By Rick Cawley
For the Review
Like most small businesses and health care providers, the folks at Summit Spine & Wellness have had to make adjustments (excuse the pun) to the manner in which patients are handled to meet with the extensive lists of COVID-19 protocols.
Summit, which opened its doors in 2001, had suspended operations back in March voluntarily with all of the uncertainties. After a few weeks, Dr. Roberts returned to seeing patients without any support staff, one at a time, with procedures that were designed to maximize safety for patients. Perhaps their biggest challenge was to create optimal distancing in a relatively small office while addressing the usual lineup of what have now become common-place COVID strategies (screening patient histories, temperature checks, required masks, hand sanitizing, and diligent cleaning of all surfaces).
The key objective of social distancing can be challenging in facilities that have patients waiting for treatment along side of other patients receiving treatment in an open space environment. The plan of action can be likened to the task facing air-traffic controllers moving planes in an ever-changing display of moving pieces. Fortunately, patients at Summit have willingly accepted the process of being shuttled from one waiting area to another to accommodate the need for maximum spacing.
The three treatment tables, which had been less than a yardstick apart, had to be relocated at different parts of the office to allow for proper distancing. This was a stark transition for patients who have become accustomed to receiving treatment practically an arm’s length from the patient next to them. This obviously has taken away some of the connectiveness that patients generally feel for one another after listening to each other’s stories from such an intimate distance. Having been a patient for close to 20 years now, I can honestly attest to this phenomenon.
Dr. Lenny Roberts, the founder of Summit Spine & Wellness, has been preaching the benefits of chiropractic care for over two decades now. Roberts, a true-bred Roxborough kid who grew up playing in 21st Ward leagues, went on to be an outstanding lineman for Germantown Academy, and continued his stellar play on a winning Rowan University squad. Unfortunately, his playing career got derailed through a series of devastating knee injuries that resulted in multiple surgeries. Eventually, he would channel the inner diligence and tenacity from the trenches into earning a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Life University in Marietta, Georgia.
Over the years, as Roberts opened up a practice and expanded his client base, he has continued to enrich his chiropractic skill set through advanced Continuing Education course work, most notably in the area of ART therapy. ART (Active Release Technique) utilizes soft tissue pressure to reduce pain and improve range of motion to areas where injuries have created scar tissue that results in pain and inflammation to muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerve pathways. As a long- time patient with multiple ailments, I can confidently confirm the effectiveness of ART in promoting one’s body to repair itself.
In addition to hands on chiropractic techniques, the Summit offers treatments on their “Back-on-Track” motorized spinal decompression device that through a regimen of visits can help alleviate the pain caused by herniated or bulging discs. Dr. Lenny also holds frequent seminars to address everything from proper nutrition to dealing with the problems associated with postural ailments due to I-phone usage.
Dr. Roberts has been the Team Chiropractor for Temple football since 2015. Prior to that, he was a chiropractic consultant to the Philadelphia 76ers for 6 years.
As Robert’s chiropractic practice has grown exponentially over the years due mostly to person-to-person testimonials singing his praises, he realized a need to bring in an additional pair of healing hands.
In steps Dr. Tom O’Brien to the rescue. Dr. O’Brien has been on the scene for the better part of 7 years now and brings to the table an equally impressive resume. O’Brien was a football and track standout at Cardinal O’Hara. Some lower back issues introduced him to chiropractic and Art treatments at a young age which allowed him to reach All-American status in the high hurdles. He went on to captain his collegiate track team at St. Francis University before culminating his education at Life University in 2011. He has been an invaluable addition to the Summit team since joining the staff offering up a full arsenal of healing expertise. Dr. Tom also finds time to bestow his services on the Temple football program.
The Summit staff was recently fortified with the arrival of another heavy hitter. The “New Kid on the Block” would be Dr. Dave Goldberg, who recently completed his certification after earning a doctorate from Palmer College in Florida where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Goldberg, who grew up in Cheltenham, got his undergrad degree from Temple University in Exercise Physiology. He had his share of sports related injuries growing up which helps him empathize with patients under his care. He brings a strong background in spinal rehab and myofascial release to the practice.
The Summit team is fortunate to have such an outstanding front office staff to guide them through each day. Chelsea Snyder and Shannon Kletzel do yeoman’s work behind the front desk doing a myriad of essential tasks that keep the Summit machine running smoothly.
Dr. Roberts feels thankful that his office is back running on all cylinders and able to continue to provide a much needed service to his clientele during these uncertain times. He says that “we are doing the best we can to keep everyone spread out, safe, and well-adjusted during these extremely stressful times. Things have been different, but we are grateful to be able to continue to provide the highest quality care that we can to our community during it all.”
Dr. O’Brien echoed these sentiments as well as the gratification that fuels the heartfelt passion in making a difference in the lives under their care. He reflects that “I’m lucky to say that it doesn’t feel like a job because I love what I do. I work with a great group of people whose top priority is to help our patients live their best lives and seeing their success is really rewarding.”