and give them a chance to experience our impeccable offerings. I want to normalize embarrassing health issues and make them part of everyday conversations. I want us to all live a happier and healthier life through openness and understanding. But, first we need to lift the bar on our standards for health care and demand better for ourselves and our families.
My love lies in the entrepreneurial life. I also have a professional drive for consultations and pelvic health/women’s health.I spend my days envisioning just how far we can push the limits in hopes of a better health care system.
We as clinicians must find ways to go above and beyond the limiting factors of our professions to help better serve the people of our communities. We must aim higher, and create new outlets and opportunities for healthcare.
In terms of my clinical interest of treating patients I mostly work with incontinence, sexual pain, breastfeeding concerns, pregnancy related questions/pains, paediatrics, and pessary fittings. I believe these topics are often avoided in daily conversations and often men and women are embarrassed about these issues. I wish to normalize these, and empower all to feel more at ease and more open to discuss them in groups, or in consultations.
I hope that when you enter our clinics - you feel safe, and “at home”. We want you to open up, be honest, and let us help you. We work as a team, and we vision our patients at the core of our team.
What are you most proud of professionally? And who or why?
Building a team and a unique culture. A culture that not only focuses on patients and their goals, but also teaches employees to encourage the highest level of support and confidence in such therapeutic practices.
We aspire to improve, to do better than we did the day prior, and to support each other to reach this common goal. We go the extra lengths to make this happen. We are all accountable as a group to achieve this vision. I take pride in helping these professionals grow into becoming educated leaders in their respective fields and industries, furthermore, I encourage them to take risks and push their limits. To challenge the status quo.
We encourage volunteering within the community and demand that our professionals give back to the youth through education programs and talks. We hope to become a standard in health care. We want people to recognize us for not only the quality of care we provide, but also for our uniqueness, transparency, and trustworthiness.
We want to ensure all our patients become empowered, feel “at home”, as well as, taken care of during these vulnerable moment in their lives. We want to eliminate the “health care cracks”. No more lost patients. No more forgotten patients. No more waiting.
We aim to make the journey easier and provide the right support to our clients/patients.
What’s your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?
I've been inspired to help Atlantic Canada grow! We are an amazing group of entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada and every day I learn more about the potential impact we can have on our own growth, simply by pushing our own limits, aiming higher, and growing ourselves personally and professionally.
It is thanks to the Wallace McCain Institute that I have learned to appreciate Atlantic Canada’s current potential and just how much this potential will grow if we invest in ourselves and the people around us.
What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?
Building our own offices for interdisciplinary practitioners in a rural community in Grand Falls, New Brunswick. We have plans for future growth, but up to date, this was the biggest shift we executed as a company. We grew from a staff of 3 to over 20 in less than a year and added a second location as well.
We take pride in pairing different professionals and creating a culture around professionals that have patient care as their number one priority. We are proud of what we have accomplished so far and only hope to push the limits drawn upon us. We envision having a greater impact on the Atlantic region in the coming years.
I’ve also started speaking at events, which has been a new found passion of mine. I truly enjoy discussing my challenges, fears, successes at both a business and personal level. Additionally, I have began delivering talks on topics that most find uncomfortable in the hopes of normalizing them. My goal is to support people through such issues and ensure that they are getting help when they need it. I believe providing individuals with a level of comfort for such topics gives them a chance to open up and no longer avoid them if they require immediate attention. I believe opening up in uncomfortable situations helps us grow stronger as individuals. In years to come, I hope to continue to do much more of this, and strive to help individuals grow in both professional and personal directions.
What’s your favourite or most read book or podcast?
Blue Ocean Strategy; The E-Myth; The Lean Startup; Start with Why; so so many. I dedicate to reading a book every 1-2 weeks. From personal growth to business topics to international trends. There are so many great books out there. I'm sure this answer could change weekly.
What’s your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?
