Since starting his career in 1997, Brian Krebs, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, Cert. MDT, has grown his career through Northwell Health’s rehabilitation services. Beginning with the Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Services (STARS) team as a physical therapist, Brian has developed his PT and business skills alike, holding positions there such as supervisor, manager, director, and senior director. Today as the AVP of the Rehab Service Line and STARS, Brian exemplifies the growth possible within Northwell.
We sat down with Brian to discuss the opportunities available at STARS.
How has STARS grown over the past year?
Though the past year has been tough for all healthcare professionals, the team members at STARS have stepped up to develop new ways to deliver exceptional and safe care to our patients. We have started exploring new territories like telehealth to deliver care virtually as well as taken measures to reconfigure physical space in the offices and clinical schedules to allow for social distancing. During the COVID pandemic, many of our team members found themselves developing new skills, with many volunteering to participate in Northwell’s Reassignment Reserves to be temporarily reassigned to COVID testing centers or being trained to work as safety monitors.
Additionally, the rehabilitation specialties we offer have continued to grow. Along with our focus on orthopedic and musculoskeletal rehabilitation therapy, our team members have worked hard to develop specialty services such as pelvic floor, pediatrics, neurological and wheelchair clinics, hand therapy, lymphedema/oncology, and vestibular programs to name just a few.
How has the work of our rehabilitation team members been vital to our organization and communities during the COVID pandemic?
Though we offer physical therapy in many specialties, traditionally most of our clinical team members have been working with musculoskeletal cases. With the COVID pandemic creating an increased need for additional services, the team at STARS has further expanded their skills to align with the principles of pulmonary therapy to assist in the treatment of recovering patients. One physical therapist in particular, Michael Kamme, had the idea for the program and worked closely with the STARS leadership and the Northwell Pulmonary physicians to develop the INSPIRE Program. We’re proud to say we now have physical therapists trained to deliver pulmonary rehab at every location and have seen 56 patients to date.
What are some of the careers available within STARS?
Between our rehab sites and within the hospital outpatient departments, we have a variety of careers available for anyone interested in joining the STARS team. On the clinical side, we have opportunities for physical and occupational therapists and assistants, speech therapists, neuropsychologists and rehab aides. For those with a non-clinical background, we have positions available from working at the front desk or in operations, to joining our support services or revenue cycle teams.
Opportunities aren’t just limited to our Rehab Centers and hospitals however. STARS also hires athletic trainers who work directly in practices physician extenders or in schools across Long Island. STARS also has physical therapists at Hofstra University working in their training room with their athletes. We also have the exciting opportunity to work with some professional sports team, such as the New York Islanders and the New York Lizards. Aside from just treating patients, many of our therapists also provide community and professional lectures as well as are adjunct or assistant faculty at local institutions including the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.
What makes working at STARS unique?
The culture in the STARS workplace is one where we value every member. Along with making STARS a fun place to work, we’re committed to developing the talent of the members of our STARS family throughout every step of their career. We encourage our team members to let us know if there are new skills they’d like to develop, including additional certifications or shadowing other departments if they would like to make a transition to the non-clinical side. We also love hearing ideas from our team members and strive to create an environment where everyone feels their voice can be heard and their ideas and input make a difference to influence changes in the organization.
Another thing that makes us unique is that our leadership team all continues to be treating clinicians. I myself still see patients generally two mornings a week, and I feel that it’s an important way to ensure that team members at all levels do not lose touch with the day to day workflows and changes related to regulatory/compliance, etc. By continuing to treat patients, we are better aware and equipped to responds to any challenges that our team may be facing and can then move together to come to the best solution for all.
Interested in a rehabilitation services career? Get moving and apply today!