Scott Sinick, PT, DPT, MHA — Director of Rehabilitation Services

Director of Rehab Services — Scott Sinick

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This week’s spotlight is on Scott Sinick, PT, DPT, MHA, who is now Director of Rehab Services at The MetroHealth System!

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What is your full name, title, and company name for your current, primary role?

Scott Sinick, PT, DPT, MHA — Director of Rehab Services at The MetroHealth System

What additional roles do you currently have?

Where are you located?

Akron, OH

Where did you go to PT school, and what year did you graduate?

Wheeling Jesuit University; 2010

What did you do when you first finished school, and for how long?

I practiced in an outpatient orthopedic clinic for a large hospital-based system in Columbus, OH.

In what setting(s) did you work, and what types of patients did you treat?

I have spent most of my practicing career in the outpatient orthopedic setting. I did complete some PRN work in the SNF and ALF settings briefly.

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What did you enjoy about your early roles? What didn’t you enjoy?

I enjoyed the relationships that were built with patients and immediate team members. There is great fulfillment in helping patients improve their lives.

I did not enjoy the administrative tasks associated with being a clinician. We spend a significant amount of time on paperwork, regulatory standards, EMR systems, and other non-clinical tasks that place undue stress levels on our clinicians.

What else have you done since then, prior to your current role?

I have held management and leadership roles at different organizations.

When and why did you decide to do something non-clinical?

I decided I wanted to proceed into leadership when I was about three years out of school. There were two reasons why I went into leadership:

  • To effect change on a greater scale
  • To lead the change needed in our healthcare systems

As a clinician, I was impacting maybe 30-40 patients a week; but as a leader, your efforts are compounded. Your vision positively impacts multiple clinicians and their patients.

Today’s healthcare system, physical therapy in particular, is slow to change and innovate. We are seeing some headwinds over the last five to seven years, but we continue to play catch-up compared to other professions in and out of healthcare.

What are you doing these days?

I’m currently Director of Rehab Services at The MetroHealth System. I oversee a team of over 230 physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and vocational rehab counselors.

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Our health system is county-owned, and is a safety-net hospital for the greater Cleveland region.  We deliver services from the NICU to inpatient rehab to outpatient for all disciplines.

Are you still treating patients, or are you solely non-clinical?

I will treat patients on a rare occasion. 

How long have you been in your current role?

About a year and a half. Prior to this, I was a director of rehab at an orthopedic hospital system for four years.

Did you get any special certifications or training along the way to help you get into your current role?

MHA (Masters of Health Administration), and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification.

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How did you find your job? Did you apply or find it through a connection?

Found it on LinkedIn. I applied online, and was lucky enough to be selected.

Did you do anything special to your resume and cover letter to land the job?

No special formatting, but your resume should be structured to reflect the job duties listed in the job description.

Coordinating your resume with keywords from the job description and the organization’s mission greatly increases your chances of receiving an interview.  

What was the interview like for the role?

It was multi-step, with interviews from the COO to staff clinicians. I participated in twelve interviews overall, in four separate rounds.

How have people reacted to you leaving patient care?

People have been supportive. My wife is also a physical therapist, and she continuously tells me that non-clinical roles are where my strengths are best used.

What’s a typical day or week in the life like for you? What types of tasks and responsibilities fill your time?

Over the last year and a half, we have been focused on growing a culture on our team that is resilient; likewise, we have grown our leadership team to be more responsive and supportive of our clinicians.

A typical day consists of rounding with our teams across different locations, operational meetings, and analysis of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

On a weekly basis, it can be summed up as:

  • Culture building
  • Patient advocacy
  • Championing clinicians
  • Budget management
  • Physician relations
  • Vision
  • Program development

What are some of the rewards of your role? What are the biggest challenges?

My biggest reward is seeing the growth of our clinicians throughout their lives, witnessing the impact they have in patients’ lives, creating and growing our teams as we add additional positions, and growing our services in the community.

The biggest challenges are the headwinds we all face as we are innovating. Whether it is regulatory or bureaucratic, these challenges can take the wind out of my sail.

How did your clinical background prepare you for this role? Which skills transferred?

Problem solving and communication are both important skills that transferred.

As clinicians, we never know who will walk through the door, and we continuously adapt to unexpected circumstances. Also, as a clinician, you develop tremendous listening, empathetic, and communication skills.

We work with patients and other professionals across all demographics—this is a skill that is needed as you progress through leadership!

What type of person do you think would do well in your role?

Vision-oriented, empathetic, and someone that listens first and then makes decisions.

Do you work remotely or onsite?

Hybrid, but 90% of the time, I’m onsite.

Did you read any books, take any courses, or do anything special overall to get you where you are today?

I am a continuous learner. My goal is to read 30-50 books a year. I have found great insights into leadership from the writings of Dr. John C. Maxwell and Craig Groeschel.

What is a typical career path for someone in your role?

Directors of Rehab usually follow the same path I did: Clinician ==> Supervisor/Manager ==> Director of Rehab.

What is next for you? What are your high-level career aspirations?

I am very happy in my current role and we have a lot of work to do over the next five years! We are on a mission to be a top 5 rehab hospital team by 2025 and change the healthcare landscape for our patients in the Cleveland area.

If I am looking ahead 10-15 years, my aspirations would be executive VP and possibly Chief Operating Officer roles.

Editor’s note: Curious what the path to COO might look like? Check out this spotlight on Chentelle Lane, PT, DPT, who is Chief Operating Officer for Karoo Health!

2 thoughts on “Director of Rehab Services — Scott Sinick”

  1. This really inspired me and confirmed that I am on the right path. As an OT with almost 25 years of experience, I believe in order to change the healthcare system, we must be willing to step up and into roles which support our vision for change. Thank you for this article! Now I’m off to interview for what will hopefully be my new position in the near future: Director of Rehab!

    1. Ashley Emery (TNCPT Client Success & Marketing Manager)

      Hi Michele! We’re so glad you enjoyed the article and found inspiration in Scott’s story. Good luck to you!

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