Written by Helen Goelet
JACKSON, Wyo. — Having grown up in Jackson, Amy Harmon Foley is no stranger to the physical demands that come with living in a mountain town. Gold winner for Best Physical Therapist in this year’s Best of Jackson Hole, Foley branched out on her own to start Joint Effort Physical Therapy just this past May.
“It’s not something I expected,” Foley says when asked how she felt about taking home gold. “But it feels really good to be supported by the community that I grew up in.”
Foley has always been interested in health, wellness, and the complexities of the human brain and body. When she started her bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern California Santa Barbara, Foley’s sights were on Med school. A traumatic brain injury during her freshman year, however, changed her course.
“I lost my taste and smell for a year and a half,” Foley says. “No one was able to help me rehabilitate.”
After taking a semester off to try to heal, Foley returned to USCSB. Still very much affected by her injury, Foley’s frustration with the lack of aid and understanding from her school led her to transfer to the University of Wyoming in her Junior year where she started their Kinesiology and Health Sciences Program.
“That’s when I had my first real exposure to PT and it felt like a much better fit than the med track,” Foley explains. During a rotation at school, Foley met someone who was able to help rehabilitate her through balance and concussion rehab, a practice she now offers to clients.
After finishing school, Foley moved to Los Angeles where she took her first job as a Physical Therapist. A year and a half later, she returned home to Jackson and started working for Excel Physical Therapy where she worked until branching out on her own this past May.
When asked what value she sees her business bringing to her community, Foley says that she hopes to give a new, more holistic way of healing injuries. Foley is currently studying a French style of Osteopathic training. “It’s much more hands-on and looks at the entire body instead of focusing on just one problem area,” she explains. “It’s so important to focus on all aspects of the body, from nutrition to other aspects of a patient’s life that can be contributing to their injury.”
For Foley, working with other members of Jackson’s health and wellness community is also vital to ensuring that her patients are able to rehabilitate to the fullest. “I want people to feel like they can get a variety of treatments to help them get better,” she says. “I want them to crush life. That’s what we’re all here for, right?” That’s why she’s dedicated to creating a strong network of people around her, from fellow PTs to Pilates instructors, chiropractors, nutritionists and more.
Starting her own business has certainly not been an easy task, but Foley is learning the importance of teamwork and the power of networking in a small town. “This town is tough,” she says, “everyone wants to be the best at everything here. But I’ve found good people to fill in the cracks where I’m not as strong and that’s been really great.”
When asked what her favorite business in Jackson Hole is, Foley had two answers.
First: Hayden Hilke’s Peak Physical Therapy. “I think she runs an awesome business,” Foley says. “She has a great team and an even better attitude. She doesn’t view other PTs as competition because we’re all just here to heal the community.”
Second: Cultivate Café. “I grew up with the Garnick’s,” Foley explains. “They all work really hard and have such delicious, good, healthy food.”
If you’re interested in making an appointment with Amy Harmon Foley, email [email protected] or give her a call at (307) 699-2149.