News & Press: Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight on Brendan Sullivan, PT, DPT, MSCS, CSCS

Thursday, April 19, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Carla Rosenbaum
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Brendan Sullivan, PT, DPT, MSCS, CSCS

Owner of Empire Health & Wellness Center



April 2018

As a private practice owner, Brendan Sullivan has a packed schedule. However, he takes time to make NYPTA membership and advocating on behalf of his profession a priority. Check out some productivity and technology tips and tricks Brendan uses, and find out what he does in his free time - you might run into him at the next big sci-fi movie opening night!


Take a few minutes and get to know this month's member spotlight! 

How long have you been a member of the NYPTA? What is your best experience thus far?


I have been a member of the NYPTA since I graduated from college over 20 years ago.  As a private practitioner, I have always remained active within the association for our yearly Lobby Day.  However, my direct involvement with the Public Policy Committee has only been for the past 1.5 years.  My best experience thus far has been the opportunity to meet with the New York State Workers Compensation Board regarding our profession’s role in rehabilitating injured workers.  The association has worked tirelessly during the past few years to pass legislation authorizing PT assistants to treat injured workers.  I am hopeful that an ongoing productive dialogue with the Board will lead to a larger and more valued role for PTs/PTAs within the WC system. 


Tell us a little about your background, and how your path led you to where you are in your career today. What’s your favorite moment of your career so far? 


I am from the Albany area and grew up always enjoying athletics.  A few close family members have suffered from chronic health conditions.  Both these factors influenced my decision to become a physical therapist.   I went to PT school at Utica College.  More recently, I completed my transitional doctorate with EIM Institute of Health Professions, sat for the OCS board exam and am set to complete EIM’s Manual Therapy Certification (MTC) this spring.  I’m in private practice in Latham and have owned the Empire Health & Wellness Center for 17+ years.


My favorite moment practicing was working with a ‘wounded warrior’ on a novel balance board pilot study which was published several years ago.  The participant recently completed his service as an Army medic and is retired from active service.  Upon arriving home, he came to the office in full service attire to thank me.  As a show of appreciation, he presented me with a memorial flag that flew on a rescue mission, which he was a part of, in Benghazi, Libya. 


What is a typical day like for you?


A typical day for me is getting up early to get a head start on all things related to the office.  To make sure I get a workout in, I head to the boxing gym for a workout and then into the office.  I’m still carrying a full-time caseload in addition to managing the office, so a good night’s sleep and getting off to an early start is ideal.  


What is a favorite tip you have that you could share with others in our industry?


My office uses the WebPT web-based EMR system.  We have enjoyed using the system, but coding compliance, insurance regulations and medical treatment guidelines are unique in NY.  We have created several Firefox web extensions that enhance the system and make it more “NY user-friendly”.  My advice to any PT practice that has an EMR system is to make sure it has the proper technological infrastructure to reduce the documentation burden on its therapists.  There is no sense in fellow clinic owners harping on metrics if they haven’t properly leveraged technology to help  providers manage their caseload.   


What are you passionate about?


After 20 years practicing PT, I am as passionate about the profession as I have ever been.  Since our state relies upon a healthy workforce, one area in which I have strong interest and have advocated about is the injured worker’s access to PT.  New York workers were significantly impacted by opioid prescribing patterns over the past number of years.  There is a lot PTs can do to show our value in this area as it relates to early access to guideline adherent care.  When advocating, I have learned that it is important to engage fellow stakeholders and to spend as much time listening as it is to be speaking about the benefits of PT. 


What else would you like your fellow NYPTA Members to know about you?


In my free time, I am the consummate ‘doting uncle’ to my beautiful niece and handsome nephew who are ages 7 and 5 respectively.  Also, I’m one of four children and have a fraternal twin brother.  My twin, Sean, lives in Portland, OR.  Finally, despite calling New York State my home, I am a die hard Red Sox fan.  Go Sox! 


What is your favorite app or social media outlet?


My favorite app is Slack for organizing business projects because it really facilitates team communication.  As for personal use, I would say I’m a regular user of Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. 


What is your guilty pleasure?


Without question, I am a technology and sci-fi fan.  You could easily catch me at a Star Wars or Marvel/DC Comics movie on opening night.  However, you will NOT catch me in any elaborate character attire at those events!  

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