By Andrew Wroblewski
Maintaining its Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation Services (STARS) program for nearly 20 years, for North Shore-LIJ, adding a STARS office to Huntington was just a move that made sense, said Daniel Vaknin, assistant vice president for North Shore-LIJ outpatient therapy network/STARS.
“From a North Shore-LIJ perspective, one of our own hospitals is here in Huntington,” he said. “We want continuity of care between patients seeing our doctors and then going to rehabilitation; it shows our commitment to the community.”
Spearheading the Huntington STARS office – which on April 1 opened less than 5 miles down the road from the hospital in Suite 123 at 1160 East Jericho Turnpike – is Supervisor Salvatore DiMatteo, a five-year veteran of the STARS program and licensed physical therapist.
DiMatteo, a graduate of New York University, has garnered over 21 years of experience with a clinical focus in sports medicine and joint replacement rehabilitation. In opening the Huntington STARS office, he hopes the community will benefit in light of the recent closure of Huntington Hospital’s outpatient facility, which was necessary in the hospital move to expand its emergency room.
“We hope to provide to the community of Huntington all outpatient services,” DiMatteo, of Huntington, said. “We’re very proud of this office; it’s beautiful. All of the equipment is new and fresh.”
State-of-the art technology is one of the perks that the STARS program – which has six other locations on Long Island – hangs its hat on. Across Long Island, STARS offers patients services like physical therapy, back and spine care, aquatic therapy, occupational therapy, neurological rehabilitation, sports rehabilitation, hand therapy and much more. Some of the offices specialize in which treatments they offer; others are expanding. The Huntington office, for example, which is prepped for hand therapy, is expected to also offer Lymphedema therapy in the future.
“I’m just excited that I’m able to open up this facility and help out the entire Huntington community,” DiMatteo said.
Vaknin said the treatment of DiMatteo and his staff – which the supervisor is expecting to expand, as necessary, in the near future – will “live up to the standards of the North Shore-LIJ Health System,” keep a low patient-to-staff ratio and accept most major insurance plans.
1160 East Jericho Turnpike, Huntington