Frank Rabadam, Director; Jean Wombough, PSR; Meredith Mayes, PT
After a busy weekend and some fancy footwork, Excel physical therapists and staff welcomed patients to the new Excel Jenkintown clinic. The move was completed in two quick days to insure as little interruption as possible to patients’ treatment, and the new, more accessible facility will make it easier for all of our patients to get the treatment they need.
Monday was an exciting day at the clinic. Staff settled quickly into their new work areas, new equipment gleamed, and bright sunshine flowed through the windows.
Our patients give the facility rave reviews:
“The place is beautiful, spacious, so bright!”
“It’s much easier to park and get to!”
“And the staff is as great as ever…even though they make you work hard to get better!”
Congratulations to Clinic Director, Frank Rabadam, Physical Therapist Meredith Mayes, and Patient Service Representatives, Jean Wombough, and Donna Tonkin on your new “home.” We know how pleased you are to have a great new facility to better serve your patients. Thanks for doing all the hard work required to make it happen.
Find us at: One Abington Plaza, 101 Old York Road, Suite 204, Jenkintown; 215-886-5520.
The team at our Villanova did such a wonderful job helping a couple to get moving again that they inspired this love poem. That’s our E&A Team, downright inspiring!
“Excuses are tools for the cowardly, upon which monuments of nothingness are built.” Author Unknown
Photo Credit: Ildar Sagdejev
It takes a lot of perseverance and a lot of grit to work in construction or landscaping, day in and day out. And when on-the-job injuries occur, it can be difficult for laborers to find medical professionals who understand the effort it takes to get back to work.
Before obtaining Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT), Greg Jeblonski worked for about 7 years in landscaping, and he thinks his blue collar background goes a long way in enabling him to help patients with work-related injuries.
“They often feel no one understands them,” Jeblonski said, “because they feel doctors or other clinicians in the medical world haven’t experienced working ten-plus hours a day, five days a week, busting your hump from start to finish. My exposure to that kind of work setting helps give me ‘street-cred.’”
Education and Good Form
Greg works at Excel’s Walnut Street clinic, where he applies his background to real life situations that lots of his patients face. “I teach patients not to fear movement or the scenario where they were injured,” he said. “Further, I try to be up-to-date with research, and educate my patients.”
Misinformation about injuries and people’s perceptions of pain is everywhere, he said. For example, common knowledge promotes “lifting with the legs,” but research shows that we are safe to lift with what was previously thought of as ‘bad form,’ Greg says. For people who work arduous jobs, this kind of information can prevent recurring injuries and keep them working.
Strengthening exercises can make a big difference, too. “We want to strengthen people’s bodies for all situations,” Greg said, because on-the-job conditions are not always ideal for allowing “best form.”
A Physical Therapist Role
Greg says he enjoys many aspects of being a PT, but trying to help others recover from injuries and achieve their full potential is the best part of the job. “I like being the impetus, the drive, for helping people overcome their obstacles,” he said. “As PTs, we are perfectly positioned to do these things, whereas doctors, psychologists, and life coaches do not seem to have the same intimate relationship with their clients. That’s why I chose PT over something else.”
Greg grew up right here in Philadelphia, but after graduating, he and his wife moved to Boston for a couple years and then quit their jobs and backpacked across Europe for three months. Upon their return to the states, they worked as traveling PTs in Seattle for four months.
“Traveling definitely has been a positive influence on my life,” he said. “Choose your cliché: it broadens your horizons, makes you appreciate home, etc. But it really helps one become a more rounded individual, having experienced other cultures,” he said. “As you can imagine, that translates into being able to relate to patients of various backgrounds, as well.”
Greg, who has always been an avid athlete, now stays active in recreational soccer leagues, rock climbing, and general fitness activities at the gym. Plus, he and his wife, who is a PT, as well, have two daughters under age 3. It’s not quite as rigorous as landscaping, but “they always keep us busy and moving!” he said.
