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Passion for Wellness Translates into Entrepreneurship

As an amateur bodybuilder and women’s football player, Carolyn Mazur was well-acquainted with the debilitating injuries that sports can inflict on the body. So it became her dream to one day establish a center to provide a variety of health- and fitness-related services to both the injured and those who simply wished to improve their overall physical fitness. She accomplished that goal when she opened Fusion Physical Therapy and Sports Wellness, PC.

Born and raised in Shawnee, Kansas, and getting a degree in 1998 in the highly regarded Master of Physical Therapy Program at Kansas City’s Rockhurst College, Mazur first began applying her skills to professional and collegiate athletes at the North American Institute of Sports Physical Therapy in Arizona. While continuing to work through the Institute, in 1999 she headed to New York City where she began a fellowship at St. John’s University and worked as an athletic trainer for the Red Storm’s football and basketball teams for the next two years.

By 2002, Mazur’s passion for her profession inspired her to open her own physical therapy and wellness center. However, New York was in the early stages of recovery from 9/11, the economy was sagging and lenders were cautious about lending to start-up businesses.

Undaunted, Mazur went to the Baruch College Small Business Development Center where she received assistance from counselor Frank Guarino in the preparation of a business plan, financial projections and a loan application. Initially, her loan application was rejected by bankers fearful of lending to business start-ups in a weak economy. But she and Guarino persevered and after several tries obtained an SBA-guarantied loan from HSBC Ba nk which enabled her to open her business.

Today, Fusion Physical Therapy is going strong in Manhattan at 13th St. and 9th Ave. with three full-time staffers and a host of reputable part-timers. Fusion offers rehabilitation services, sports medicine and personal therapy with special attention given to open communications between physicians and healthcare providers.

The “fusion” of Mazur’s knowledge, experience and compassion give the company its name and are the critical elements of her success. With a broad base of clientele including professional athletes like Tim Dwight of the Oakland Raiders, Broadway dancers and actors, and weekend warriors, Mazur wants to further grow her business.

This past January she received her doctorate from Boston University’s, Online Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, and she plans to continue to add to her repertoire of certifications. She is also working again with the Baruch SBDC to get another loan to expand her facility to 7,500 square feet and offer even more services. And as a long-time competitive athlete, she plans to win.

-by DeAnn Misilmeri