Our Post-COVID Rehabilitation Program

(letter to physicians and patients)

May 11, 2020


We have all recently discovered the complexities and severity of COVID and how those who survive COVID-19 end up profoundly weak, deconditioned and vulnerable. At Higher Physical Therapy  we are prepared to provide for the needs of these patients right now. We understand that respiratory compromise is first and foremost, and also aware of the other complications many have endured including blood clots, strokes and amputations. 


Today, Higher Physical Therapy is proud to announce that we have put into place a new outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program designed specifically to accommodate the special needs of COVID-19 survivors.


Our services are available via telehealth on (, a HIPAA compliant platform And, live in-office,  which has remained open to service the Washington Heights community since this pandemic began.   We have always provided full hour, one-on-one appointments with licensed physical therapists only.  Realizing that COVID-19 survivors may not be able to tolerate 60 minute treatments, shorter sessions have been built into the program.


Services that can be provided Virtually and In person include:

  1. Breathing and Positioning exercises, including specific Postural Restoration Institute techniques, plus pursed lip breathing and diaphragmatic training. Relaxation exercise is also built into this to help facilitate opening of the chest wall and alleviate contracture in the breathing muscles.

  2. Aerobic/CardioPulmonary exercise: Simple to complex total body exercises, patient specific.  Monitored one on one, always.

  3. Functional exercise and ADL training. 

  4. Education: Self monitoring of symptoms, physiological response and follow-up self-care.

  5. Manual therapy is provided in the office. Facilitated self treatment can be done virtually.


We recommend a Telehealth session for any patient who is too debilitated to come into the office or who should still be isolated from other people, as determined by CDC guidelines.  However, whenever possible, an In-Office session is recommended, as patients  will also receive one on one hands-on therapy that may include  myofascial release, soft tissue mobilization, PNF, and stretching to release chest wall restrictions that impact breathing. If patients present with lung congestion, postural drainage with manual and mechanical percussion and vibration are also available. 


Higher Physical Therapy is committed to a safe and clean environment for patients and staff. We have 2 separate fully equipped treatment rooms which are cleaned and disinfected after each patient  We keep a 15 min buffer between each patient to ensure proper cleaning and distancing. We also screen staff and patients for fever and COVID-19 symptoms every day before they enter the premises


Higher Physical Therapy accepts Medicare Part B and most Medicare Advantage plans. We are out of network with other insurance companies, but submit claims on behalf of our  patients for their convenience. 


Furthermore, We have an AED in the office and all therapy staff are trained in BLS and in use of the AED.


Please contact practice owner, Julie Zapata with any questions you may have about our pulmonary rehab program, our general physical therapy services, or about a specific case or need.


Higher Physical Therapy strives to exceed your expectations in caring for your patients. We look forward to working with you in the near future.  




Julie Zapata, MSPT and Andrea Wolkenberg, DPT Physical Therapists



Patients can book us online at, and or on Genbook or Zocdoc. We are reachable phone 7 days a week at 917 600 4627. We use the doxy platform for telehealth, specifically at


Our protocols are Based from recommendations and information from Guidelines for Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs, Published by AACVPR, 5th ed. 2019)

As well as Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy: A Clinical Manual,  Joanne Watchie, 1995)

CDC guidelines:

APTA Recommendations:

Our specific protocols:

Patients are required to take off their shoes at the front door. 


Front room and Back room have  separate entrance.

15 min buffers between all appointments.

PPE required of therapist:




Mask patient required to use at all times, will be provided if needed.

Laundry:Sophie's on W 181 st.

Cleaning: Weekly by professional, In between each patient by therapists and staff. Includes waiting room and door handles.

COVID responsibility and release letter, required to be signed by all patients, prior to receiving treatment.

Higher Physical Therapy

427 Fort Washington Ave, New York, NY 10033 (NW corner of W 179th Street)

Ph: 1 917 600 4627

©2017 by Higher Physical Therapy. Proudly created with

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