One day, while reflecting on his career, Josh Farrester will be able to trace his path toward becoming a physical therapist all the way back to a common ailment he experienced in 2007 as a Madras Buffaloes quarterback: a swollen knee. It was then, while taking advantage of APEX Physical Therapy’s free Athletic Injury Clinic for Jefferson County student-athletes, that Farrester first met physical therapist Brock Monger.

Eight years removed from that initial meeting, fresh from earning his doctorate of physical therapy (DPT) from George Fox University, Farrester returned to Madras recently to work side by side with Monger, his first professional mentor, as APEX Physical Therapy’s newest PT. The return to his hometown also means Farrester will get the opportunity to provide therapy and rehabilitation services to the citizens of his hometown during the week and, when Friday night comes, once again roam the sidelines of the Madras football field.

“I know how much I treasured my experiences and memories from playing on [the Madras] football field,” Farrester said. “These experiences have helped shape who I am today, and now I’m able to return the favor by providing on-field sports medicine and injury assessment services on the sidelines as part of APEX PT’s student-athlete program.”

Farrester said his initial experience as a patient of physical therapy, back when the swelling refused to subside in his knee, left an impression that followed him into college. During his first summer break, he returned to Madras to volunteer at APEX and was soon hired by Monger to be a physical therapy aide (PTA).

“Josh brought a level of energy and eagerness to the team that was contagious,” Monger said. “His lifelong student of the profession, and he brings an additional layer of cutting-edge, evidence-based practices to our clinic.”

It was soon after Farrester graduated with a DPT from George Fox back in May that Monger offered him a physical therapist position back in Madras. The decision to come back home to start his professional career, Farrester said, was a no-brainer. It was also personal, he added, considering Jefferson County is continually ranked at or near the bottom in statewide health statistics, such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation annual health rankings.

“With such a great community base, Jefferson County deserves an improved reputation in regards to health,” Farrester said. “To make an impact on these numbers, I would love to help people connect to the activities that interest them by minimizing the pain and physical impairments that are holding them back.”

“Movement is essential to learning and experiencing the world around you,” he added. “Not long after being introduced to the physical therapy profession, I realized that PTs hold the key to getting people who are in pain or have mobility limitations back to doing what they love to do. And whether I’m able to do that in the clinic, on the football field, or both, I’ll certainly cherish the opportunity to accomplish this in my hometown.”