Personal life vs. business life balance. It's a myth - they work together. Trying to balance them will lead to failure on one or both ends. Some days your attention is required on your business more than your family and other days your family may require more attention than the business. You need to apply yourself where the greatest impact will be felt in the right moments and with the right dosage. It’s not always easy, but thinking about it this way simplifies it, and makes you stray away from trying to score yourself as a failure or a success in one or both. I believe that my achievements or failures in business and/or personal life are interlocked. I often worried about balance, but what I have learned to realize is that it is just a framework- one that we let our minds divide the good and bad, dark and light. They aren’t absolutes, they are a continuum and I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing that you can be great at both if you reframe your thinking.
Who’s inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?
My grandmother has been my biggest inspiration and always will be. She built her and my grandfather's retirement fund when he fell ill at a young age. With little money she started small businesses to gain enough capital to open her dream business: a bridal boutique. She became a business woman when it was not normal for women to hold this title. She achieved her grade 12 diploma in her 70s! This was a dream she had set out for herself, being married at 17 and two kids on the hips by 18 - graduating had never been thought of as a reality, but she got it. She earned it.
After growing a business and selling it for retirement she never gave up and pushed herself to the next level. She picked up the pieces when they fell, finished raising her family, and lived well off during her retirement years due to her grit/perseverance and that "never give up" spirit she embodied.
What would you have done differently?
So much! That's the beauty of 20/20 hindsight. Honestly though, everything I did "wrong" taught me a new lesson on how to get it done right the next time. The primary steps get easier with every new venture, simply because you are able to learn from your prior doings, you are more educated, and you have seen similar barriers before. As you grow with newer and bigger ventures, you are able to cope with new barriers that you have never seen before. But, thanks to your effort and work ethic in the past you are able to overcome these obstacles. You become more confident in all that you do, and have belief in your ability. Having said that, I wouldn’t do anything differently as it made me the person I am today. My doings granted me with a different level of experience and taught me that every tackled challenge will compensate with a easy step in the next adventure.
What were your priorities and how did they help you overcome some of the struggles you've faced? What motivated you to make the choices you've made? What are the principles you live by?
In terms of our business: Patient centered care. Our health system has lost much focus on taking care of the patients' goals first and what they want to achieve as their outcome. We ensure that all our patients are: Seen, Heard, & most of all Understood. We want to motivate others to do the same and build a culture that promotes patient centered approaches with full teams acting in the best interest of that particular person.
We have encountered some struggles as we are slightly against the grain, but we aim to do everything in our control to make sure our patients are: shadowed by professionals on their healthcare journey, are receiving the best advice to navigate the system, and are educated to become their own health advocates to ensure quality care in the most stressful moments of their lives.
How have you recovered from fractured professional relationships? What uncomfortable truths have you learned about yourself in those experiences?
I wish I could answer this in a better way, but I do believe that each one is a lesson learned as well. Every struggle has helped expand my coping skills with Human Resources and has enabled me to experiment in particular ways which most often proved to be more effective.
I still have a few uncomfortable relationships, but most have ended well.
I use my purpose and vision as a focal point. If it doesn’t fit the vision or it circumstances go against our beliefs of providing a better healthcare system, then we find ourselves jumping off that ship and finding another ride. This often leads to issues and/or conflict, but as we all know such resolution is part of business, and we grow from each and every one of these occurrences. Thankfully, such situations haven’t been common.
As a last word I want to thank my team, my parents and family, especially my supportive husband who takes the reins at home when I'm away and allows me to make all my visions possible. He is a true partner in nurturing our two adventurous toddlers and helping them become pretty wicked little human beings if I must say so myself. He was also the one who sparked me to start my entrepreneurship journey. Thanks to the Wallace McCain Institute who have grown me in such a way I will never be able to credit properly. Last, but definitely not least I must credit my mother in law as she has supported me blindly through all my adventures by being in my corner and encouraging me in believing that the only limits that exist are the ones I create.
-Entrepreneur in Health Care Industries, Public Speaker