Scott Romanowski is a certified physical therapist and has been with the Vereen Center since 2005. He is the Assistant Vice President of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Services for the Vereen Rehabilitation Center at Colquitt Regional Medical Center.
Romanowski grew up in Buffalo, New York, where he attended the University of Buffalo and after that worked for a private practice in the city for six years. He decided to go back to graduate school in Gulf Port, Mississippi, for the next two years.
“I wanted to stay in Gulf Port, but unfortunately the positions I was interesting in were not available at that time, and so I moved to Thomasville, Georgia and served as the director of the physical therapist assistant program at what is now Southern Regional Technical College,” he said.
During that time Romanowski met one of the vice presidents of Colquitt Regional Medical Center, Greg Johnson. Romanowski got to know Johnson pretty well and was eventually invited by Johnson to join him for lunch to discuss plans for their facilities. Johnson proposed to Romanowski their plans for expansion of the rehabilitation services at CRMC, and Romanowski has been there ever since.
Romanowski experienced two influential events in his life that drove him to a career as a physical therapist. That first event was a severe sports injury he sustained in high school.
“I personally had a pretty severe leg fracture from snow skiing when I was in high school and spent about three-and-a-half months in a long leg cast,” he said. “After that I needed physical therapy, and ironically my first boss became my physical therapist when I was a high schooler at the time.”
The second event involved one of his family members, who sustained serious mental and physical injuries.
“The other factor was my grandfather sustained a series of strokes, also when I was in high school, and the physical therapist would come to the house and work with him, and I was impressed with how she [the therapist] dealt with him and helped him to get stronger,” he said. “He was able to return to a reasonably high level of function after a series of pretty debilitating strokes. It was definitely something that pushed me in that direction.”
Romanowski’s responsibilities are a wide range of services. He is essentially flexible for his patients and can meet with them in multiple settings.
“My responsibilities within Colquitt Regional Medical Center, even though on paper they may look divided, they’re really part of the same process,” he said. “I’m responsible for physical therapy that is performed in this hospital, in the home health setting, and also on the out-patient side.”
Although Romanowski has a wide range of jobs in his field of study, he explained that his main responsibility is much more specific.
“My area of expertise within physical therapy is treating spine disorders,” he said. “I got involved with that primarily because my first two bosses were excellent in treating spine disorders, and the graduate school I went to really specialized in that. So, about 80 percent of my business is treating neck and back pain.”
Romanowski explained that patients at the Vereen Center are fortunate to have a health care provider that can bend to the comfortability of the patient.
“If things work correctly and we do our job, our physical therapists see you if you come into the hospital,” he said. “And then if you need to go and have services at home initially because you’re not well enough to be able to travel to the Vereen Center, they’ll see you at the house.”
Romanowski explained that he enjoys working at the Vereen Center because of its ease at fitting and evolving into ever-changing medical practices.
“I think what makes this organization unique is the fact that they are willing to listen to the people who actually work in the trenches and are willing to adapt their philosophy to an ever-changing health care environment,” he said. “I look at places I worked at in the past, and it’s a one-size-fits-all, let’s-get-all-the-square-pegs-in-all-the-round-holes mentality.”
When he is not at work, Romanowski takes the time to enjoy the simple things in life. He and his wife like to spice things up with food and travel.
“Outside of work, when I’m trying to relax and do things that are kind of to get my mind off of what I do here, my wife and I love to travel, and we’re fortunate enough to be able to go on a couple vacations a year and enjoy that,” he said. “We’re also both kind of ‘foodies,’ and we do a lot of cooking at the house.”
Thankfully, Romanowski’s career offers him the chance to travel. However, he said he wouldn’t be able to do any of that if not for the great work atmosphere at the Vereen Center. He explained that the Vereen Center makes it simple and progressive for patients, which in return makes his job flow better.
“Once you become well enough to be treated at the Vereen Center, then we’ll see you there,” he said. “It should be seamless, so my responsibilities then should be seamless as they go across the entire continuum of care.”
Through it all, Romanowski said that the best part of his job is the patients. He enjoys helping others and seeing the look on their faces when he tells them he can treat their symptoms.
“What keeps me interested in this field is seeing the results,” he said. “That’s what makes you want to come to work. There’s something powerful about that to see those kinds of changes.”