CAMPBELL HALL, N.Y. (Sept. 25) – Access Physical Therapy & Wellness, which had its start with a dream that Montgomery, N.Y., brothers and physical therapists Christopher and Stephen Albanese had to offer patients in their community easy access to highly skilled, friendly and caring therapists – and real, measurable progress on every patient’s road to wellness – is celebrating its 10th anniversary year with the opening of two new offices.
With the opening this month of an office in New City in Rockland County, N.Y., and last month in the Sullivan County, N.Y., hamlet of Ferndale, Access now provides physical and occupational therapy and wellness services to 18 communities, nine locally. The company is still at home in Montgomery; in eight nearby towns in the Hudson and Delaware River valleys: Goshen, Port Jervis, Monroe, Wallkill, Armonk, Bedford and Hawthorne, N.Y., and in Milford, Pa.; in Clayton, Knightdale, and Holly Springs, N.C.; in Collinsville and Troy, Ill.; in Allentown, Pa.; and in Lexington, Ky.
In New City, Access Physical Therapy & Wellness is at 200 E. Eckerson Road; (845) 578-9898/(888) 796-9460; www.accessptw.com. Tracy Urvater, a doctor of physical therapy, is the owner/director.
The Albanese brothers and their business partner/physical therapist spouses – Chris’ wife Janet and Steve’s wife Shannon – are living their dream of helping people live healthier lives, while providing great value to the healthcare system with better outcomes and a very cost-effective means of providing musculoskeletal relief.
“We’re passionate about providing our patients with an amazing rehab experience,” said Steve. “Everything we do is geared toward making sure our patients have the best possible outcomes. We believe in working harder to help our patients feel better.”
The Access story
Before going into business for themselves Steve, Chris, Janet and Sharon were all professionally fulfilled as physical therapists. But they shared a mutual frustration; they wanted something better for their patients, something different. They enjoyed treating their patients, but knew that there was a better way.
“We wanted to focus on excellence, not just in terms of outcomes but in every interaction our patients had with us,” Steve remembers. “We wanted to make sure our entire team gave that little extra, to give our patients an amazing experience – in every visit.”
That’s been their aim since the day the Montgomery office opened in July 2003. From the start, clients told friends and relatives about their experience. Before long, the Albaneses were seeing patients from Port Jervis and from Matamoras, Pa., a 30-mile drive from Montgomery. One man who was driving his mother the 30 miles suggested the family hang a shingle in Port Jervis. In 2005, they did.
As satisfied clients and physicians continued to refer people, the brothers and their spouses opened offices in Monroe, Wallkill and Goshen. In 2010, the company changed its name from Montgomery Physical Therapy & Wellness to Access Physical Therapy & Wellness. “We had always done our best to provide patients with great access to a physical therapist in terms of hours of operation, seeing them within 24 hours of their call, having convenient locations to their home or work and taking most insurances. ‘Access’ fit in with what we do,” Chris said.
As the company grew, the partners built a strong, centralized back office team to take care of the business end of things.
“We don’t want our therapists to worry about the latest compliance law or making sure they’re credentialed with all the insurance companies,” Steve said. “We take care of everything our therapists need to run a good business. Because if running the business had to be their focus, they would have less time to focus on patient care.”
‘Our culture is important to us’
Today, the Campbell Hall office takes care of all practice management services such as payroll, human resources, IT, billing, website maintenance etc for 18 locations and about 120 employees. Every person has been hired with the company’s values in mind.
“Our culture is critically important to us. It helps us stand apart,” Chris said. “We make sure the people we bring on have similar values. Access is what it is because of the people we have and the experience they give to the people we serve.”
Through the years, life events and the career goals of spouses led some physical therapists to relocate to other states. Michael Moreland moved to North Carolina, where he went to work for a large company as a physical therapist.
“He wasn’t happy in that setting,” said Steve. “So we had a conversation about working together in a partnership. We would provide him with all of the back office tools and resources he would need, and he would be able to spend his time being an amazing clinician and leading his local team.” Access now has three North Carolina locations.
Another therapist, Erin Logan, who was director of the Montgomery office, moved to the midwest; she now runs two offices, in Troy and Collinsville, Ill.
The company has twice been honored as one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York by the New York State Society for Human Resource Management and Best Companies Group. “We’re passionate about providing Access employees a great place to work with opportunities to grow personally and professionally,” Steve said.
To demonstrate their commitment to the communities Access serves, therapists at every location are involved in health and wellness activities beyond the office walls. Access staff regularly raise money and awareness for local causes.
Access employees also work to raise awareness about the benefits of physical therapy – especially in the current national discussion about healthcare. “More and more studies show that earlier access to physical therapy can lower overall healthcare costs for a number of common ailments,” Steve said. “We’re really excited to point out that rehab is a low-cost option that can help people get out of pain and have an improved quality of life.”
Most Access Physical Therapy & Wellness locations are open weekdays 7 a.m.‐8 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m.‐noon and accept most insurances. For more information about Access Physical Therapy & Wellness, please contact Stephen Albanese at (845) 636-4344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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