Read more about Greg and his experiences with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in Iraq in this article from ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine®.
This letter from a grateful patient demonstrates how E&A Therapy’s values of passion, integrity, excellence and accountability make a difference in people’s lives every day. Kudos to Jenkintown Clinic Director Frank Rabadam, Physical Therapist, Meredith Mayes, Patient Service Representative, Jean Wombough and Donna Tonkin and E&A Therapy’s entire Billing and Collections team.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Rachel Shimko knows what it’s like to drag yourself to physical therapy. She’s been there.
In fact, she credits a knee injury, sustained while skiing in 1992 and the rehabilitation that followed as the spark that lit the way to her career as a physical therapist.
“I remember thinking, this is really cool. I could do this,” she said.
A Passion for Physical Therapy
Rachel started her career as a personal trainer in a physical therapy office, but she soon found that she wasn’t challenged enough in that role and she returned to school, graduating from Widener in 2003 with a doctorate of Physical Therapy.
For a while, she worked by day as the manager of a skilled nursing facility and at night as a physical therapist. Ultimately, however, it was her love of helping people recover from orthopedic injuries that won out.
“I love working with a variety of patents, but I realized where my passion was,” she said. She says she loves working at Apex in Pottstown-Coventry because she gets to help patients with all sorts of mobility and pain issues. “I love knowing I have an impact,” she said.
Leading by Example
Rachel isn’t working two jobs anymore, but her schedule is still busy. It’s not always easy to fit exercise into her work week, but she knows it’s necessary to stay in shape for her job, which requires long hours on her feet. Her regular exercise program includes running, in addition to strength training at the gym at least twice a week.
“If I don’t do it, my knee will definitely act up,” she said, and that’s a lesson she tries to drive home to her patients.
“I tell them I know what you are going through. I know it’s hard,” she said, but she also tells them that her experience has taught her that doing the work in physical therapy can yield big results.
“If someone comes in with a herniated disc and low back strain, I also encourage them to make changes to their diet and activity level a little bit at a time,” she said. And when physical therapy is complete, she stresses the importance of maintaining those changes by committing to a home exercise program of basic stretches or by going to the gym.
A Taste of Success
Her approach is holistic. She encourages patients to make small changes toward a healthier lifestyle, and that too is a lesson she’s learned from experience.
While growing up on a farm in Unionville, Pennsylvania, she had lots of opportunities to be active, but she admits her farm girl diet wasn’t always healthy. “The more butter the better,” she said. After moving closer to Philadelphia, she started to explore new kinds of food and healthier ways of cooking. “I love to try out new recipes with more flavor” and less butter, she said.
GLEN MILLS, Pennsylvania (February 5, 2013) – U.S. Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-07) will be meeting with constituents at Excel Physical Therapy at The Shoppes at Smithbridge, 331 Wilmington-West Chester Pike on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 10 a.m. While visiting Excel, he will take questions and discuss constituents’ concerns about current healthcare issues.
Meehan, who is serving his second term in Congress, co-sponsored the Physical Therapist Student Loan Repayment Eligibility Act of 2011 and also voted to repeal a provision in the 2010 health care law that would impose a tax on the sale of medical devices. He serves on the Oversight and Government Reform, Homeland Security, Transportation and Infrastructure, and House Ethics Committees.
Excel Physical Therapy in Glen Mills is one of 18 E & A Therapy clinics, committed to providing access to quality rehabilitative services and the information patients need to maintain healthy lifestyles. A Montgomery County-based company, owned and operated by physical therapists, E & A brings passion, integrity, excellence and accountability to its role as a health care provider. Our physical therapists participate in 40 hours of continuing education each year – well beyond what is recommended by the American Physical Therapy Association. As a result, they are some of the most knowledgeable physical therapists in the region.
The public is invited to stop by the Excel clinic to meet Congressman Meehan. While there, they can also meet the Excel physical therapy staff to discuss how physical therapy can help them maintain the quality of life they deserve.