2013-05-10 / Community

Rockaway Park Therapy Center Reopens

By Katie McFadden

Rockaway Park Therapy Center has returned! The physical therapy and aquatic center celebrated its grand re-opening last week.

Rockaway Park Therapy Center at 103-22 Rockaway Beach Boulevard has been closed since Hurricane Sandy flooded the entire office with five feet of water. Staff members took temporary residence in another location on Beach 114th Street, but they’re now back home as of Monday, May 6th.

Flood waters completely destroyed the building and all of the equipment inside. “Right before the storm, we were going really well. The storm was a big setback,” Director Ryan Anderson said. The center has struggled to re-open as they had $400,000 worth of damage and no help from FEMA or the Small Business Administration and they had no flood insurance. After borrowing money, installing new walls and floors and purchasing new equipment, the location is finally back open to patients.

“Anytime one of the businesses reopens, it’s a good thing for Rockaway,” Anderson said. “People in the neighborhood are busy picking up the pieces and putting their houses back together. Now they can focus on themselves a little bit and not just their houses,” Anderson said of the therapy center being available to residents again.

The center and their second location, Boro Park Therapy and Pain Center in Brooklyn, are partnered with the Brooklyn Nets as they treat their players. To celebrate the grand re-opening, two Brooklynettes cheerleaders were on hand to take photos and welcome the patients. Owners Steve Silberstein and Yehuda Litvintchouk took part in a ribbon cutting with a three-foot-long pair of scissors.

Patients were excited to be back in the regular building and they were happy to see the new additions. “They really made it look so nice and spacious,” Michelle LaTony, a patient since 2003 said. “They really do good here. We like this place.”

Johnny LaTony is looking forward to the opening of the center’s pool. “We’re waiting for the pool to come back,” he said. The redone pool area wasn’t ready in time for the opening, but the owners said it would be open by the end of the week.

“Coming back here and knowing we can help people is exciting,” Aquatic instructor and aide, Sharon Fein-Feldman said.

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