The History of HTS

History of Hand Therapy Specialists

Hand Therapy Specialists (HTS) was founded in the spring of 1991 by Julie Teal, a native Oregonian. HTS was the first private practice dedicated to the care of the upper extremity in the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area. “My dream was to open a clinic that specialized in the care of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand (upper extremity). By treating only the upper extremity, I felt we could best meet the needs of our patients and their physicians.” By specializing in individuals with upper extremity problems it narrowed the focus and enabled Julie and her therapists to cultivate superior knowledge of anatomy and the function of the upper extremity.This specialization has translated to the highest quality of care for this patient population.

HTS was built on the philosophy of therapists working closely with the physician, thus creating a dynamic team approach with the patient, physician and therapist.This enhances communication and learning, and also facilitates the best result for the patient.

The business was started with an office in NW Portland in 1991. As the referrals grew, due to the recognition of and demand for high quality, specialized care, HTS expanded. Three additional office locations were opened; Hillsboro (1995), East Portland (2002) and Vancouver (2004).

Now celebrating our 20th year, HTS has:

  • Expanded the physician referral base from a “handful” of MDs in 1991 to over 1200.
  • From a total of 504 patients treated in year one to more than 47,000 patients during the first 19 years.
  • Expanded from a single office of 400 square feet to nearly 9000 square feet encompassing four offices.
  • Increased in number of therapists treating patients from only Julie in the spring of 1991 to 14 today. Of those 14, 11 are Certified Hand Therapists (CHT).
  • Our average years of experience per therapist is 16
  • In 2002 HTS embarked on its first research project with Dr. Edward Coale of Vancouver, WA. The research was completed in 2007 and presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT) where we received The Petzoldt Award of excellence in research for their presentation on “Functional Outcomes of Individuals with Carpometacarpal Arthritis Following Surgery”
  • In 2008 HTS presented a paper at the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH).This paper was chosen as one of the six best papers out of over 300 papers!
  • In 2010 we are celebrating our 20th year of being in business!!