Sports medicine (also referred to as Athletic Training) and physical therapy are often used interchangeably. However, these two therapies aren’t exactly the same.
Athletic training, unlike physical therapy, deals solely with injury prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation specific to the athletic population. Where as, the clients with which physical therapy serves encompasses more than just athletes.
Athletic training professionals, also unlike physical therapists, are primarily providing acute and emergency care in settings where competitive sports and athletics take place (i.e. high schools, college/universities, professional arenas/fields, etc.).
Physical therapists will most likely not be seen in this setting, but in facilities that provide rehabilitative care, such as hospitals and private practices. Together, both of these health professionals work to provide quality interventions in order to help restore their patient’s athletic abilities, as well as, function.
Cynthia Gormezano began her academic career at Hebrew University in Jerusalem where she studied international policy and the Arab-Israeli conflict. She returned to New York where she graduated cum laude with a B.A. in political science. After realizing that her passion lies in working with people, she completed her Master of Physical Therapy degree at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.
She began her career as a staff PT at Coler-Goldwater Hospital. Later, in 2001, after founding the Pediatric Orthopeadic Physical Therapy Clinic at St. Luke’s Roosevelt, Cynthia created Cynergy Physical Therapy. Cynthia has been working with the orthopedic population for 15 years where she has become an expert in sports injury rehab as well as neck and back pain. Through continued training with manual therapy courses as well as extensive one on one training at seminars, Cynthia has gained an unparalleled knowledge and skill set.
Cynthia’s charitable works for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society include raising funds and awareness as the keynote speaker at various events and participating in cycling events like century rides and triathlons around the country. As an endurance athlete and cancer survivor, Cynthia has the unique ability to evaluate and treat the competitive athlete and recreational athlete alike.
Licensed physical therapist and a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Cynthia continually adds to her expertise through formal course work and the shared knowledge of fellow professionals, always keeping up with the latest techniques and technologies. She is also an active member of New York Road Runners.
PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Alvin Dike began his academic career at the State University of New York at Potsdam where he received his B.S. in Biology. During that time, Alvin was the captain of the men’s basketball team and a Ronald E. McNair Scholar.
As a McNair scholar, Alvin was fortunate to become a co-author for two publications: 1. Measuring Community-based walking Activity in People with Stroke ; 2. Constraint Induced Movement therapy for a young adult with Hemiparesis as a result of Cerebral Palsy. With his athletic and academic background, he realized his that his passion was working with people. He obtained his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY.
Alvin possesses a strong interest in manual physical therapy and sports rehabilitation. He understands the value of maintaining his commitment to learning by being active in continuing education courses. Alvin is a Board-certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialities, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Additionally, Alvin also holds his certification in:
- The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)
- The Functional Movement Screen (FMS)
- Active Release Techniques (ART)
Alvin is an avid weight lifter and is involved in various basketball tournaments throughout New York City. Having overcome a knee injury himself, Alvin understands the importance of returning to a sport post-injury stronger and in better shape.
Aubin Sullivan began her academic career at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, with a major in dance. After pursuing a career in dance, she decided to return to school with strong interest in science and biology. During this time, Aubin became involved in the sport of triathlon. She attended Hunter College with a major in biology, and minor in psychology, then transferred to Touro College, School of Health Science in Manhattan, where she received her Masters of science in physical therapy.
Aubin continues to grow and learn by taking formal course work, with emphasis on manual therapy. In addition, Aubin is certified in pilates mat, and frequently uses concepts of pilates in her treatment method.
Aubin has over 20 years experience competing in triathlons, from sprint to half ironman distances, has competed in 7 marathons, and is a category 3 bike racer.
PT, DPT, SFMA
Chivonne began her academic career at Rutgers University where she received a BS in exercise science. During her time at Rutgers, she discovered her fascination with the human body. She next went on to obtain her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. While at Downstate she participated in research and community service. She took joy in educating the community on the importance of physical activity through numerous workshops and fairs. Upon graduation she received an award for her leadership qualities, initiative, and involvement in professional activities.
While in her last semester in graduate school Chivonne trained at Cynergy Physical Therapy where she was mentored and had the opportunity to develop her manual skills. Her many positive experiences caused her to return as a full time therapist. Chivonne is certified in The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), Functional Movement Screen (FMS), and the Graston Technique (GT). Chivonne is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and a NYRR member.
Chivonne enjoys dance, traveling, cooking and has developed the a late blooming passion for half-marathons-especially the fall and spring races.
Sarah Jordan is a native New Yorker whose appreciation for the healing powers of physical therapy began at age 12 when she was a patient recovering from an accident. Her physical therapist was Cynthia Gormezano whose skills brought her back to full functionality and awakened in her, a fascination with the mind-body relationship and its importance in healing. This prompted Sarah to major in Biological Psychology at the College of the Holy Cross. After college, she started working in pharmaceutical advertising and later worked in marketing and fundraising for a non-profit agency specializing in programs for autistic children. It was here that Sarah gained an appreciation for the breadth and versatility of a career in physical therapy. She enrolled in New York University’s post baccalaureate program for pre-medical studies in order to take the necessary prerequisites to apply to PT school.
In May of 2014, Sarah graduated from Long Island University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. She has a particular interest in manual therapy, and while in school she took many advanced manual classes with the Institute of Physical Art; Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, Functional Mobilization I, Functional Mobilization II, and Core First Strategies. Sarah is also passionate about total mind and body wellness and importance of the physical therapist to consider the patient as a complete person and not just an illness. While in school, Sarah had clinical affiliations at New York Presbyterian, Lutheran and Mt Sinai Medical Centers. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and now proud to begin her career at Cynergy Physical Therapy with the woman who inspired her from the very beginning.
PT, DPT, SFMA
Melissa Lam is a NYS licensed physical therapist specializing in the
treatment of orthopedic musculoskeletal injuries. In her clinical
experience, Melissa has treated both adult and teen athletes with sports
related injuries, overuse injuries and the pre- and post-operative
clientele. Melissa completed her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at SUNY
Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn NY. She obtained her undergraduate
degrees in Classical Music Performance and Economics from Gettysburg
College. Drawing from her experiences in the music industry, Melissa is
very familiar working with repetitive use injuries and educating patients on
proper alignment, biomechanics and improving the quality of physical
movements associated with playing a musical instrument, singing or
participating in traditional sports. Melissa's treatment plans help
patients approach daily activities from the work environment to the sports
arena so they can function in a less tension-filled world.
PT, DPT, CHT, OCS
Toni Menge PT, DPT, CHT, OCS is a New York State licensed Physical Therapist who received her under graduate and graduate education from Ithaca College. Toni has since continued her education to become a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist as well as a Certified Hand Therapist. Maintaining these certifications requires an ongoing commitment to learning with the need to attend regular continuing education and remain up to date on the newest research. The hand certification provides Toni with a unique background requiring that she have a minimum of 4,000 hours of direct patient experience in treating conditions of the upper extremity. Toni is a hands on therapist who enjoys not only treating the hand and upper extremity but diagnoses of all areas. She has taken extensive continuing education for the spine, lower extremity and upper extremity with a focus on manual therapy. Toni enjoys incorporating her manual skills with exercise prescription and postural training to optimize function for patients of all levels.
Toni has always valued the importance of being active participating in both gymnastics and dance growing up. Currently she enjoys participating in a variety of exercises including spinning, running, weight training, and yoga. She strongly believes in the importance of remaining active and loves helping her patients maintain or start a healthy, active lifestyle. In addition to these activities in her free time Toni enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with friends.
MS, OTR/L, CHT, CLT-UE
Christine M. Rodriguez, MS, OTR/L, CHT, CLT-UE is a New York State licensed Occupational Therapist who began her academic career receiving a BS in Health Science and a Masters in Occupational Therapy at Stony Brook University. She began her work at Mount Sinai St. Luke's for 6 years where she was a Senior OT and had developed a passion for the upper extremity. In the outpatient hand department. She would collaborate with the orthopedic hand clinic treating patients through exercises, education, and splinting. Dealing with patients who developed postoperative edema, she additionally received her Upper Extremity Lymphedema Certification. She then worked at the the C.V. Starr Hand Surgery Center for 3 years under the guidance of Dr. Steven Glickel, Dr. O. Alton Barron, and Dr. Louis Catalano III dealing with a case load of complicated orthopedic upper extremity diagnoses. Christine continued to excel in her passion for hands by becoming a Certified Hand Therapist which requires 5 years as a practicing therapist and 4,000 hours of direct hands on experience treating a variety of cases of the Upper Extremity.
She has currently partnered with Cynthia Gormezano, PT, MPT, forming Cynergy Upper Extremity Physical and Occupational Therapy specializing with injuries of the Upper Extremity. Treatments consist of providing patients with exercises, splints, manual therapy, wound care, and the use of a variety of modalities. Custom splints are fabricated on site for fractures, tendon injuries, soft tissue injuries, arthritis, and neurological diagnoses.
As an Occupational Therapist, Christine has the ability to treat patients in a unique way addressing issues that can help a patient tackle their work and day to day tasks independently. In her free time Christine enjoys traveling, museums, and music. Exercise and remaining active is of utmost importance to her especially because it helps in controlling her chronic asthma symptoms and educating her patients on the importance of being active is part of her daily treatments. Christine continues to grow in her field by taking educational courses pertaining to splinting and manual therapy.
Shereen is a New York/New Jersey State licensed Physical Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) specializing in post-surgical and conservative management of fractures, both tendon and nerve injuries, as well as ligament reconstruction of the hand and upper extremity.
She earned her B.S. from Velez College and holds her advanced certification in Hand and Upper Extremity from Drexel University in Philadelphia. Additionally, in 2011, Shereen became a Certified-hand Therapist.
Throughout her career, Shereen has attended various professional education courses and training in orthotic fabrication by renowned hand therapists, including members of the Philadelphia hand Center and Hospital for Special Surgery. Shereen’s formal training fabricating custom made orthoses assists her patients in protecting their injury, reducing pain, increasing mobility and advancing rehabilitation goals.
Shereen has worked with athletes, performers and active New Yorkers including members of the Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA, NBA and the NHL. She continues to work with acclaimed top surgeons and hand specialists throughout New York healing patients’ one hand at a time from our two new locations: Midtown East and Chelsea. Shereen’s physical therapy philosophy is grounded in the importance of patient reeducation and injury prevention.
Shereen is a proud member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT). Away from the clinic, Shereen loves to travel, enjoys hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and spending time with friends and family.
Lihi Elkayam PT, DPT is a New York State licensed physical therapist that provides individualized care utilizing the model: One-on-One manual therapy for every one of her patients, every session, every time. Lihi completely understands every patient is unique; and as a result, she customizes a physical therapy program that incorporates elements of a holistic approach along with a variety of manual therapy techniques, re-education, and a tailored exercise program for her patients to achieve quicker and better results.
Whether you are an athlete, or recovering from a surgery or illness, the end goal is the same for Lihi - “To have my patients feel stronger and get them back to living their life, in their best body.” As an athlete herself, she understands the athletes mindset and loves working with her patients on injury prevention, pre-surgery and post-operational rehabilitation. Additionally, Lihi possesses the “can do-it” mindset which ultimately inspires her patients to do their very best during their physical therapy sessions.
Lihi is a natural born athlete and former player of the Israeli National Volleyball team as well as the captain of the Israeli team for the Maccabi games. Lihi also proudly served two years as a soldier at the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF.) In 2008, Lihi relocated to Virginia where she was granted a full athletic scholarship to Hampton University. During her collegiate years, Lihi managed a high level athletic schedule where she served as Captain of their NCAA Division-I volleyball team. Lihi successfully lead the Lady Pirates to their regional championship and proudly holds the all-time record for career assists for Hampton University. Lihi also went on to graduate with top honors, Cum Laude, with a joint degree in Psychology and Biology.
Combining Lihi's two passions: athletics and sports medicine, Lihi relocated to New York and began her education at Long Island University where she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. Lihi continues to attend Continuing Education courses with the Institute of Physical Arts to stay up-to-date on new manual therapy techniques for her patients.
The famous proverb is certainly true- “An athletes mindset is never idle.”...Lihi is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as well as the Orthopedic section. She also volunteers at the New York Road Runners race medical team assisting her fellow runners through injury prevention and Pt techniques for improved optimal runs.
Outside the CYNERGY clinic, Lihi loves traveling, hiking, and playing volleyball.
PT, DPT, CSCS
Kayla is a NYS physical therapist who began her academic career at Boston University where she received a B.S in health science. From there Kayla went on to attend the doctorate program for Physical Therapy at New York University, graduating in 2015 with a 3.8 GPA and academic honors. Kayla has worked in a variety of rehabilitation settings including outpatient orthopedic, acute care/in-patient, pediatrics, and neurology, which has given her a unique background in treating all different conditions and integrating that knowledge to treat the whole patient and not just the injury. In addition, Kayla is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and works with athletes to progress from rehabilitation exercises back to sport specific training.
In her free time Kayla is an avid runner and enjoys playing pick-up soccer with friends, having played competitively her whole life. She truly possesses a passion for physical therapy and enjoys taking continuing education courses in her free time in order to stay up to date with the most current and effective treatment guidelines, as PT is an evolving field in which the practitioner must evolve with it.
Alexis is a NYS licensed Physical Therapist. She graduated from Boston University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science, then went on to receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Long Island University in 2014. Alexis has since worked in a variety of rehab settings, focusing her treatment to sacroiliac joint dysfunction, neurologic conditions, and orthopedic and sports rehabilitation.
Alexis believes that a one-on-one approach with targeted, specific manual therapy techniques is imperative to every patients' recovery. She implements strong manual skills as well as an extensive knowledge of therapeutic exercises and neuromuscular re-education to maximize a patient’s overall potential. She also is trained on reformer pilates and incorporates these principles in her treatments. Using these tools, Alexis develops individualized treatment programs for each patient to reach their personal goals and achieve a full recovery.
In her free time, Alexis enjoys participating in barre classes, skiing, and swimming, as she has been a swimmer and skier for most of her life. She also enjoys taking continuing education courses to include the most recent evidence in her treatment programs
Erin Klimkowski, M.S, OTR/L is a New York State licensed Occupational Therapist who earned her BS in Health Science and Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Stony Brook University. Her career started in an outpatient hand therapy clinic and an assisted living facility on Long Island. Her primary interest is working among patients with orthopedic conditions of the upper extremity. Erin is dedicated to patient centered care and uses evidenced based practice to guide her treatment. She delivers occupational therapy services to maximize independence in meaningful everyday tasks. She is an active member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the New York State Occupational Therapy Association.
PT, DPT, FRCms, SFMA
Gabrielle Schneider is a New York State licensed Physical Therapist who received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Hunter College. She specializes in treating Orthopedic conditions and has experience treating New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds.
Originally from Southern California, Gabrielle earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater from New York University. As a former dancer and musical theater performer, Gabrielle has a passion for movement and healing. Having personally experienced setbacks and limitations from injuries, she understands the hard work and dedication it takes to pursue athletic activities as well as the physical and mental challenges. Her philosophy is to treat the whole person in order to address underlying conditions and maximize function, so that each patient may lead a healthier, happier, and more active life.
Gabrielle is certified in Active Release Technique (ART) for the upper and lower extremities, Functional Range Conditioning (FRCms) and the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). These courses have broadened her ability to perform assessments, apply manual therapy techniques and successfully prescribe functional exercises. She is dedicated to expanding her knowledge base to better serve patients and regularly attends continuing education courses. In addition to the certifications noted above, Gabrielle has also taken courses with the Institute of Physical Art (IPA) and Maitland.
Gabrielle is a proud member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). In her spare time she enjoys hiking, swimming, dance based workout classes, pilates, strength training, and traveling.
Kimberly L. Tjoelker is a New York State Licensed Physical Therapist who received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). While attending Columbia Kimberly trained in Columbia’s Advanced Orthopedic Track, gaining advanced instruction in various manual therapies and attending special courses on the Foot and Ankle, Performing Arts, and Sports Rehabilitation.
Kimberly has observed orthopedic surgeries, attended orthopedic Grand Rounds, shadowed at NYU’s Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, and volunteered for the Challenged Athlete Foundation, Columbia Student Medical Outreach (CoSMO), and CUMC’s Fairytale Physical Therapy. She also served as a Board Member for Columbia’s Physical Therapy Community Action Network (PT-CAN) throughout her program, linking Columbia’s DPT students to service opportunities throughout the NYC community. She now specializes in treating orthopedic conditions for patients of all ages and backgrounds.
Kimberly understands the importance of restoring full physical function so that each patient can return to enjoying his or her life to the fullest extent. Her treatment sessions incorporate manual therapy, neuromuscular re-education, exercise, postural evaluation, and patient education to ensure comprehensive, individualized care. She has danced and played soccer her entire life and currently enjoys dance classes of every style, yoga, running, drawing, painting and spending time with friends and family.