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About Us

Hello! My name is Jake Pawol.  My wife, Lauren, and I are the founders and owners of Fortitude & Freedom, PLC.  We started this physical therapy and human performance practice because we felt like the traditional healthcare system was missing a few key components: quality time with your provider, clear communication from your provider, and transparent pricing and billing. We felt that in order to provide a higher quality and more personalized healthcare experience to our clients, we needed to cut away the red tape of health insurance.  By establishing ourselves as a private-pay practice, we have the freedom to do what is best for the client.  Period.


About Dr. Jake

Jake Pawol, PT, DPT, OCS, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and the founder of Fortitude & Freedom, PLC.  Dr. Jake received his Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Des Moines University.  Dr. Jake is a board-certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and enjoys treating athletes and active adults.  He has a special interest in treating wilderness and tactical athletes.  His clinical areas of expertise are the spine, shoulder and knee. 

Dr. Jake lives in Urbandale with his wife, Lauren, and three children, Logan (6), Dakota (3) and Parker (1).  Outside of work he is active in his church, enjoys traveling with his family, and spending time outdoors hunting and fishing.

Our Beliefs

Mission:  To change the way people manage pain and improve performance by educating them about their bodies, how to fix them and how to use them to their fullest potential.


Vision:  To be the provider of choice for natural improvement of musculoskeletal health and human performance.

Core Values:

1.  Integrity: We will demonstrate honesty and high moral character at all times.

2. Service: We will live and work with a servant heart.  This means placing others’ needs before our own and always doing what is best for others.

3. Compassion: We meet people where they are and truly care about their well-being.  We are willing to suffer with them and walk alongside them through their struggle.

4. Respect: We believe all people are created in the image of God and therefore have inherent value and worth and should be treated as such.

5. Excellence: We strive to deliver services of the highest quality in order to bring about the best outcome for those receiving our services.

6. Continuous Improvement: We are always working to increase our knowledge and improve our skillset for the benefit of others.

Our Model

Being a private-pay practice means we do not bill directly through insurance companies.  In this model, the client pays the provider directly for the services rendered, and the client has the option to submit a receipt (known as a superbill) to their insurance company after services are provided.  On average, the client will be reimbursed by their insurance company 60-80% of the cost depending on their insurance benefits.

We do this for several reasons:

1) Our services are billed at a flat hourly rate.  This provides us true freedom to choose the treatment that is best for the client within that hour, not what will reimburse us the best from an insurance company.

2)  We are not dependent on low reimbursement rates from insurance companies and therefore we are not forced to see multiple clients per hour.  This allows each client to spend a full hour 1-on-1 with a Doctor of Physical Therapy and get the undivided attention they deserve.


3) We are not dictated and limited by insurance rules and regulations.  We have the ability to give the client our undivided attention without distractions of documentation and redundant paperwork.


4) More time 1-on-1 with a Doctor of Physical Therapy means the client has more opportunities to have questions answered and get more supervised exercise time.  This equates to the client getting better faster and ultimately saving time and money.


5) The provider-client TEAM has the freedom to lay out a plan of care TOGETHER that allows the client to accomplish ALL of their goals that go beyond getting out of pain.

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