The Early Days
In 1975, Sandra Jacobson Lerner was the director of occupational
therapy at Mercy Hospital in Chicago. After the birth of her first
child, she struggled to balance her desire to spend more time
with her baby with her love for her work. When the opportunity
to consult for a pediatric skilled facility arose, Sandye jumped at
the chance and launched her new business, Occupational
By 1978, the business was growing and Sandye had welcomed
her second child. She subcontracted additional therapists to serve
existing clients. A pioneer in work/life balance, Sandye began
offering therapists flex time and job sharing long before such
benefits were common in the workplace.
In 1981, the company extended its consulting services to a broader
range of healthcare organizations and changed its name to
Comprehensive OT Consultants, Ltd. In 1982, Comprehensive began
conducting state-certified continuing education workshops and
seminars for nursing home personnel.
Between 1983 and 1986, the Comprehensive umbrella of services
expanded again to include Therapeutic Recreation Specialists and
Licensed Certified Social Workers. With a diverse group of therapy
specialists, the firm was able expand beyond long-term care
facilities into DD facilities, MI facilities, hospitals, schools and home
As the demand for rehabilitation services grew and clients
increased, Sandye made the decision to add physical and speech
therapy and make all contract workers permanent employees. In
1989, the firm changed its name to Comprehensive Therapeutics,
Ltd., and began offering a full range of rehabilitation services,
including staffing, consultation, management and direct treatment.
The expansion allowed Comprehensive to more than quadruple its
In 1995, Comprehensive added a certified Medicare rehabilitation
agency able to bill Medicare directly for therapy services provided
to Medicare recipients. In 1997, Staff Solutions, an interim staffing
and recruitment company for rehabilitation was created. Staff
Solutions was later folded into Comprehensive as a distinct service
line, Comprehensive Staffing. Also in 1997, Comprehensive moved
the corporate office to its current location in Glenview.
Throughout the 1990s, Comprehensive devoted significant
resources to building support systems that incorporated the latest
technology and best-practice processes to sustain its growing
team of professionals and expanding client base. As the only
rehabilitation firm in Illinois offering a complete menu of integrated
interdisciplinary services, Comprehensive doubled its business
during this time.
2000 and beyond
Comprehensive was one of the first rehabilitation companies to
introduce skilled therapy and wellness programs for Independent
and Assisted Living. Between 2003 and 2004, Comprehensive
added additional hospital and school clients, and tripled business in
senior retirement communities.
In 2005, the company was awarded the distinction of "Chicago's
101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For"—an honor that was
repeated in 2007 and 2008. In 2006, and again in 2007, 2008 and
2009 Comprehensive was named one of the "Best Places to Work
In 2009, Comprehensive changed its name to The Comprehensive
Group to better reflect the scope of services under the
Comprehensive umbrella. The new name also positions the
company for growth, as we move forward into exciting new
service lines and markets. In 2010 The Comprehensive Group was ranked #9 in the nation by Modern Healthcare Magazine's Best Places to Work in Healthcare.
Throughout these 35+ years of growth, Comprehensive has
retained its identity and unique characteristics. It remains therapist owned and operated. It is not a public company. The employees
have open access to managers who value their input, and yet it
still feels like a family. The unique combination of high quality,
diversified services and attentive, therapist-focused leadership
positions Comprehensive for another 35 years of success.