NEW MILFORD – What started with a single physical therapy practice in Waterbury in 2000 has grown to a sprawling business with 18 locations and 220 employees throughout the state.
Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Centers, founded when Alan Balavender bought his first practice in Waterbury, is celebrating its latest location, now open at 43 Main St. in New Milford.
Balavender, of West Hartford, has filled a space left vacant when Robertson Jewelers relocated to a larger nearby storefront. The company’s clinics include Naugatuck, Southbury and Watertown.
In the past year the company has served more than 14,000 patients statewide and in the last month the new clinic has served 150 patients, according to the company.
Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Centers opens new clinics and buys existing practices following a business model based on the premise of growth.
The company relies on partnerships with experienced physical therapists who are personally vested in the clinics they manage and partly own.
Bryan O’Neill, of Morris, is managing director and partner of the new location. He is a board certified orthopedic specialist with more than six years of experience in outpatient physical therapy. He has treated patients at the Naugatuck and Avon clinics.
O’Neill, who is a Watertown native, holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and human performance from Southern Connecticut State University and received a Doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Connecticut.
“We are very happy to see this new physical therapy office in the heart of our downtown. Bryan has done a beautiful job renovating the space and it builds upon the idea that Downtown is a center for professional as well as retail businesses,” said Mayor David Gronbach.
Patients of all ages receive physical therapy for osteoarthritis, sprains and strains, neck and back, tendinitis and fractures. They treat orthopedic, sports medicine and workers’ compensation injuries. Some of their specialties include post-operative rehabilitation, post-concussion syndrome, balance, dizziness and vertigo therapy.
O’Neill specializes in manual therapy, general orthopedic conditions and sports related injuries.
“I love helping people to get back to doing the things they like to do,” said O’Neill. “I enjoy the relationships that are built with patients and their families.”
Silvia Rodriguez, of Avon, travels two hours roundtrip to see O’Neill for treatment of a shoulder injury and Marlene Roberts, of Sherman is a patient. Both were at the office Wednesday.
“He uses a lot of techniques that work and he listens,” said Rodriguez.
Balavender said his business has been fortunate to continue to grow.
“Bryan is an exceptional clinician who I’m certain will make a positive difference in people’s lives,” he said. “We take great pride in clinical care, service and relationships, and I am excited that we are now able to provide that level of care to the communities in the New Milford area.”
This article written by Alicia Sakal originally appeared online as premium content and on the Business front page in the March 30, 2017 edition of Republican-American, a regional daily newspaper in Connecticut. Photos: Alicia Sakal