About Makovicka Physical Therapy

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Every Day is Game Day.

Makovicka Physical Therapy

After retiring from the NFL, Joel Makovicka, three-time national championship winner and All American for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, returned to his Nebraska roots and began his education in the field of physical therapy. Following in his father’s footsteps, Joel decided he wanted to open a physical therapy practice of his own, once he completed his training. During his time at Creighton University, Joel met Natalie Harms. Joel and Natalie created a partnership and together, they formed Makovicka/Harms Group. Their first outpatient physical therapy clinic opened in July 2009 in the Keystone area of Omaha. From there, the company’s success was born, and currently, Makovicka Physical Therapy has nineteen outpatient physical therapy clinics in Omaha, Lincoln, and surrounding areas employing over 175 employees.

Our History and Milestones

Joel Makovicka photo

Joel Makovicka, President

Joel was born and raised in Brainard, Nebraska. He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he not only obtained his Bachelor’s degree, but was also a member of the award winning, three-time, National Championship football teams for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Upon graduation, Joel moved to Arizona to play in the National Football League (NFL) for the Arizona Cardinals. Following his retirement from the NFL, he coached football at the University of Virginia. There, he learned his true calling was in the field of physical therapy. He graduated with his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Creighton University and currently focuses his practice on developing physical therapy clinics in Nebraska. Joel is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Nebraska Physical Therapy Association.

Natalie Harms, Vice-President of Finance

PT, MPT, DPT, GCS Emeritus
Natalie was born in Omaha, Nebraska, but was raised in southern Colorado. She returned to her roots in Nebraska to obtain a Master of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where she was a Student Regent on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. Natalie has continued to develop her clinical and practice skills in patient care, staff and health care management and administration, and has been an American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) board certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist (GCS) since 1999. She is also an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Credentialed Clinical Instructor. Natalie furthered her education by receiving a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Creighton University. She has received numerous professional recognitions and awards for her work in physical therapy and management. Natalie is a member of, and has served in leadership positions for, APTA, Nebraska Physical Therapy Association, and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. She currently serves on the Nebraska State Board of Physical Therapy and as Treasurer on the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Board of Directors.
Natalie Harms
Cory Sylliaasen

Cory Sylliaasen, Vice-President of Operations

Cory originally hails from the great state of South Dakota. He was raised in Irene and attended Mount Marty College where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology/Chemistry. He went on to receive his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Creighton University. Since then Cory, has practiced outpatient orthopedics, home health, inpatient and skilled nursing physical therapy. He has worked exclusively in the outpatient orthopedic setting since 2001 with an emphasis in sports medicine. Cory has been trained in Postural Restoration and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Nebraska Physical Therapy Association. He lives in Wahoo, Nebraska and volunteers in numerous community organizations.

John Makovicka, Board of Directors

John Makovicka was born and raised in Ulysses, Nebraska, and attended East Butler High School, During his undergraduate work at Kearney State College, John earned 12 letters in football, baseball and track, setting the school record for touchdowns in 1970 when he was the national scoring champion. He then attended the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where he earned his degree in Physical Therapy.  John returned to Nebraska having earned one of the first physical therapy licences in the state, where he has been serving patients in east central Nebraska for the past forty-plus years. He continues to be a valuable member of the Makovicka Physical Therapy Board of Directors.

 Corporate Milestones

  •  July 20, 2009: First Makovicka Physical Therapy clinic opens at 90th & Boyd in Omaha’s Keystone neighborhood
  •  2010: West Maple clinic opens
  •  2011: Papillion clinic opens
  •  2012: Millard clinic opens
  •  2012 West Omaha/Elkhorn clinic opens
  •  2014: Midtown Crossing clinic opens
  •  2015: Aksarben clinic opens
  •  2015: Pine Lake clinic opens in Lincoln
  •  2016: University Place clinic opens in Lincoln
  •  2017: Labor Force Ready Occupational Health Program is created
  •  2017: Bellevue clinic opens
  •  2017: Makovicka Cares! philanthropy program is established
  •  2018: 70th & L Street clinic opens in Lincoln
  •  2018: Awarded 2018 Better Business Bureau Integrity Award in Lincoln
  •  2018: Awarded 2018 Better Business Bureau Integrity Award in Omaha
  •  2018: Original clinic expands to a larger space in the same corporate building complex
  •  2019: Makovicka Physical Therapy merges with Makovicka/Sylliaasen Physical Therapy (founded by John Makovicka, Joel  Makovicka, and Cory Sylliaasen), adding 4  rural clinics located in Wahoo, Waverly, Valley, and Yutan, Nebraska
  •  2019:  Awarded 2019 Greater Omaha Chamber Business Excellence Award in Leadership
  •  2019:  Awarded 2019 Greater Omaha Chamber Business Excellence Award in Philanthropy
  •  2019: Plattsmouth clinic opens 
  •  2019:  119th & Pacific clinic opens
  •  2019:  Awarded Best of Omaha-- First Place
  •  2020:  Awarded Runner-up 2020 Lincoln Choice Awards
  •  2020: Gretna clinic opens
  •  2020: University Place clinic expands with Occupational Health Center
  •  2020: Shadow Lake clinic opens
  •  2021: Awarded First Place in Omaha's Choice Awards
  •  2022: Aksarben clinic remodel with expansion of Occupational Health Center
  •  2022: Awarded First Place in Best of Omaha
  •  2022: Lincoln Choice Awards Winner
  •  2023: Awarded First Place in Best of Omaha contest

The Makovicka Difference

We are leaders in our profession, locally owned and operated by physical therapists who forge relationships with patients, and advocate for their care. Makovicka Physical Therapy employs the largest number of board-certified orthopaedic specialists of any local physical therapy company in Nebraska, so you get the highest level of care to maximize your recovery and get you back to your game. We will listen, evaluate your symptoms, and create a personalized physical therapy program to meet your needs and improve your function, strength, and mobility.