April 8, 2024
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April 8, 2024
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The Legacy of Riverdale Physical Therapy

Gleb Kartsev and Jerry Mann.

When you happen upon Riverdale Physical Therapy on the lower level of 2735 Henry Hudson Parkway, whether by recommendation or simple Google search, you are greeted. First, by a welcoming reception staff and then by the physical therapist who will be treating you, developing a plan of care tailored to resolving your condition. While the walls have been repainted and the space reconfigured, there is something familiar and familial about this office. And that is intentional.

Physical therapist Jerrold Mann founded the practice 50 years ago and has been practicing for 63 years, bringing physical therapy to the Riverdale community. In his many years of practice, he not only treated the whole person, he treated the whole family as well; patients trusted him with their loved ones.

Thirty years ago, Marcela Prado PT joined as a partner, forming Riverdale Physical Therapy. With 40 years of clinical experience, she is the most experienced physical therapist in the Riverdale region practicing. She continues with the practice to this day, along with a devoted group of patients.

Gleb Kartsev and Marcela Prado.

When it became time to sell the practice in 2023, they were careful to preserve the legacy they created: an approach to care that is hands-on, unique to each patient’s needs, and above all, human. With those ideals in mind, Gleb Kartsev DPT, a talented Doctor of Physical Therapy (and co-partner with Yehuda Daniel DPT and Artem Kovyazin DPT of Hudson Physical Therapy at 2600 Netherland Ave.), was chosen to carry the practice forward.

We sat down with Mann, Prado and Kartsev. Mann said, “I love the interrelationship between myself and the patient. And it’s more than just giving the treatments they’ve gotten. Ultimately, it’s about knowing that you are really helping somebody. At the same time — and I feel Gleb is doing the same thing — it’s also about the environment and the joy you bring. People are coming to us in pain and have other problems. And if you can lighten the load, that’s very important. We not only take care of the pain but a lot of other things.”

Prado said, “I have patients now that I treated as a child. We built a diverse community and I see Gleb continuing that. People come here and they are not treated like robots. They go to other places and they get 5–10 minutes and then you’re out. That doesn’t happen here.”

Kartsev added, “We recognize the need physically and also look at what’s going on within the person. Sometimes there are issues that are not brought to the surface, which can actually slow down the progression of the patient’s healing. When you work with someone and you gain their trust, it opens them up and you can see them get better faster. So you are reaching people not only manually, but with your behavior. The environment is very important. And that’s one of the reasons we have a combination of single rooms and the gym, because different people are comfortable with different approaches and settings.”

Prado continued, “As you work with someone, you build a lot of confidence. It’s a kind of trust. Jerry built a business for 63 years, so we wanted to make sure we passed it on to someone we trust and believe in. We wanted someone with the skills and the energy to carry on our work for the next 30 years. It’s a new generation. We already knew about Gleb and how he works with people, and that was the reason we picked him.”

Audrey Bleier, Office Manager, has added a much appreciated continuity to the transition. She started working at the office in 2021 and is a familiar face, making it a smooth experience for patients transferring to Gleb Kartsev. People trust and rely on her.

“Having worked at this office before and after the change, I saw what our patients needed and what was most important to them. Gleb delivered that. Many of our longtime patients were comfortable switching to Gleb because they like his sense of humor and his continuation of the ‘hands-on’ manual approach they were used to. It’s a kind of individualized care you don’t find in other places,” said Bleier.

Mann explained, “I’m very pleased that Gleb can carry on the legacy of the 50-plus years in Riverdale into the future. We’ve had patients who move out of the neighborhood come back to us, telling us their treatment at other physical therapy practices was cold. And that is happening more and more for people. You see a lot of physical therapists just putting people on machines. That’s one of the many reasons I believe Gleb is a good choice, because his approach is very similar to ours. He is a good fit.”

Kartsev concluded, “I want to underline and have it recognized that there is a heritage we carry. Not everybody is able to build something as genuinely, professionally and personally as they did, and I have a personal responsibility to that. I want that to live on. There are a lot of people who remember it. So many were helped a great deal by it and with Marcela here, continue to be helped. We will have a picture up and framed on the wall. Most importantly, we will continue the work. And we will do everything in our power to honor the legacy.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Riverdale Physical Therapy at (718) 884-0444 or visit riverdaleptot.com.

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