A Look at DPT Alum Steve Gonser’s Growth Since Daemen
Steve Gonser graduated with both his degrees from Daemen, receiving his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy in 2007 and then his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2009 and has continued his growth within the field ever since!
Life at Daemen
While pursuing both his degrees, it was not only just about being in the program, but taking advantage of all the opportunities. Gonser highlighted two of his favorite classes: kinesiology with Dr. Greg Ford and writing for health professions with Dr. Karl Terryberry.
Gonser said he uses his learned methods from his class with Dr. Ford every day. “It provided me a framework for problem-solving and understanding that I use with every patient and client. For some, it’s performance, while others, it’s injury prevention or recovery.
Gonser went on to say that Daemen’s DPT program is “the future of healthcare. The research is evident that the body can heal with physical therapy. The PT program at Daemen is set up in a fundamentally and progressively to help PT’s thrive.”
Where Is He Now?
Gonser has been with Buffalo Rehab Group since graduating in 2009, working his way up from a staff therapist to a clinic operator, and now as one of four owners at the growing 11-location practice. Jeff Woodrich (UB), Eric Herman (UB), and Ray Hammel (Daemen) are also owners at Buffalo Rehab Group.
Currently, Gonser’s role is in marketing and community wellness. “I have an amazing role. It’s not marketing in a traditional sense. I find ways to provide value to the community in a way that improves their health and life. When the community knows, likes, and trusts us, we can then bridge into a provider-patient relationship.” This aligns with Buffalo Rehab Group’s purpose to “get people’s lives back after injury or surgery.”
Successful Ventures After Daemen
Since being at Daemen, Gonser met his wife, Celia, while in school, and they have two children, William and Abigail. He has competed in several marathons, 50-mile events, and two full Ironman Triathlons. With a passion for running developed at Daemen, he realized that there was a need within the PT field to help those who are running to train smarter to boost performance and minimize injuries.
Soon after graduation, Gonser began an after-hours strength program for runners. He happened to record a session, and it organically grew in viewership online. Steve said, “I taught myself how to code and then developed a membership website to support the workout and others like it.” That’s how RunSmart was created and allowed him to continue his training and educate others to help with injury prevention.
Continuing to code and develop RunSmart, he reached over 1,000 running and training members. This great success brought about expansion, and he now has the RunSmart mobile app! Over 3,000 runners are using the RunSmart app to train, race, and prevent injury – and it’s growing every month. Through RunSmart, Gonser is not only helping the running community, but he is committed to giving back and supporting local charities in WNY.
Words of Encouragement from Steve:
“Too often, people look to avoid stress and the feeling of being uncomfortable, but this is where growth and change happens. Through physical and mental struggle comes growth and the ability to improve our lives, relationships, and community.”