Wahoo Clinic Named Business of the Year

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. All of our clinics have board-certified specialists on staff, meaning 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.

Makovicka-Sylliaasen Physical Therapy has grown since starting its first clinic in Wahoo in 2005.  The corporation that now has 15 clinics and is working on its 16th strives to give “the highest level of care, that will maximize your recovery and get you back to your game.”  Offering patients a means to get back to a better quality of life and doing so close to home is what it is all about, said Makovicka-Sylliaasen Physical Therapy Co-Owner Cory Sylliaasen.

According to Chamber of Commerce Director Doug Watts, the award is given yearly to a Wahoo business that is not only successful but contributes to the vitality of the community. Watts said the physical therapy clinic has grown and prospered every year since opening its doors in Wahoo. The business has become an essential addition to the quality health care in Wahoo and Saunders County.

With a staff of three physical therapists, three physical therapist assistants, seven office staff and many part-time high school assistants, the business has become an important part of Wahoo’s economy.

“With the recent renovations to their 15th street building and the addition of an indoor pool for aquatic therapy, the business is well-prepared for the future,” the nomination read. 

Sylliassen said he and his partners, John Makovicka, Joel Makovicka and Natalie Harms, were surprised and honored by the recognition. Sylliaasen could not deny the business has grown considerably over the years. Wahoo was the first clinic for the group. “It started out with just me and one front office staff,” the physical therapist said.

Now, the Wahoo staff alone has grown to 13 full-time employees and other part-time employees rounding out to about 25. He said the goal has always been to give good care close to home. Recent improvements, such as the addition of a therapy pool, were to meet the needs of the patients coming through the doors at the clinic in Wahoo.

“We try to address the needs of the patients in our community,” Sylliaasen said.

The facelift to the exterior of the building in 2017 was an effort to be a good neighbor in the community. He said sprucing up the look of the building helped the appearance of the neighborhood. Neighborhood and community are important to the company. Sylliaasen said he and his wife picked Wahoo to start a business and raise a family in because of its “small town” feel.

He and Makovicka-Sylliaasen Physical Therapy staff try to do get their own business and service needs fulfilled in town as much as possible. He added he believes it is equally important to support the schools and other organizations in town. He said it takes the support of businesses to help ensure their success in a small town.

The reach of the physical therapy group’s clinics now reaches outside of Wahoo as well. The company now has three clinics in Lincoln, eight in Omaha and one each in Gretna, Waverly, and Valley. Sylliaasen said the next clinic will be in Plattsmouth. All clinics combine, the company has more than 160 employees.

Being honored for the continued success and progressiveness of the first clinic meant a lot to the owners. Sylliaasen said he had a hunch that at least one member of his staff knew in advance about the award. But, he was kept in the dark until last Wednesday.

Then, word started to spread quickly on social media. Before he even got a chance to call and tell the other owners about the honor, he received a text from them. “They were texting me, ‘wow, that’s really awesome’,” he said.

Cory Sylliaaasen accepts the Business of the Year award from Chamber Executive Assistant Jennifer Woita and Chamber President Ryan Ideus.