Clifford LaFreniere, MPT | Apr 26, 2013

My name is CLIFFORD LAFRENIERE, MPT and I have been in PT and an APTA member for 37 years. I graduated from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. I work at Achieve Therapy in Grand Forks, and my main focus areas have been in chronic pain, trauma related MS issues and orthopedics. I was awarded the Small Business Person of the Year Grand Forks in 1993. I choose to be a member of the APTA because the resources provided as a member are phenomenal and we need to be proactive in addressing any affronts on the practice of PT.

I, like many PT's, I went through a period in my professional career when I underestimated the value of my national association. Weighing the cost of belonging and not belonging was a real issue. The most positive thing about belonging is that there is something for everyone. The key is being active and involved. The networking is the most valuable thing I receive from my active participation. I like being outdoors both summer and winter, but like being a grandpa the most.

My wife is Kathleen and I share our home with our pug Shadow. We have two children Heather and Russ. Heather works with me at Achieve Therapy and Russ lives in Fort Lauderdale. Heather is married to Anthony Walsh and they have my two grandchildren, Karlee and Cayden. Being a grandpa is the cat's meow. My family made many sacrifices in my early career as I spent long hours working in the clinic and covering athletic events. I thank them for allowing me that time. My daughter has followed my footsteps into the PT profession and I have to admit the acorn didn't fall to far from the tree. I am proud of her success. My son works in film and video production and he is my free spirited entrepreneur. His current project is producing a documentary on the life of Dennis Rodman working with director Penny Marshall. I think Russ has benefited from my business skills and willingness to take risks in business.

My favorite and most proud memory in PT is of a black tie banquet at the private practice annual awards banquet. At the end of our meal, the servers brought dessert, Flaming Baked Alaska, as they processed down the aisles carrying the desserts flaming as they walked through the hall and in step to John Phillips Sousa's march. It was awesome!!! I am proud to be a PT.