A Dedication to “An Utmost Attention to Quality of Care”
By Matt Smith
It’s the familiar adage we’ve heard time and again: “Change is good. Change makes the world go ‘round. Don’t be afraid of change.” While Matt Marucci, who opened New Castle Physical Therapy in March 2007, recognizes that change is indeed necessary for growing a business, he takes pride in knowing one very important element of his practice has remained constant since Day One: to “provide the highest level of care and service possible.” With a dedicated staff of six (four therapists and two receptionists) and rave reviews from clients throughout the county, we can undoubtedly agree that, although change is good in some cases, a successful strategy is better left untouched.
“Treating one patient per hour allows us to provide a level of individualized care that is rare in today’s health care environment,” Marucci explains, when asked what makes his clinic unique. “Whether it’s the front desk or the therapists, everyone here cares about the people who walk through our door. I think that sets a positive foundation for the experience patients have here.”
Patients come to NCPT with all types of injuries and conditions. Concerning the problems NCPT specifically treats, “We run the gamut,” says Marucci, adding that their practice has no age limitations: “We see everyone from adolescents to geriatrics.”
Citing patients with long-term conditions such as cerebral palsy or stroke recovery, but also those with every day “sprains and strains or aches and pains,” in the back, neck, knees, or shoulders, to name some major problem areas, he explains that the range of conditions is so extensive, it truly encompasses “anything under the realm of orthopedics.”
Through its affiliation with the Hospital for Special Surgery, and in consultation with experts from the Hospital, NCPT also helps patients with unique orthopedic conditions and post-operative rehabilitations.”
Marucci assures that no matter the extent of the patient’s condition, all issues are treated with the utmost attention to the quality of care.
With such a strong focus toward the well-being of his patients, it’s clear Marucci has a lot to be proud of; but there’s one aspect of the practice that he believes most significantly contributes to successful treatment: the company’s “one patient per hour” approach. He stresses the importance of the one-on-one relationship between patient and therapist, especially when dealing with long-term conditions.
He explains that by extending the length of therapist/patient sessions, therapists are able to complete a more thorough evaluation and treatment strategy. “It’s a matter of [staying with the patient] and helping them break it all down so they have a thorough understanding of what they can do to help themselves,” he says. “All of our therapists have or are working on advanced certifications, and [have] plenty of continuing education, but if we only have 15 minutes with a patient, there is only so much we can do.”
A full hour of treatment also means the patient can use that time to thoroughly understand his or her condition, and work with the therapist to improve it and alleviate any associated pain. With this in mind, Matt urges therapists to take full advantage of the time spent with their patients, stating, “The ability to empower people through their recovery is a wonderful opportunity,” and it’s not to be taken for granted.
Marucci certainly knows this to be true in the case of his practice, and he recognizes that providing excellent care means continuing hard work. Speaking specifically about which achievements make him most proud, he says, with a smile: “the community of people that has formed here.” He takes satisfaction in knowing that, by launching the practice, he has indirectly created a unique family environment, which grows wider and stronger each year, adding life and vibrancy to a place that literally had none before.
“When we first found this space, it was a very stale, generic office space,” Marucci explains. “To [look at it now and] see the community and camaraderie that has developed is very fulfilling.” In describing the rare connection between members of this group, he makes particular mention of the special bond longtime patients have, not only with the staff and therapists, but with other longtime patients.
“There’s just something about seeing that connection that makes me very happy,” he continues. “It makes it feel like home.”
What’s more? Not only is his family expanding at work, it’s also expanding at home: his second daughter, Nora, was born on May 9, 2015. And while adjusting to life with a new one has been somewhat hectic. “Last night was a rough night,” he admits. He gives full credit to wife, Laura, also a physical therapist at NCPT, for helping to make the transition between home and work (and back again) very smooth. “She’s my rock at home,” he says. “And she’s a great mother.” Ultimately, with the baby sleeping (mostly) through the night, and their three-year-old daughter, Clare, comfortable in her role as big sister, Marucci notes, rather contently, that “all in all, life at home is great.”
And considering the ongoing success of NCPT, one could also say the same is true of life at work. Of course, none of this is lost on Marucci, who also wishes to extend his thanks to the many patients–the “very vocal advocates”–who consistently recommend the facility to their friends. “[Word of mouth] is the lifeblood of a small business,” he comments. “It’s appreciated more than they’ll ever know.”
As for the success of the business itself? “It’s crazy,” he remarks. “You open up, hoping for the best, staring at the phone and hoping that it rings, and seeing it slowly build and build and build…” He throws his hands up in amazement. “We’ve been very fortunate. I’m extremely grateful.”
New Castle Physical Therapy is located at 16 Schuman Road in Millwood. For more information, please visit newcastlept.net