Posted November 2, 2012
by Becky Lerner and Daryl Federman
We love our physical therapists. Aside from all the stretching and strengthening and grunting and groaning they force on us, we remain loyal. Why? Because a) they endure our whining and grunting and groaning, and b) they spend their days trying to make our lives better. It’s PT Month and we want to take a moment to recognize one of our very own physical therapists and celebrate with a reflection.
After observing a family member’s shoulder injury to recovery, and being exposed to the positive effects of therapy as she lived in a dorm in college with physically disabled students, Daryl Federman chose to become a physical therapist. Today she has been with The Comprehensive Group for eight years out of her 20+ year career and currently practices at the continuous care retirement community, Covenant Village of Northbrook.
“When I ﬁrst came to The Comprehensive Group, I was working with seniors but in an out-patient facility. Because of the evolution of the job, I transitioned into the Medicare and short-term nursing facilities,” says Federman.
As a PT, Federman works in a unique environment. Continuous care retirement communities provide support for seniors while aiming to help maintain their quality of life. “A CCRC provides an independent living community with transitional services so that people can live there all the way through their end of life; including short-term rehabilitation, nursing home care, memory support units, etc.” So, Federman spends her time working with seniors with a range of needs which inevitably keeps things interesting.
“The challenge of it is looking at everybody and identifying what their individual needs are and treating them. They’re not a body part; they’re a whole,” says Federman. “You can have two people with total knee replacements–technically, the same procedure–but when you look at them as a total person, the rehab is different. That’s part of what keeps it fresh.”
What else keeps her motivated besides the challenge? Her patients. “I enjoy working with seniors,” she says. “Through my years of experience I began to see how therapy can improve the quality of life–especially with senior citizens. They’re struggling to maintain their independence, and as a therapist I see how I can maximize that.”
“If you’re interested in being able to help somebody improve their lives and their ability to live independently, this is a great ﬁeld to go into,” Federman advises. “You have to be willing to give of yourself physically and emotionally because you have to be able to care about people not just for their physical needs, but holistically.”
Sending all our gratitude to all of our PTs and PTAs that spend their days improving the lives of others. Thanks from The Comprehensive Group!
Posted July 31, 2012
Edited by Becky Lerner
Aside from our efforts to maintain our exceptional customer care, keep our employees and patients happy and expand our presence nationally, we wouldn’t be anywhere without our diligent Recruiting Team. We’re always looking for great candidates, and we took a minute to talk to our team about who they are and who they seek to join the TCG family. Meet our Recruitment Team: Dora Konstantos and Robin Luman.
“Robin and I are a strong team because we are open with each other. We communicate all the time (morning and night) and make sure that we both always know what the other is working on—what candidates are in the pipeline and where we stand with openings—that way we are able to piggy back off one another. We bounce ideas off of each other and support each other.”
The Recruitment Team looks for “Comprehensive Material”—a therapist who is naturally driven, open to new ideas and does well with change, puts patients and patient families first, understands the importance of open communication, honesty and being a team player. Generally, someone who falls in line with our vision and values as a company. We like to hire therapists who are always learning and enhancing their skills no matter their years of experience.
Applicants can typically expect 2-3 rounds of interviews in order for them to better understand our values and culture and so we can assure we can ensure placement in the right setting with the right team where their skills can flourish. But you won’t meet Dora and Robin in the same sitting.
“Robin and I work closely together, but not necessarily during interviewing,” says Konstantos. “We tend to interview separately and discuss feedback after and if we feel we would want to bring that person on board. We have found that in order to understand or guide therapists in the right direction we must approach everyone with an open mind and with complete honesty. We strive to add value to both the therapists’ career and our growing company.”
The Comprehensive Group welcomes therapists in various different stages of their careers. We offer new grads because we have great programs in place for them to take advantage of: Tuition Reimbursement, Student Loan Repayment, Mentorship & Fellowship Programs. We are able to foster an environment where our current or veteran therapists take on the role as mentors and guide new grads through their first 1-2 years of being a therapist or therapist assistant. We work closely with various universities and colleges by sending monthly informational packets and by hosting recruiting events when available.
