Epiphany in Injury
Jeff Chiappa always had an idea of what he wanted to with his life, but it took a friend’s injury for him to find his calling.
“My dad is a periodontist and my mom I a psychologist, so the healing arts have always been in my family,” he said. “I’ve always been interested in medicine and I knew I wanted to do something with it, but I wasn’t sure what.”
For Chiappa, a Great Valley High School graduate and a Malvern resident, the picture didn’t come into focus until his roommate tore her ACL.
“I knew I wanted to work with people, but I didn’t want to go to med school,” he said. “A friend of mine tore her ACL while I was living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I ended up taking her to physical therapy out there, and that’s when I knew what I wanted to do.”
A Community Mind
Chiappa came back from the west, went to school and started working at Bryn Mawr Rehab. For 15 years, he worked as a therapist for the Pennsylvania Orthopedic Center, running their offices for over a decade before he decided he wanted to strike out on his own. He opened Synergy Sports & Orthopedic on Lancaster Avenue in 2013.
“When I decided to open my own office, I thought ‘where better to do it than Malvern?,’” he said. “I’m integrated in the area, and I’ve been serving it for 15 years.”
The idea of community service is big for Chiappa. He says he wants his physical therapy practice to become a “community resource.”
“Every patient is a word in the community, so my goal is to have each patient be very pleased with my care, so there are a lot of voices out there,” he said.” I want people to understand that they can call me with questions, even if they don’t need PT. I can give people better care because I run the business myself, and I want the community to know that I am taking the onus on myself to make you better.”
Hustle For Better
The idea of positive word-of-mouth is big for Chiappa, who says that working on his own allows him more direct care, but removes the referral net he enjoyed in his previous job.
“I used to work in a physician-owned group, which is a self-referral system,” he said. “But now I get calls where people say ‘can I go wherever I want,’ and I tell them that, of course they can. Just because a doctor suggests you go to the place he owns, it doesn’t mean you have to go there.”
While he says he’s been “fighting an uphill battle as an independent practitioner in a an area where there are bit physical therapy clinics,” he believes his way is better.
“I feel I can give better care because I own the business,” he said. “I’m hustling right now, but, in the end, I know I can provide a better product and get my patients where they need to go.
Synergy Sports and Orthopedic Physical Therapy
365 Lancaster Avenue, Malvern