Orthology is an innovative solution for rapid recovery from pain, injury, and surgery. Our goal is simple. To get you back to a pain-free life as quickly as possible.
We know what it takes to break the Cycle of Injury. Our approach goes beyond just treating the symptoms you’re feeling today, and gets to the root cause of the injury. We excel in creating a comprehensive plan of treatment-customized for you and targets the root cause of your pain, addressing the key areas necessary for recovery:
* Mobility: To get you pain free and moving without restriction
* Flexibility: To return full range of motion to the affected areas
* Stability: To help you control movement, improve performance, and avoid re-injury.
Our office will call to confirm and to obtain any additional booking information.
Many caregivers say that a personal injury–or a family member’s health crisis—was the pivotal event that lead them to their calling. Sure, such experience counts. But the most common thread among PTs seems their innate empathy. Like nurses, social workers, teachers and others, they’re just driven to help others. They also seem motivated by the sheer joy of being an active person, and want others to feel that exhilaration—and to get back to doing what they love. Joan was exposed at an early age to physical therapy because her older sister was stricken with polio. It inspired her to want to work as a caregiver, to help people fully enjoy their lives, especially without pain or undue restriction. There’s the incredible satisfaction of seeing a person complete treatment and how they are changed. They started out compromised, or in pain, really suffering –then finish treatment a different person! Renewed. Restored. Whole. Joan says that she always found the workings of the human body to be fascinating. She’s never lost that original inspiration, and has harnessed that sense of wonder, successfully treated so many patients. No surprise she’s also into gardening and environmental preservation. The passion for nurturing life, for tending to plants with skilled care, is just built-in with some of us. Making a positive change in people’s lives—giving them a chance to grow, if you will—is a special talent. And PTs like Joan just seem to have the gift. When she’s not helping others, Joan loves hiking, and traveling. She’s also a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist.
When asked who is favorite athlete is, Michael goes old school. He chose Lawrence Taylor, the famed linebacker for the New York Giants. A great choice. For a time, there was no better football player in the world than Taylor—incredibly fast on his feet, lightening reflexes, powerful and supremely aware of everything that was happening on the field. His physical attributes were awesome, and no one out-smarted “L.T.” Above all, he played every game with unrivaled passion. In a way, it illustrates Michael’s approach as a caregiver. He gets both the mental and physical aspects of physical therapy. And the emotional. If you are an active person who wants to get back to doing what you love, he’s the physical therapist to see. He brings his passion to work every day! Michael knows it’s so important to develop strong relationships with his patients, developing ongoing communication and real trust. Like many of his teammates at Orthology, he is empathetic, while driven to get great outcomes for patients. These are healthcare professionals with real determination. Their focus is on the physical, and yet they understand that treatment is also a mental and emotional journey. Staying upbeat is so important. Solving problems together—therapist and patient—is key. Clear goals. Open communication. A native of Bellmore, NY, Michael graduated from SUNY Stony Brook. He is a dedicated athlete, loves both sports and solo time at the gym. He also enjoys the great outdoors, spending off-hours fishing, and doing a little hunting. He’s also known to watch the Giants from time to time!
A graduate of Columbia University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Stephanie Belaires is grateful for the intrinsic rewards of being a caregiver. “I feel a sense of fulfillment when I hear success stories from my patients and this drives me every day to do the best I can to help them achieve their goals.” Stephanie’s career path dovetails nicely with her outside interests, golf and travel. As you might guess, she harnesses these two passions to serve others. “Golf has definitely prepared me as I see golfers every day so it gives me a different perspective to their rehab. Travel has prepared me as well as I have met people from all different cultures and have expanded my worldview.” Like many of her fellow practitioners, Stephanie has an athletic background, and it has enabled her to see a wide variety of sports related injuries. Plus, she has an abiding interest in human anatomy, which she studied as an undergrad at Ursinus College. It was a perfect combination to prepare for her life’s work. Her natural empathy and reflexive loyalty (friends and family say it’s her best quality) help make her a successful healthcare professional. She has a genuine talent for connecting to her patients. Stephanie knows, intuitively and through clinical experience, that listening is all important in treatment. “I act like a sounding board to my patients. I’m always there to listen, whether it be medically related or personal. It allows me to establish a deeper relationship with patients and get on the same page as them.” This Titleist Performance Institute Certified therapist loves playing golf and traveling. But her truest passion is obvious: “Hearing patients’ success stories and getting them back to their previous level of function!” Chances are, some of those success stories are on the links right now, feeling fit and enjoying a round of golf.
Jeremy Smuckler is an athlete, like so many of the best PTs. He has real empathy for what active people go through when they can’t perform in their favorite sport, train vigorously, or just get a workout at the gym. That’s why he’s totally on board with the Orthology mission—to get people back to doing what they love. He really can’t imagine not being able to play some hoops! Jeremy earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Stony Brook University. Friends and family characterize him as patient, which is a great trait to possess when you’re a caregiver. It takes patience helping patients through the recovery process. He knows it’s so important to develop strong relationships with every one he treats, always engaged in ongoing communication. Because of his record of successful treatment outcomes, he knows that fostering an atmosphere of trust and open dialogue is the key to getting patients on a path to long-term health, free of pain or worry about reinjuring themselves. Like many at Orthology, Jeremy is naturally empathetic, and it’s clear that he’s passionate about being a caregiver. This is a healthcare professional with real determination. His focus is on the physical, but being a patient guy comes in to play. He understands—intuitively—that great treatment is also an emotional journey. A genuine sense of calm, unhurried communication and perserverance—all these help make him an inspiring practitioner. What drives him to help patients? We love Jeremy’s straightforward answer: “Doing the best work possible.” When not working, Jeremy loves sports, hiking and reading. And the Mets, of course!
