Brad Domek, Director of Specialised Health, founded the company in 2013 after 10 years working in the Occ Rehab industry as an Exercise Physiologist providing everything from workplace and functional assessments to medico-legal assessments, consulting, work conditioning and case management services.
He saw the spaces where Exercise Physiology could improve the quality of service in the Occ Rehab world, and thereby improve both the journey and the results for claimants, insurers and rehab providers alike.
Starting in Sydney as a 1 man show with the help of his amazing admin assistant Crystal, by 2015 Specialised Health had 9 Exercise Physiologists across NSW. And after another 2 years Specialised Health had grown to house 25 Exercise Physiologists covering NSW, QLD, VIC, SA and TAS and was the preferred provider on the national panel of numerous insurers.
But the company hasn’t stopped there.
This year Specialised Health opened its doors to New Zealand.
To find out more I interviewed Brad himself.
SPECIALISED HEALTH DIRECTOR & EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST
Why did you set up shop in NZ? Is it because they have better snow or are you trying to take over the world?
Yep we’re definitely trying to take over the world… But no, honestly, it’s because we were asked to expand. The Insurers and Re-Insurers we’re working with in Aus were struggling with the fact that a service such as ours wasn’t available to their NZ Life Insurance customers which made me look into the state of the EP industry over there. Unfortunately, while the standard of EPs in NZ is nothing short of brilliant (!!), the population's awareness of what an Exercise Physiologist is and what EPs can do is just really poor.
We love that Specialised Health can give EPs in NZ the ability to stretch their wings and show what they can do. And the insurers there are obviously super excited that their customers now have access to specific EP services like our post-cancer exercise programs, fatigue management programs and mental health programs that they can now offer their customers which is great.
What areas of NZ does Specialised Health cover?
At the moment our EPs are in Auckland, Wellington and Palmerston North on the North Island as well as Christchurch on the South Island but we're loving offering our remote, video-conference programs to everyone who is outside of these centres too in exactly the same way that we do these in Australia.
I’m thinking of expanding personally and taking some clients on myself if they’re in Queenstown. ⛷️⛄🏂
How long has Specialised Health been in NZ now?
We've been operational since February this year and have been growing each month since which has been great!
6 months already! How’s it going?
The market in New Zealand is obviously much smaller than in Australia but what we've found is that this means the case managers generally run with smaller portfolios and hence they can throw a really nice amount of attention to each of the customers and we're getting nicely "activated" referrals for customers who are already bought into programs and ready to go which is always great for us.
And some of the outcomes we’ve been getting already have been amazing! One client was a drain layer with a bowel obstruction who lost a massive amount of weight, he went back to full time work after our program after being off for about 6 months. Another client had major depressive disorder and halfway through one of our programs they started to take their boat out with friends again after being reclusive for a good 9 months which was pretty amazing and he's now starting to talk about what work might look like for him again which is again really great to hear.
What services is Specialised Health offering in NZ?
As we do in Aus, we’re solely focused on the compensable schemes in NZ as we know them well and we know how to communicate as EPs in these spaces. So we’re continuing to provide our exercise and wellness programs for income protection and superfund members who continue to be unable to work or live optimally because of their illness.
With cancer being one of the highest claimed conditions, post-cancer exercise programs are one of the biggest programs that we’re offering as well as mental health exercise programs and our specific fatigue management programs too.
What is your favourite thing about NZ?
The people of course! While sharp and on the ball they throw in just the right amount of laid-back attitude to make working with them all super enjoyable. But of course everything about Queenstown and Lake Wanaka is amazing too and the Passing Cloud Pinot Noir is pretty special..
…and of course, their Exercise Physiologists! A big welcome to Specialised Health's NZ EPs: