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Building a Successful PT Enterprise

By Lauren Whetzel-Siburkis


haneyArmed with a master’s degree in physical therapy from University of the Sciences, alumnus FRANKLIN ROOKS, JR., MPT’91, MBA, Esq., and his former USciences roommates went on to build a successful physical therapy enterprise that boasted 18 locations across Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland shortly after graduation in 1991.

At the time, Rooks said he would have never imagined that he would someday practice law. But it is fascinating where careers, and open minds, often take people, he said.

As a cofounder of PRO Physical Therapy—a chain of outpatient rehabilitation clinics headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware—Rooks said he gained invaluable experience as both a physical therapist and a businessman. Although he was passionate about his clinical role, Rooks said he was especially intrigued with the business aspects of managing insurance contracts, billing issues, and growth of the company. He then went on to hone his business skills and completed his MBA in 1995.

“My business partners, MATT HANEY [MPT’92] and JOE GIORNO [MPT’92], and I transformed a small physical therapy company with a solo practitioner into a tristate business that employed about 250 physical therapists, assistants, and administrative staff,” said Rooks. “After a decade of success, PRO grew to over $19 million in revenue, and we sold the company to a private equity firm in 2006.”

Rooks said the sale of his company gave him the financial freedom to explore a new career: law. He attended Widener University School of Law and completed his juris doctor degree in 2010.

“My law school classmates came from backgrounds in real estate, criminal justice, and finance; whereas I had a solid background in healthcare and business,” said Rooks. “It would have made no sense for me to go into another branch of law because I wouldn’t have been able to utilize my education and experience in those areas.”

Because of his extensive knowledge in medical billing, medical practice management, clinical documentation, and claims review, Rooks integrates his practical experience as a physical therapist and business owner with his legal education and experience in striving to achieve of the best possible outcomes for his clients.

“My USciences education has undoubtedly played a key role in my success as a physical therapist, business owner, and attorney,” said Rooks. “Even though I am no longer on the clinical side of physical therapy, I am oftentimes providing physical therapists and other medical providers with legal counsel on issues to which I am already up to speed because of my prior experience in the business of physical therapy.”

Aside from his law practice, Rooks and Haney reconnected three years ago to launch another business that specializes in the treatment and management of work-related injuries and employee health. The company, WorkPRO Occupational & Employee Health, employs physicians and is currently a leading provider of occupational medical services in Delaware, said Rooks.

Categories: The Bulletin, Alumni, Proven Everywhere, , Samson College, Department of Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy