The Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Services (S.T.A.R.S.) team is always ready to take on a challenge. As the team and facility locations continue to grow, there are an endless amount of diverse cases and support available for every employee to accomplish their education and career goals. We had the privilege to speak with Brian Krebs, Senior Director of STARS Network, about his journey throughout Northwell Health and the top 3 things happening right now at STARS.
How long have you worked for Northwell Health?
I began my career with Northwell Health’s STARS in 1997. At that time it was called North Shore-LIJ’s STARS.
Can you talk about your career progression within the health system?
My opportunity to work at Northwell Health’s STARS presented while I was in physical therapy school on my last clinical rotation at STARS East Meadow. A full time staff therapist position was becoming available and my clinical instructor thought I would be a good fit and recommended me for the position. I was attracted to STARS because of their focus on patient care and providing a collaborative team environment. Over the next 19 years I was afforded the opportunity to progress my career from a staff level therapist, to a site supervisor, to a rehabilitation manager to where I am today as a Senior Director. Along the way I was challenged by my mangers to develop both my clinical and administrative skill set. As a site supervisor I was asked to develop various clinical programs related to sports therapy. As a manager I became more involved in the development of staff, making operational decisions and providing strategic input on how best to grow our service. I also have been able to continue my educational aspirations by achieving 3 clinical certifications including a specialty in spine care, manual therapy (Certified in the McKenzie Method and Maitland approach) and becoming an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist. Additionally, I was encouraged to pursue and received a transitional clinical doctorate degree. I know of no other organization that would have allowed me to grow and develop in the manner I have.
Please list the top 3 things happening at S.T.A.R.S. right now.
1. For many years STARS primarily treated those with orthopedic injuries or conditions. However, over the past 2 years with the addition of new locations we have been able to diversify our client base by partnering with other Northwell Health Service Lines to develop many new specialty programs. These include a Lymphedema/Oncology program, a Pelvic Floor/Women’s Health program, a Pediatrics program and our STRIVE for Wellness Program which provides those with a spinal cord injury or other neurologic condition the ability to exercise independently in a safe wheelchair accessible gym. These are in addition to our already existing STARS specialty programs which include Vestibular Rehabilitation, Hand Therapy and Neurological Rehab.
Blast from the past
Heart and Sole 5K
Breast Cancer Awareness
2. We have also seen tremendous growth in the area of sports rehabilitation. For the past 2 years, STARS has been the official provider for the Hofstra University Athletic Department. We work as part of a multidisciplinary team to ensure Hofstra’s student athlete’s get the very best care and get back on the field as quickly as possible. We have also added Certified Athletic Trainers (ATCs) to our clinical compliment and have been awarded contracts with North Shore and Glen Cove High Schools. This past year our trainer at North Shore High School worked with the school’s Athletic Director to achieve the nationally recognized Safe Schools Award. Additionally, our sports therapy staff has worked closely with Orthopaedics to develop our organization’s post-operative protocols, an ACL tear prevention program, a sports concussion program, and a performing artist/dance medicine program.
3. Finally there is our site expansion, with STARS locations in Nassau County, Western Suffolk County, Queens, and Westchester. The addition of new STARS locations allows STARS to serve a greater number of communities and physicians. Our growth has also allowed us to develop programming that meets the needs of undeserved populations and aligns with the mission of our organization. In 2015, STARS opened offices in Franklin Square and Huntington. In 2016, STARS integrated with the outpatient rehabilitation department at Northern Westchester Hospital, making us 10 locations strong.
Please finish this sentence: Without our Physical Therapists, we wouldn’t be able to…
Provide the extraordinary care we do for our patients. Their passion for the profession and drive to help every patient maximize their outcome is humbling. Without their daily efforts we could not have grown into one of the largest multi-specialty therapy providers in the region. This commitment to our patients is evidenced by our consistently high Press Ganey patient satisfaction survey results, and the fact that STARS has achieved the highest Employee Engagement scores for the past three survey cycles. However, it is not just our Physical Therapist that we owe a debt of thanks to. We could not provide the care we do without the work performed by our Physical Therapist Assistants and Occupational Therapists who demonstrate the same values and passion for excellence as that of our Physical Therapists.
What would you like to say to your PT employees during recognition month?
I’d like to commend them, as well as all of our staff, for the important work they do each and every day. I am awed by the letters and emails that we receive weekly from our patients, recognizing the skill and dedication of our staff. It is this dedication to each other, our patients and our mission that has allowed STARS to develop and maintain a culture of care. I can’t thank them enough!
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