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Alumni News Kevin Storr March 09, 2014

Ron Kleinman, PT, UAB Excellence in Business, Class of 2014When Ron Kleinman, PT, was looking for a college to attend he wrote, that’s correct - he physically wrote, to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and asked for a list of the best Physical Therapy schools in the United States. The APTA wrote back and placed the University of Alabama at Birmingham at the top of the list and Kleinman was soon on his way south from Ohio.

Fast forward a little more than 30 years and Kleinman is once again heading south to UAB from Ohio. This time around, he returns to the magazine as a member of the UAB Excellence in Business Top 25 Awards, Class of 2014.

“The thing that UAB instilled in me was the importance of establishing a good relationship with my patients,” said Kleinman, a 1982 graduate of the UAB Department of Physical Therapy. “They emphasized treating everyone equally, providing care without prejudice and putting the patient’s needs ahead of my own.”

That strategy has worked well for Kleinman since he left the Magic City. His initial goal was to start his own practice within three years of graduating UAB. “And I actually beat that goal by 10 days!” he said.

He started his first company with two employees in 1985 and it grew to include multiple locations and 25 employees in 1995 when it was purchased by HealthSouth. Kleinman stayed out of private practice until 2004 when he re-opened Professional Therapy Associates, Inc. Since then, Kleinman has continued to expand on his work's reputation as he receives referrals from 118 physicians in the Akron area and his office sees 25 to 30 patients daily. His staff has quadrupled to keep up with the demand.

During both times of strong business growth, Kleinman never forgot what he learned at UAB. The chair of the department during his schooling was the legendary PT figure Marilyn Gossman, Ph.D., who he calls “an amazing human being, just a wonderful woman who gave a lot of support to all of us.”

Kleinman says Gossman taught beyond the classroom, imparting lessons that have guided his actions to this day.

“One thing Marilyn Gossman instilled in myself and my classmates was the importance of getting involved with the APTA to support the profession and the future of the profession,” said Kleinman. “I was an APTA delegate from Ohio for 20 years, past-president of the Ohio chapter and recently appointed by our Governor to be the current chair of the Ohio licensing board. It is very important to play a significant role and I learned that at UAB.”

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