In the News

NAWBO Iowa Member Q&A — Dr. Leslie (Foley) Brant

Leslie Brant is the co-owner of Bondurant Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine. Her clinic is a full-service, locally-owned and operated physical therapy clinic that specializes in the screening, prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries.

What is your background?

I grew up in Davenport. At first, I went to school for business management and accounting because my dad was an accountant. I thought it would be a good job with great hours and I could raise my family. But in my first class, I was so bored!

When I asked my dad what I should do, he suggested I investigate physical therapy. He had been in a bad fire as a child and needed a lot of physical and occupational therapy to be able to use his arms again. When I learned about physical therapy, it sounded perfect. I like to be doing something physical, so this was a great fit for me.

I graduated from Blackhawk College in 2004 as a physical therapy assistant. Soon after that, I got my bachelor’s of science in exercise science at Saint Ambrose University, and then I got my doctorate's degree in physical therapy (a DPT) at Des Moines University in 2009. The great thing about my non-traditional education route was it allowed me to work in a hospital setting, helping people and seeing what it was like to work in acute care firsthand while finishing my education. Also, after finishing my DPT, I furthered my education with the Gray Institute through a 40-week fellowship in applied functional sciences. I also went through training with IDN (integrative dry needling) for training in dry needling.

After I got my degree, I worked in outpatient care in Des Moines and Ankeny. But I felt I did not have the flexibility or the ability to manage the care I wanted for my patients.

In 2016, I met my business partners, who shared the same vision and we opened Bondurant Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine. In 2019, I become the majority shareholder. Because my education was heavy on the clinical side and light on the business side at the time, I enrolled in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.

What is your business?

Our clinic provides physical therapy services based on your unique rehabilitative needs with the goal of getting to the root cause rather than just treating symptoms. We help our patients live without limits.

We offer a combination of traditional, manual and functional physical therapy. This includes orthopedic therapy (muscles and bones) and vestibular therapy (balance and dizziness), as well as supportive movement services such as urban polling, senior exercise classes, and services to build speed and agility for athletes.

More recently, we have added integrative dry needling, a process that treats muscle tissue to reduce pain, inactivate trigger points and restore function. As a result of the pandemic, we also offer virtual/telehealth physical therapy options where we can work with a patient from the comfort and safety of the home or anywhere.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I love seeing people get better. When you have someone come through the door in tears because they are in pain, and then you get to see them get to a point where they can live without limits — that’s why I do what I do.

Also, we have a fantastic staff. They are passionate about helping people and that makes doing what we do easier.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

You know how some people just wake up one day when they are 5 years old and know they want to be a pilot or something? My brother was like that. He is a commercial pilot, and he has always known he wanted to do that. I did not have that. But I knew I wanted to have a family and take care of my family, and I wanted to do something with purpose and help people.

I don’t think I would have this business without my parents. My dad gave me the inspiration to pursue physical therapy, and my mom has helped in many ways too.

What is something you are looking forward to about spring?

I really want to get back to running. I know some people do not like it, but I love it. I have run three marathons in my life, but since my baby, I haven’t really been able to run. Eventually, I would like to do another marathon, and my goal is to run a race in all 50 states. But for now, I just want to start up again.

Of course, if you ask my kids (I have four, including two step-kids), it would be to go to Disney!