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Daemen Duo Opens New Cheektowaga Clinic

Dec 28, 2023 | Community

an image of two young men standing in front of a building

In the heart of Cheektowaga, a new story unfolds — with the opening of Buffalo Rehab Group’s fourteenth clinic!

At the center of this narrative are two of our own, Chris Ponichtera, PT DPT C-PS FAFS, and Joe Mescall, PT DPT.

Their journey, intertwined with their love for Western New York and fueled by an unwavering ambition, exemplifies a dedication to healthcare excellence.

Coming Full Circle

Chris’s story begins where the new clinic now stands.

Growing up in Cheektowaga, he nurtured a dream that would take him from a Bachelor’s in Natural Science to a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, both at Daemen University. His path led him to join Buffalo Rehab Group in 2018, where he quickly moved through the ranks, from East Amherst physical therapist to leadership roles in both our West Seneca and YMCA locations.

With an affinity for treating athletes, especially baseball players and pitchers, Chris finds joy in keeping them in top form. His compassion extends to older adults too, driven by the simple yet profound joy of helping grandparents play with their grandchildren.

“Hearing from athletes about succeeding in their sport and then staying injury-free is super important to me,” says Chris. “Along with athletes, I have a really soft spot for the grandparents, too. When grandparents can get on and off the ground with their grandkids and their dogs and stuff like that, that hits home for me!”

The new Cheektowaga clinic is not just a workplace for Chris; it’s a piece of his childhood, a symbol of his journey coming full circle.

“The Pizza Hut that used to be there, I’ve spent many meals and days there,” he says with a hint of nostalgia.

Partnering with Joe in this venture is exciting for Chris, as it’s a collaboration of shared drive and vision.

“I love the idea of going in with Joe and working with him as a partner. I’m really looking forward to working with someone as driven as I am.”

A Passion for Healing

Joe’s tale is similarly rooted in Western New York, beginning with a high school project in Lancaster that sparked his interest in physical therapy. His affinity for sports and an active lifestyle found its perfect counterpart in this career.

“Physical therapy kind of just spoke my language,” he says. “I like to be up and moving!”

After completing his studies at Daemen University, Joe joined Buffalo Rehab Group at our Depew clinic.

His approach to therapy is deeply personal, shaped by his sports background, and enriched by the stories and experiences of his patients.

“Being a local community member, it’s great hearing I’ve made a positive impact. Even my dad has met people who have worked with me and had a great experience,” Joe says. “Hearing that positive word of mouth and that I’ve made a positive change in someone’s life is a wonderful feeling.”

Like Chris, Joe is excited about their new partnership and venture.

“I have great faith in Chris and our team,” he says. “I hope we’ll be able to serve our community to the best of our abilities.”

Uniting to Serve Cheektowaga

The new clinic, situated across from Cheektowaga High School, is more than just a state-of-the-art physical and occupational therapy facility. It’s the realization of Chris and Joe’s shared vision, a symbol of their commitment to the community that nurtured them.

As co-profit sharers and office leaders, they are poised to deliver a healthcare experience that resonates with the heart of Cheektowaga.

“We hope the new clinic becomes a staple in the community where people automatically think of us when they need physical therapy,” says Joe. “Providing a comfortable, positive environment and the best possible experience in our new space is paramount.”

Both Chris and Joe hope the new space and services offered within will inspire patients to look forward to attending therapy sessions.

“Beyond therapy, I hope Joe and I can provide a unique experience,” says Chris, “It’s about delivering more than just care, but a positive overall experience.”

Embracing the Future

The opening of our Cheektowaga clinic marks a new chapter not just in healthcare but in community service and connection.

Under the stewardship of Chris and Joe, we see not just the promise of exceptional physical and occupational therapy, but the embodiment of a dream deeply rooted in community values and personal commitment.

“I am so proud of Chris and Joe,” says Buffalo Rehab Group CEO, Jeff Woodrich. “Each has boldly carved their name into the future of BRG and our Western New York community, as they open a brand new office in the community they grew up in. It’s a testament to their hard-earned opportunity and unyielding commitment to excellence.”

Join us in celebrating the achievements of Chris and Joe, as they embark on this exciting new journey in Cheektowaga!

Get your life back, Cheektowaga!

If you’re struggling with pain or weakness, let Chris, Joe, and their team of physical and occupational therapists help customize a plan that gets you feeling and moving your best.

Call 716-458-1990 or click below to schedule an appointment at our Cheektowaga location.