Leadership development has become an increasingly important aspect in the long-term success of any company. In fact, leadership development has been shown to increase employee engagement, promote a positive culture and contribute to growth of the company.

Approximately four years ago, Centrex Rehab began to look for a more formalized leadership program. After careful consideration, we chose the Leadership, Administration, Management and Professionalism (LAMP) Institute for Leadership through the Health Policy Administration section of the American Physical Therapy Association. We have offered the LAMP course not only to our current leadership team, but also to our core staff of clinicians to promote ongoing leadership skills. The LAMP Institute offers two courses and one self-driven project under the guidance of a mentor, which culminates in a health care leadership certificate.  

At Centrex Rehab, we value direct communication with staff highly, which is why it’s important for our CEO to meet regularly with an internal leadership team made up of staff clinicians. Our Therapists Advocating for Professionalism (TAP) group drives the mission and vision of Centrex Rehab, which requires two-way communications between the CEO and staff. TAP representatives provide information on employee satisfaction, workflow efficiency and process changes to guide discussions with a problem-solving, solutions-oriented framework.  Engaging clinicians in the decision-making process results in an organization prepared to take on the significant changes facing the post-acute care environment.

Centrex rehab values not only organizational leadership, but clinical leadership as well.  An example is our Clinical Champion Program. Our Solutions programs are evidence-based programs that focus on various diagnosis groupings or specialty interventions.  This results in patient-centered care, contributing to meaningful outcomes.

Centrex Rehab partners with the University of Minnesota in the school’s Geriatric Residency Program, which prepares clinicians to become board certified as geriatric clinical specialists through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Clinicians complete the clinical component of their residencies at a Centrex site, under the mentorship and guidance of a Centrex board-certified clinical specialist.  

From an operational standpoint, leadership development can save the company thousands of dollars by developing leaders from within the organization.  Promoting from within allows for familiarity with current employees strengths and skillsets. Employees can start from the ground and work their way up, learning every aspect of business and organizational culture to foster an easier transition to their new leadership roles.  Knowing that an organization values internal leadership development gives employees a greater sense of engagement and opportunity that can translate to greater job satisfaction and longevity. Finally, internal development of leaders can be fiscally sound as well. Costs can be saved on external recruitment and some basic training.  Internal candidates already have basic knowledge of policies, processes and culture, so training can focus on how to apply their current knowledge to the perspective of a leader.

Centrex Rehab recognizes that employees may not know exactly where they want their leadership journey to take them.  We have developed a Professional Excellence Program that allows them to explore different avenues including clinical, education, research and leadership.  Though various activities in each category, employees can gain experience and insight that guides their focus to opportunities that are available within Centrex.   

Centrex Rehab strives to promote employee engagement and organizational success through a variety of leadership development programs resulting in greater retention, growth and a strong position for the future of our organization.

Kristy Wikum, MS, CCC-SLP has more than 30 years of management experience and is the CEO/ President of Centrex Rehab.

Clinical Physical Therapy Specialist Matthew Mesibov, PT, GCS is responsible for providing clinical support to the physical therapists and physical therapy assistants at Centrex Rehab.

Carla Tocko, PT, DPT has more than 20 years of experience as a physical therapist and has been with Centrex 16 years.  As the Senior Operations Director, she oversees daily therapy operations for skilled nursing communities.