Founder & Lead Pelvic Therapist, Hawaii Pelvic Therapy LLC
Marketing Bootcamp participant
Serving women throughout all stages of life is at the core of Hawaii Pelvic Therapy LLC, a clinic established by physical therapist Deborah Weber (PT, MPT, PRPC) in 2016. She brings over 25 years of experience as a physical therapist specializing in pelvic therapy. Located in Kukui Plaza in downtown Honolulu, she’s created a warm and welcoming environment for her patients and the community.
“There’s been a lot more attention recently on women’s health and pelvic therapy in social media, podcasts, and other sources out there. Women hear about issues that they’re having, like incontinence, pain with sex, or postpartum recovery, and they seek out pelvic therapy,” Deborah said, noting that patients need a physician’s referral in order to have services covered by insurance. “Our clinic is a women-centered physical therapy clinic specializing in pelvic health. Women are often surprised at having this high level of women’s and pelvic health on the island. Our comprehensive level of specialty is one where women would fly to the mainland to get this kind of service. My goal is to give the highest level of care in the pelvic and women’s physical therapy space here on the island.”
Deborah and her team offer general orthopedic and pelvic physical therapy with a tailored and customized approach based on where their patients are in their lives, such as their age, whether they have children, and if they have other conditions. They treat a range of concerns, including pelvic pain, sacroiliac (SI) pain, bladder and bowel issues, and offer prenatal and postpartum care. More recently, they have begun treating transgender women after gender-confirmation surgery. Patients range from as young as 8 years-old up to women in their 90s, and come from all over the State of Hawaii, U.S. continent, and even Asia. Many enlisted women also seek their postpartum and pelvic services as they have rigorous physical fitness tests to complete before returning to active duty.
Upon finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, Deborah worked as an exercise physiologist in Gainesville, Florida at a women's physical therapy clinic. “That’s where I first learned about pelvic therapy and women’s health. I worked with one of the first pelvic therapists who was coming out of formal pelvic training in the mid 90s,” she explained.
Deborah later went on to earn her graduate degree in physical therapy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and gained a range of experience in areas like pediatrics, skilled nursing, and acute care before specializing full-time in pelvic and women’s health. After her own experiences that came with having four children and being an athlete, she decided to open Hawaii Pelvic Therapy once she and her family made the decision to stay in Hawaii permanently in 2016.
“That’s when I felt like I had the stability and expertise, together with the experience from my work in some of the best health systems and clinics on the mainland, to build the kind of clinic that offered the highest level of women’s health here on Oahu,” she shared.
Deborah’s understanding of women’s bodies and how they’re affected at different times in life is critical in her approach. Her clinic is staffed entirely by women and is designed to be a spa-like environment.
As with many businesses in Hawaii and throughout the U.S., it’s been challenging to recruit and retain talent, especially when people relocate or move back to the continent. Deborah’s niche specialty adds to the challenge, but she has found ways around that by offering competitive pay, continuing education, mentorship, and her personal support of her team members’ aspirations.
Deborah is most proud of all that went into her clinic’s expansion to a new location in August 2022, including renovations that were self-funded through strategic, organic growth. She hopes to utilize the space to offer more educational programs, classes, and events and, in doing so, become a resource to both patients and other providers in the community who offer services for women.
Through her connection with a YWCA Oʻahu board member, Deborah began researching more about the organization, and while perusing the website, she came across the MBDA Enterprising Women of Color Business Center’s Marketing Bootcamp. She later met someone who had participated in a previous cohort at a volunteer event and decided to sign up. “It’s going to take time to implement all the valuable tools that I learned,” she said. “I love what I do as a therapist, but sometimes you get thrown into the business side of things reluctantly and don’t know what to do. The course definitely helped focus me.”
To her fellow women entrepreneurs and small business owners, Deborah offers the following advice: “Have very clear boundaries for yourself. As women, we spread ourselves too thin and we’re trying to do everything at once. Be patient. Things will happen. It doesn’t all have to happen today. What I enjoy most about the work I do is meeting all these women from all walks of life who are doing amazing things, having interesting careers, raising families, and seeing how intelligent they are, and the training they have. Never underestimate a woman. Connect with other women. That’s where we gain our strength. Rely on the other women in your community.”