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Ripon office opens this Wednesday
golden bear
Golden Bear Physical Therapy CEO Bobby Ismail gives a talk to staff at one of the companys eight existing locations. On Wednesday theyre opening up a new facility in Ripon. Another location planned in Tracy will bring the total number of clinics to 10. - photo by Photo Contributed

When Bobby Ismail was an athlete at Downey High School he spent his fair share of time at a physical therapy clinic near the Modesto campus. 

He had no idea at the time that he would eventually become the CEO of that same company and help grow it to more than 10 locations throughout the region – serving everybody from industrial workers to senior citizens recuperating from major surgery. 

On Wednesday, Golden Bear Physical Therapy will open its 9th location when they start taking patients at their location in Ripon at the shopping center where Save Mart is located. Ripon, Ismail said, that was strategically chosen because of the number of residents from the community that already travel to either Modesto or Manteca to utilize their services. 

While a lot has changed in the decades since he was a high school student, and that one Modesto clinic has become a template for locations that dot the 209 map, that same feeling he got when he was younger is what he tries to bring to all of patients – “athletes” they’re called once they begin their treatment – regardless of the situation. 

“There was a really good atmosphere at that place and that’s something that I never, ever forgot,” Ismail said. “Everybody was very friendly and very encouraging and that experience really showed me that this was something that I wanted to do. 

“We don’t ever want to lose that climate that the company was built on because it makes us who we are.”

Originally founded by two University of California graduates, Ismail came on board in 1995 and has been a part of the company’s impressive growth ever since. A University of the Pacific graduate that had ambitions of going to medical school before he discovered the joy of the field he finds himself in now, Ismail has successfully blended state-of-the-art treatment methods with an efficient business model that has allowed Golden Bear to become a regional powerhouse that works closely with surgeons and medical facilities to maintain a healthy referral system that allows for its growth to continue. 

“It’s about providing that friendly approach to the patient while maintaining the feel of a true neighborhood clinic,” Ismail said. “If you look at what we’re doing here in Ripon, it truly is a community undertaking – Brandon Nan, who will be running things here when it opens next week, lives just up the street and we just hired somebody form Ripon who will work at the front desk. 

“We want to maintain those close bonds with the communities that we serve because that relationship with the people is what this industry is all about.”

And they do much more than just treat sports industries. 

According to Ismail, clients typically fall into one of three categories – sports-related, work-related or age-related – and a customized plan for each specific patient is carried out by frontline staff to ensure that quality results are enjoyed by everybody who walks through the door. 

The injuries may be different, he said, but the approach to caring for the individuals will always be the same. 

“We want it to be a fun atmosphere where people encourage one another and work towards whatever goal it is that they’re pushing for,” he said. “When you look our industry there has been major growth in the outpatient business model and we think that we can provide something that serves the people who need the services well.”

In addition to taking most commercial insurance carriers, Golden Bear is also contracted to service customers of Health Plan of San Joaquin as well as Medicare. They handle all work-related and worker’s compensation injuries as well. 

The new clinic, which is located at 1222 W. Colony Road Suite 130 in Ripon, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. Monday through Friday when they open their doors on March 29. After hours appointment requests are available depending on the circumstances and the demand. For additional information visit or call 209.624-1288. 


To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.