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Meet Judith Florendo and Suzanne Badillo of Link Physical Therapy in South Evanston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Judith Florendo and Suzanne Badillo.

Both Suzanne and Judy have similar stories of countless patients showing up in their respective offices stating, “I had no idea there was anything I could do about this problem!” Examples of these conditions included urinary incontinence, pain with sex, constipation, back pain with pregnancy, pelvic floor weakness after having a baby.

Prior to opening Link PT, Suzanne was Director of Women’s Health Rehabilitation at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab (formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) for nineteen years. Judith had a successful pelvic health private practice, Florendo Physical Therapy, in Streeterville, for eighteen years. Although they had been colleagues for many years, a chance, casual conversation at a professional meeting in L.A. brought them to the realization that not only are they both Evanstonians, but they live just a few blocks from each other. It was there that the germ of an idea was born to combine forces, talents, and their formidible experience. It was tempting to think of setting up a practice in Evanston where Judy and her husband have lived for 25 years, and where Suzanne and her family recently moved. Suzanne grew up in Evanston and has strong ties to the area.

Both relished the idea of opening a practice to serve our local community, the Chicago Northshore area, and the greater Chicago Metropolitan area. They opened the doors at Link Physical Therapy in Evanston in September 2017! “Personally, being closer to home, with more time for focus on what we are both passionate about, serve our community, and spend time with our family and friends, allows us to practice what we preach about self-care and living life better.”

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The move was not without its challenges; closing down a successful and established niche physical therapy practice in a booming downtown neighborhood seemed a little crazy. Starting up a new practice also meant buildout of our new space, ensuring health care and business compliance, building our Link PT brand, and communicating who and where we are located with our past and potential referrers. Closing down operations downtown and then setting up new ones required keeping a lot of plates spinning. In addition to seeing patients during the busy transition, we were (and are) active in our own professional organizations and academic/research projects.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Link Physical Therapy – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Our physical therapy practice, Link Physical Therapy, focuses on pelvic and spinal health for women, men, and children. Our patient may present with pelvic pain: pain with sex, pain after ejaculation, endometriosis; or bladder issues: urinary incontinence, bladder pain, frequency/urgency or bowel issues: constipation. More likely than not, they have a combination of these problems. Prenatal and postnatal rehabilitation is another important area of focus. Why specialize in pelvic health? In its most basic anatomic role, the pelvis is simply the nexus between the upper and lower halves of the human body. The pelvis is integral to our most fundamental human functions: development, reproduction, sexuality, and elimination. It’s not a stretch to say it is truly the center of the universe when it comes to the body habitus. Our bodies are not simply an aggregate of separate and discrete parts to be treated as such; these ‘parts’ are interconnected and often interdependent. Dysfunction in the pelvic region can greatly affect other areas of the body.

We, at Link Physical Therapy, have an uncanny ability to see the “links” in a person’s body or lifestyle that other practitioners may have missed, such as the relationship between back or hip and pelvic issues, the relationship between someone’s childbirth history and subsequent back pain later in life; or even the relationship between their pelvic issues and an old ankle injury that might create an imbalance in the whole system. Identifying and understanding that how we move, position, work, think, and feel are all linked is critical in finding successful solutions. The practice philosophy and mission at Link Physical Therapy is the belief that when pelvic health is optimized, individuals can advance their physical performance and quality of life to his/her full potential.

What are we proud of? To say that our patients come through our door in considerable pain and dysfunction is an understatement. There are many components to most of our patients’ problems. As such, treatment is multifaceted, often addressing several areas of pelvic function and linking to the individual as a whole. To see the transformation to a happier, healthier human being that is not just surviving, but thriving, is a huge reward. We feel we are contributing in no small way to our own community and that means so much to us.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
The #MeToo movement prompts a frank discussion on female sexuality and empowerment. We have collaborative efforts in the works with leaders at the forefront of education and awareness regarding issues of female sexuality and pelvic health. For example, we are working on educational videos/blogs with WomanLab, an innovative program at the University of Chicago specializing in female sexual health. In order to change a culture in a positive direction in regards to sexuality, education is key. We believe it is essential for women and men of all ages must have access to accurate knowledge about pelvic health, anatomy, self-care, and sexuality. It’s time to re-think our traditional “sex ed” classes!

Contact Info:

  • Address: 528 Kedzie St. Evanston, IL 60202
  • Website: www.linkpt.org
  • Phone: 847-868-8396
  • Email: info@linkpt.org


Image Credit:
Teresa Reid and Ruby Schmitt

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