Athletico Physical Therapy, a national provider of orthopedic rehabilitation services to communities, employers, and athletes, and SoFi at Work, a provider of holistic financial well-being and education assistance benefits, announced the launch of a new partnership that will help Athletico clinicians pay down student loan debt faster, putting them on a path to financial independence. Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, Athletico will contribute $100 monthly toward eligible clinicians’ student loan debt. This tax-free contribution can help the average employee save up to $16,119 on their loan after eight years, and pay the loan off 20 months faster. The Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is available to all 3,400 benefits-eligible physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, and physical and occupational therapy assistants, as well as new hires in those roles, who work 30+ hours per week.

Loan Aid Supports Staff Wellness

Like the majority of clinical professionals in the physical therapy field, Athletico clinicians often enter the workforce with a substantial amount of student debt. An awareness of this – coupled with the recent end to the nationwide pause on student loan repayments and interest accrual – is what led Athletico leadership to build on its already robust benefits offering to better support the holistic financial well-being of its clinical staff.

“As a people-centered business, we’re focused on enhancing people’s health and quality of life every single day, and that includes our own talent,” says Chris Throckmorton, PT, president and CEO of Athletico. “I know from experience that student loan debt is an early career investment in our industry, so we want to do what we can to minimize the burden of that investment. This program will not only allow us to better support our team, but it will also enable us to recruit, hire, and retain the best talent in the industry, which is critical to continuing to deliver on our mission to enhance patients’ health and quality of life.”

Expanded Service from a Trusted Partner

The SLRP is a new addition to Athletico’s existing financial wellness program offered through SoFi at Work. The program provides student loan refinancing, budgeting, and other financial well-being services to all employees.

“SoFi was the perfect partner, not only because of our established relationship but also their industry-leading tools and self-service portal that make it easy for our employees to enroll and take advantage of these benefits,” Throckmorton says. “It is important for us to partner with a vendor we already know and trust to provide this highly sought-after benefit for our team.”

The student debt burden is a major obstacle for skilled talent in the healthcare industry, with many professionals carrying significant debt throughout a large stretch of their career. Athletico’s employee-centric approach will help ease that burden, build long-term loyalty, decrease clinician turnover, support recruiting efforts, and lower the barrier to entry for new talent entering the field.

“This expansion of our partnership demonstrates that Athletico is on the cutting edge of patient treatment as well as employee engagement,” says Barrett Scruggs, VP of Workplace Financial Well-being at SoFi at Work. “By providing debt support and other financial wellness benefits, the company is not only supporting its own talent pipeline but also the industry as a whole by setting this new standard in employee well-being benefits.”

Featured image: Athletico introduces Student Loan Repayment Program for eligible clinicians in partnership with SoFi at Work. Image: Athletico