Alumni Physical Therapist Rehabilitates COVID-19 Victims

Alumni Physical Therapist, Peter Rybakov describes his mission to rehabilitate the victims of COVID-19

Peter Rybakov, a York College alumnus, and went on to become a doctor of physical therapy. Little did he know when he took a position at Elmhurst Hospital that he would find himself in the middle of a pandemic, risking his own health and safety each day. Yet, he is glad to do it and attributes his success to York.” So said Dr. Donna Chirico, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at York.

"Ever since I enrolled at York College. I had a dream to become a physical therapist," Rybakov said of his aspirations. "I completed

Rybakov in full Personal protective equipment

four undergraduate years at York College, followed by three years in Touro College’s graduate physical therapy program.”

Rybakov added that since graduating from Touro, he has had “multiple opportunities to work with individuals across the lifespan including toddlers, adults, and the elderly.

"Today, I am particularly honored to practice physical therapy at the hardest hit COVID-19 hospital in New York City - Elmhurst Hospital Center,” he said. “During this pandemic, I am able to use the knowledge and skills I have developed at both York and Touro colleges to help individuals affected by COVID-19 to overcome their physical barriers and regain their strength following a battle with the virus.”

He shared with Dean Chirico that now his “primary goals with my patients are to enable them to attain proper ‘in and out’ of bed positioning and breathing patterns to facilitate faster recovery and potential discharge from the hospital.”

The York alumnus says it is his duty to motivate patients to take an extra step or an extra breath to enable them to reach their pre-COVID functional status and the ability “to safely reunite with their loved ones at home.”

“I am a proud York College Alum and licensed physical therapist and I am highly devoted to being a frontline healthcare professional during these uncertain and challenging times.” Said Rybakov. “It brings me great joy to know that I am part of the reason that individuals from all walks of life are rapidly recovering and able to return to their families and routines." 

Rybakov in white coat