We also have six different service lines as well as management positions that allow both new grads and experienced therapists the versatility and variation they are looking for when trying to decide where they are happiest and where their skills are best utilized.
For more information on job openings at The Comprehensive Group, click here. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Posted April 18, 2012
Founder and Chief Innovative Officer
edited by Becky Lerner
As I reflect on the past 40 years—first as a staff Occupational Therapist, then Director of an Occupational Therapy department, Consultant in Private Practice and business owner, entrepreneur, and CEO of The Comprehensive Group—I know that the secret to my success is that I fully embraced and utilized the basic philosophy and teachings of the great profession of Occupational Therapy. And the new brand message for Occupational Therapy fits it even better.
Within our profession there have always been variations of defining what we do. “Occupational Therapy: Living Life To Its Fullest®” embraces those variations and it finally embraces and succinctly defines our identity and mission.
I have truly lived my life to the fullest, but I have always sought to first help my patients and each of my staff to live their lives to the fullest extent as well. Occupational Therapists help people adapt to their disability whether it is physical, developmental or psychological, and we enable our patients to live life as independently as possible, minimizing weaknesses and maximizing strengths or abilities.
As a manager, I sought to carefully match the strengths and interests of our therapists with our clients and patients, which, would inevitably enhance their skills and capitalize on their strengths. And we found this to be a winning combination, literally.
My emphasis on work-life balance came from my roots as an Occupational Therapist as well. I subscribed to this philosophy when I began hiring OT’s to assist me in my consultation practice providing flex days/hours. Engaging more with staff members allowed for increased retention and overall excellence in service—of which I am most proud.
Occupational Therapists are irreplaceable in the job they do every day. They are creative, adaptable and flexible. They are driven and determined to make a positive impact in the lives of their patients. And they recognize that the people they serve are important. OTs help people live life to its fullest.
I am proud to be an Occupational Therapist. I know that the profession gave me the skills to make my dreams possible and accomplish the goals in between to get there. I am proud of each of you, the hundreds of Occupational Therapists who represent The Comprehensive Group and HealthPRO® Rehabilitation who, together, serve thousands of patients every day. It is each of you that make a difference!
Happy OT Month! Continue living your lives to the fullest. We appreciate and recognize your dedication and daily achievements.
Posted October 13, 2011
by Julie Bringas
I decided that I wanted to be a physical therapist when I was a junior in high school. “How,” you ask?
Well, I knew I was a “people-person” as so many of us are, and always felt drawn to the healthcare industry. I didn’t have the aspiration to go to school long enough to be a doctor and I was not interested in becoming a nurse. But as a Spanish assignment, I had to interview two professionals from different professions at my high school Career Fair. I found a physical therapist.
She was young and enthusiastic. And aside from my misconception that being a physical therapist meant giving massages, she enlightened me to the possibilities of physical therapy: the opportunities to work with everyone from
babies to seniors and the wide variety of work settings. I was immediately captured; it was perfect.
I became a physical therapist and worked with the senior population. It gave me great joy, not to just work with the patient, but to be involved with their families including spouses, children and grandchildren. I felt that I was able to inspire patients to do more than they thought they could, and there was nothing more gratifying to me than seeing a patient stroll out of the therapy department having entered unable to walk.
Now, 20 years since graduation, I am still proud of my profession and feel satisfied knowing that I have, and continue to, positively impact so many lives over the years. I hold a position that allows me to educate consumers and clients as to the benefits of physical therapy services and wellness programming. I work for a company that employs outstanding therapists who are extremely dedicated to their patients; and I personally feel like I have greater impact in promoting the profession at large. Certainly, I miss the hands-on contact with seniors on occasion. But when I go to our client sites, I always have a positive attitude and am excited to talk to the patients and get that face-to-face interaction that I so enjoyed.
During this PT Month, I reflect on the reasons I became a physical therapist, and ask you to do the same. I am thankful to work for a company that embraces its employees, providing exceptional opportunities for career growth and continuing education.