“Less Sweating It Out, More Patient Care:” How This Hoboken Physical Therapy Practice Thrives Under the Twin Boro Physical Therapy Umbrella
Any time a new patient steps into the Strulowitz & Gargiulo-Twin Boro Physical Therapy at Hoboken offices in Northern New Jersey, they can expect an unexpected cheering section to greet them.
“There’s always been a really great atmosphere in the clinic of other patients encouraging the patients who are newbies to physical therapy,” said co-founder Caroline Jolly. “You know, ‘Oh, I was like that a week ago. You’re going to be great!’ and things like that. It’s a great atmosphere for people who might be nervous or unsure.”
Fostering that atmosphere has always been top of mind for Jolly and her co-founder Sandy Pietrewicz ever since they founded Craft Physical Therapy (now Strulowitz & Gargiulo-Twin Boro Physical Therapy) in the early 2000s. After meeting at a continuing education course in New York City, then bumping into one another repeatedly around their native Hoboken, they began “talking shop,” Pietrewicz said.
“We had similar situations where we had busy clinics and bosses who would sometimes give us the grunt work while they would take easy cases, which hurt our individual ability to actually help people who needed it since we didn’t have a lot of time,” she added. “Through talking, we realized we had the same philosophies. There was a lot of great patient care insight coming from Caroline and she felt the same about me.”
So it really wasn’t a surprise when Jolly looked at Pietrewicz one day and asked if she had ever considered opening her own clinic.
“I said, ‘Well, yeah, that’s always been the dream,” said Pietrewicz. “When she said, ‘No, I mean, now! With me!’ I was ready to jump in. It was a no-brainer for us.”
Pitfalls of Patient Care
Jolly and Pietrewicz selected Hoboken as their home base when founding Craft Physical Therapy. It was an area they both knew well and they were confident in their ability to bring in a substantial client base. But as their practice grew, so did the challenges that came along with growth – and while most of them were welcome, there were also some struggles.
“We used to do it all, even verifying insurance,” said Pietrewicz. “And as I’m sure you can imagine after 16 years it was really hard. We said at one point, ‘wouldn’t it be nice if we could just treat people and have someone else do the rest’?”
And speaking of insurance, Jolly added, it was becoming more difficult to provide patients access to great care because the winds of healthcare have changed regarding insurance reimbursements. Fighting battles with insurance companies to get patients covered and having to turn people away because Craft Physical Therapy couldn’t work with their insurance wasn’t how Pietrewicz and Jolly wanted to operate.
“We wanted to offer our patients more in terms of insurance and care,” Jolly said. “And that’s why it was such a lucky stroke of fate when we heard about the Strulowitz & Gargiulo platform and their merger with Twin Boro Physical Therapy.”
A Match Made in Heaven
After Pietrewicz learned in 2020 that one of her old friends had merged his practice with Twin Boro Physical Therapy, she and Jolly asked if he felt the partnership had worked out for his practice and his patients.
“He was just adamant about how great that partnership was, and we both knew of Carl Gargiulo’s amazing reputation as a physical therapist,” said Pietrewicz. “So Twin Boro Physical Therapy connected the three of us and I think when they met with us they thought we would be the perfect for a Hudson County merger. And the rest is history.”
In the middle of 2021 Craft Physical Therapy became Strulowitz & Gargiulo-Twin Boro Physical Therapy at Hoboken, and Jolly and Pietrewicz both saw an instant change in how they were able to care for patients and run their practice. Most notably, Jolly said, they no longer had to do battle with insurance companies because Twin Boro Physical Therapy is in-network with every insurance company.
“It’s a little less of the sweating it out part of the business and a lot more about caring for our patients and being able to offer our patients more in terms of flexibility with insurance and having extra help at the front desk and such,” Jolly added. “It’s freed us up to make sure we keep in line with our original mission statement: providing great patient care to everyone who needs it.”