Celebrating Physical Therapy Month with John Rabbia, Director, Operations

In this edition of our Consultant Spotlight series, we are honored to celebrate Physical Therapy Month by featuring John Rabbia, PT, DPT, MS, MBA, COS-C, Director, Operations Consulting at SimiTree. John's unwavering passion for positive patient outcomes and his commitment to helping post-acute care agencies thrive, shines through his work and dedication to his clients. With a unique perspective as a physical therapist himself, John knows first-hand the challenges and opportunities post-acute care agencies encounter. Using his expertise, John has assisted numerous organizations in achieving their goals and providing optimal care to their patients to enhance their operations.

Read the Q&A below to learn more about John and hear his advice to budding leaders.

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Can you tell us about your role with SimiTree?

I work with the operations consulting team; we are a team of experts in the real-life, day-to-day operations of post-acute organizations. Our team is often asked to assess and make recommendations on how organizations are structured, and how efficiently and effectively they take care of their patients with an eye toward people, processes, and technology. During our engagements, we often find opportunities for organizations to benefit from SimiTree’s many solutions by outsourcing some of their work to us, by bringing in an interim leader from our roster of capable contractors, or by engaging us to assist in talent searches to fill key leadership positions. 


How would you describe the company culture at SimiTree? What makes our team culture stand out from others?

I find our company culture to be very collaborative. One of my favorite things about working at SimiTree is that we have the very best in the industry among our ranks; everyone is bringing their A-game to work every day, and we are able to add so much value to the deliverables we present to our clients because of the ways that we are all able to work with each other and enhance the final product. 


What inspired you to pursue a career in your field, and how did you get started in the home health and hospice industry?

I trained as a physical therapist specializing in geriatrics because I wanted to make sure that older folks got the care that they needed to remain in their own homes. After a few years of practicing as a clinician, I became eager to find ways to extend my reach and to help more people that I would be able to treat on a 1:1 basis, which is how I worked my way into leadership.

Most of the organizations that I led were in states of growth and or transformation when they brought me on board, so I became very good at leading those processes. Consulting was the next natural progression to combine the desire to help as many people as possible while using my ability to help organizations change for the better.


For someone considering a career in your field but unsure where to start, what advice would you give them?

Don’t be afraid of a mess. Often as a young leader the opportunities that are presented to you will be the ones that others don’t want – find a good mentor and dig in. There is nothing more satisfying than taking an organization that is in trouble and turning it around; you will learn things along the way that nobody will ever be able to teach you in school and you will have immeasurable credibility with clients when they realize that you’ve been in the same trenches that they’re in and you know how to get them out. 


In your work, how important is empathy, and how do you manage to balance client expectations with the internal operations aspects of consulting?

Empathy is critical to what we do; we have to meet people where they’re at. I know I’m in a good place with a client when I can get them to trust me enough to let down their guard and vent or share frustrations; very often it’s during these conversations when we learn some of the most important factors that are holding our clients back.

It takes very little skill to spout off industry best practices or to calculate staffing ratios based on pre-determined numbers. The real skill lies in being able to take that information and to work with a client, honoring all of the intricate idiosyncrasies of their organization or community to find a solution that will work. 


What do you consider the most important qualities for success in your line of work, and how can individuals develop these traits?

Flexibility and adaptability are two of the traits I call on the most from day to day. We need to be able to apply our knowledge and experience in new and creative ways with each client we serve. These traits are built over time by working with a broad variety of clients, each with unique constraints that force us to find different ways to arrive at a workable solution. 


What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Any hobbies or activities you're passionate about?

I love finding hidden gems in NYC where I live, whether that’s a little park, a tucked away restaurant, or an off-off-off-Broadway show. If you ever visit, feel free to hit me up for pointers! [John Rabbia, is shown pictured with his husband, Michael.]

We can't thank John enough for sharing his insights in this special edition of the consultant spotlight! His contributions have made a significant impact on our partnering agencies, helping them to transform their operations and improve patient care. Stay tuned for our future Consultant Spotlight features, where you'll get to know more of the devoted and skilled consultants who are shaping homecare.


Want to learn more about SimiTree's Consulting solutions?

At SimiTree, we are passionate about transforming businesses. Our dedicated team of consultants brings together operations, technology, and care teams to elevate performance levels, meet regulatory requirements, unlock revenue potential, and ensure a healthy bottom line. SimiTree’s consultant's experience and expertise offer a diverse suite of services tailored to your needs. From addressing costly IT vulnerabilities to custom trainings for your agency’s staff, we aim to help you overcome hurdles and seize rewarding opportunities. To access free resources and learning materials on this topic, visit our webinars page to explore on-demand expert insights.


Missed a Consultant Spotlight?

Meet Camala Mueller, Senior Manager of Growth Solutions, learn Camala’s unique approach to understanding and tackling challenges our partnering agencies encounter, enabling them to succeed.

Meet Pam Wandrie, Coding and OASIS QA Specialist, and learn how she combines clinical experience and professional service to bring unique problem-solving solutions to post-acute agencies.

Meet Apryl Swafford, a QA manager who brings a down-to-earth approach that clients, clinicians, and coders find refreshing.

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