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Bellevue Healthcare looks inside

Bellevue Healthcare looks inside Company finds success developing its own ATPs 

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Bellevue Healthcare in April marked the sixth employee graduating from its own ATP apprenticeship program – a program that has helped the independent provider remain competitive in a rapidly consolidating complex rehab industry. 

Bellevue, which relies on complex rehab for about 20% of its revenues, now has a total of 14 ATPs, up from just a handful when the company launched the program a few years ago, says Joel Gallion, president. 

“When we started getting serious about CRT, we realized that to grow in that market you need to continually add ATPs – that’s kind of the limiting factor,” he said. “Our model has not been one of growth through acquisitions or pulling from competitors, so, really, we had to develop this program out of necessity.” 

Medicare has required that ATPs perform evaluations for certain power wheelchairs for more than a decade now, making them a ticket-to-work for providers in the industry. 

The program might be a necessity for business, but it’s also a way to do right by employees, says Bob Labelle, vice president of rehab services. Graduates of the program have gotten their starts at the company as drivers, customer service representatives or store managers. 

“It’s just so representative of who we are as a company – we’re good at identifying people who want to be part of the team long-term and investing in them,” he said. “We take dedicated individuals who believe in our core values and produce like-minded and well-rounded ATPs.” 

Labelle says he’s a prime example of what the program, which takes anywhere from six months to a few years to complete, can do. 

“I started with this company 16 years ago,” he said. “I came in on the ground floor as a driver. I became an ATP to help the company grow in different markets, and then around the same time, my grandma fell ill with ALS, and that’s when I really understood what it means to be in complex rehab.” 

The program wasn’t without its bumps in the beginning – some employees left the program; other employees couldn’t pass the ATP exam. But Bellevue is hitting its stride now, Gallion says – the company recently added Jordan Cartwright as director of rehab to help Labelle lead the program. 

“We’re starting to see success from it and getting to enjoy seeing the growth and development of our team,” Gallion said. 


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