Felicia Vernaskas graduated with honors from the State University at Stony Brook and received her license in Physical Therapy in 1999. She also earned a Masters in Psychology from St. John’s University. Dedicated to serving the local community, treating conditions in patients of all ages, she also draws on her training in psychology to create a deeply supportive environment, where individual needs are addressed to restore optimal function. She has seen the benefits in a proactive approach: “I believe that serving my patients includes providing the best care for their recovery, in a proactive atmosphere so they are encouraged to take an active role in the process, and creating a partnership so individual goals are met and patients leave us with the ability and confidence to achieve a healthier lifestyle.” With a record of great outcomes, Felicia knows that patients need an advocate as they deal with pain and injury: a caregiver to educate, motivate, support and guide them to overcome challenges and meet their goals. She was especially inspired by a woman who had spent several years being treated for severe knee pain, including multiple surgeries. The patient came in for evaluation, without much hope for a better outcome. Felicia opened up the lines of communication, and the patient began to feel encouraged. Felicia became her advocate, treating not just the pain and injury, but restoring the whole person. During sessions and at home, the patient worked diligently. Her outlook and confidence began to shift, and she was able to participate in life more each day. It was more than a physical transformation. To Felicia, that’s what PT is all about. When not at work caring for others, Felicia likes to travel, gardening, and do yoga.
Consistency is a key element in physical therapy. Regular appointments. Doing “homework.” Continuous, open communication between practitioner and patient during treatment. It’s almost intuitive for PTs–but they’re highly trained to stay consistent in the therapeutic process. They know from experience that a steadfast program will achieve great outcomes for patients. And when you ask Melissa Schaub what made her want to become a practitioner, her answer is consistent with her Orthology teammates: “To help people get back to doing what they love.” Melissa remembers well what it was like after a traumatic injury. A runner, she experienced first-hand how it took a team to get her back to full function. She knows that compassion is fundamental in that process. Genuine empathy and encouragement will help get someone in pain to strive harder; they feel that active support as they work to recover from injury. As Melissa tells her patients, the best advice she can give is “try to do a little more today than you did yesterday.” Dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, she’s a fan of the Think Dirty app. It’s not what you think! The app is the easiest way to “shop clean.” You can scan product barcodes to see if there are the potentially toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal care items. When she’s not pursuing her passion as a caregiver, Melissa loves spending as much time as possible with her family, camping and traveling. One last thing about this terrific new caregiver at Orthology. When you ask her to name her favorite athlete, she quickly cites Derek Jeter. The great Yankee captain had a remarkable career. He was a winner. He worked hard. He gave his best. Above all, he was a model of consistency.
Orthology is so happy to welcome Lauren Wright to the team. She’s clearly one of those people that gets it. She’s a confident person, and that’s a great benefit to her patients. You just feel better when your caregiver is sure-handed, clear and focused about what they’re doing. She’s a versatile, talented athlete—and a determined, successful practitioner. Not only is she a kickboxer, but she’s also a Certified Tennis Performance Specialist. Lauren graduated from Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy. An experienced provider of real depth, she spent four years working with Division 1 athletes and getting them back into action. Treating elite performers is a profound challenge in physical therapy. It requires a very special practitioner to guide such high-achievers through the recovery process. She also has several years of working in Pediatric Physical Therapy, a particularly laudable specialty. It provides proven, one-on-one care for children with a wide range of conditions, including developmental and neuromuscular. It’s critical for kids to be able to participate in peer activities, and an empathetic caregiver like Lauren is a great guide for a child trying to navigate their way forward in life. And speaking of peers, Lauren is inspired like most of her fellow caregivers to help others. It’s that “empathy thing” again! Being part of a patient’s journey of recovery and return to function is what energizes her. Lauren’s mission is keeping patients active so that they can enjoy a lifetime of pain-free good health. It’s in her DNA and she finds it truly rewarding. While a PT’s focus is mostly on the physical, they understand that treatment is also a mental and emotional process. Most therapists agree that there’s no greater feeling than seeing a patient back to doing what they love, filled with optimism. Lauren gets it.
If you’ve ever had tennis elbow, you’ll want to meet our resident Certified Tennis Performance Specialist, Cristina Leek. She’s nearly as passionate about tennis as she is about her work as physical therapist, and that’s saying something! You know those tennis players. They are a committed bunch of athletes, dedicated to the game for life. Truth is, only a small group of people diagnosed with tennis elbow (Lateral epicondylitis) actually get it from playing tennis. A classic repetitive stress injury, it affects everyone from butchers to carpenters, typists to fiddlers. Though Cristina’s focus is usually on sports injuries–helping people return from injury to full function and perform in their beloved sport–she’s passionate about her work as a caregiver, and loves treating a wide variety of patients. They inspire her. She is thrilled to watch patients make progress through their rehabilitation—and to see how happy they are when they meet all their goals. Cristina says it best herself: “I find it very rewarding . . . when a patient, on their first day, is on crutches and unable to weight bear. Or in a sling, and they have minimal motion and use of their arm. And then–after weeks to months of rehab–they are back to running, throwing a ball or playing with their grandchildren.” Cristina earned her BS at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and her MSPT at New York Medical College. In addition to her tennis certification, she’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She loves spending time with family and friends, the joy of reading for pleasure, and, of course, playing some tennis!