Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Roy Rivera, Jr., PT, PhD, DPT, MCHES.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Dr. Roy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in McAllen, Texas, and graduated as the valedictorian of my high school class in 1999. From here, I went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. While I was in college, I thought I was going to be a dentist. I even founded the Pre-Dental Society at the university. However, all of that changed when I started volunteering at the Ride On Center for Kids in Georgetown, where physical and occupational therapists used horseback riding for therapeutic purposes. Physical therapy and rehabilitation called to me. Luckily, I was following a pre-medical curriculum and went on to apply to physical therapy school.
Over the next couple of years, I went on to receive three graduate degrees: a Master of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, TX, a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, UT, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Studies degree from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX. In addition to this, I am also a Master Certified Health Education Specialist through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.
I got my license to practice physical therapy in 2006 and started working right away for a large hospital system here in Houston. Right away, I felt the pressure of the corporate machine when my hospital system was bought by an even larger system here in the city. I was absorbed into the new system as a contractor and continued on the corporate ladder path, as many people do. It wasn’t until I completed all of my higher education that I realized I didn’t want to blend in or conform to the corporate structure. I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to do things the way I felt they should be done. I was ready to revolutionize the delivery of physical therapy.
In 2012, I started laying the path for what is now known as Crom Rehabilitation in the Heights. I was able to utilize my knowledge of the health care system, insurance contracts, and clinical experience to convince a small business lender to help me fund my dream. I was going to open a private practice. It was real, and it was happening. In early 2014, I put in my notice, cashed in my 401k, and started to build Crom Rehabilitation.
In November 2014, Crom Rehabilitation opened its doors and started seeing its first patients. I was the primary physical therapist and had one physical therapist assistant. We were a clinical staff of two. I was learning to navigate the ever-changing health care system. I was being a secretary. I was billing. I was marketing. I was holding up the private practice on my shoulders. Anyone who has ever started a small business knows that this is not an easy undertaking.
Now flash forward to present day. Crom Rehabilitation has two physical therapists, two physical therapy technicians, a front desk administrator, and an off-site billing team. We have grown our practice and established relationships with some of Houston’s most prominent orthopedic surgeons. We are not affiliated with any major hospital systems but see patients from all of them. We are exploring expansion and ultimately have goals for multiple locations across the Houston area.
The one thing I am most proud of is our patient satisfaction. In 2015, after being open for only one year, we were awarded the Patients’ Choice by Opencare. In 2016, we climbed the ranks on Yelp to be ranked as the number one spot in the entire city of Houston for physical therapy. You can understand how this is a huge honor considering that Houston is the fourth largest city in the country and has the largest medical center in the entire world. How did we do it? While my clinical approach and expertise is extensive, my philosophy is client-centered. Treat people like people, not like numbers. One of my patients said to me once, “The best form of advertisement is a woman’s mouth.” She couldn’t have been more correct.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not always been a smooth road. One of the biggest struggles along the way was in the very beginning. I can’t tell you how many large banks I went into, both local and national, to apply for a small business start-up loan. I got the door slammed in my face every single time. They didn’t see my vision. And they didn’t believe that this was a task I could pull off. Ultimately, I ended up at the doorstep of a local lender that is known for funding minority groups to help diversify the small business world. They took a chance on me and this made my dream a reality.
Another struggle was finding the right staff for the job. Not everyone is made for uncertainty and instability. Not everyone is built to take a risk or take a chance. There were tough times and some very difficult decisions had to be made. However, we now have our dream team and have weathered the storm.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I mentioned a little bit of this in the first question I answered. However, I’ll extrapolate a little here on what we actually do.
Plain and simple, we are a sports medicine and orthopedic clinic. Our clinical interests and specialties include management of orthopedic conditions and return-to-sport in adolescents and return-to-work in young adults. Our clinical strengths and areas of expertise include treating musculoskeletal disorders and conditions of the spine and extremities. We have years of experience treating individuals across the lifespan, from infant to geriatric populations, with orthopedic and neurologic conditions as well.
The following are the most common orthopedic conditions that we see in clinic: Tendinitis, Sprains/Strains, Fractures, Neck and Back Pain, Surgical Repairs, Total Joint Replacements, Osteoarthritis, and Degenerative Joint Disease. We also have the following Specialty Rehabilitation Programs: Hand Therapy, Post-Concussive Evaluation and Management, ACL Reconstruction Protocol, Balance and Fall Risk Assessment, Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder Protocol, Sport-Specific Recovery Training, Work-related Injuries, and Back School.
We are most proud of our high client satisfaction rating as I mentioned previously.
What were you like growing up?
If you asked any of my childhood friends, they would probably tell you that I was the class clown growing up. I love to make people laugh and smile. I was very studious, however, and constantly strived for perfection in my academics. I was interested in science and medicine from a very young age. I knew that I wanted to be in medicine in some capacity. In my spare time, I also played tennis. I still play competitively and am even serving my third term on the board of the Houston Tennis Club.
- Address: 946 N. Shepherd Dr., Suite A
Houston, TX 77008
- Website: http://www.cromrehab.com
- Phone: 713-868-2766
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CromRehab/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/cr%C5%8Dm-rehabilitation-houston