Alan Lombardo ’02 applied to Shenandoah University’s Division of Physical Therapy because of a family member’s recommendation, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions he’s ever made. “I still remember how incredible my interview experience was at SU,” said Lombardo. “I knew at that moment that I wanted to attend SU.” Lombardo’s fondest memories of Shenandoah are the bonds he created with his classmates and faculty members. Shenandoah will also always hold a special place in his heart because it is the place he met his wife and fellow physical therapy graduate, Amy Harrington Lombardo ’02, ’04.
Lombardo is the CEO of Sheltering Arms Institute in Goochland County, Virginia. Sheltering Arms Institute is a new, joint non-profit venture with Sheltering Arms and Virginia Commonwealth University Healthcare System. The hospital will open in the summer of 2020, as a 114-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility specializing in providing care for individuals who have survived strokes, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
Before accepting this position, Lombardo served the Department of Veterans Affairs for 16 years in Palo Alto, California, and he most recently served as chief operating officer at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Virginia Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. He has worked as a spinal cord injury & polytrauma physical therapist and was an American Physical Therapy Association Board certified neurological clinical specialist from 2006 to 2016.
“My time spent as a physical therapist and executive leader were extremely rewarding,” said Lombardo. “I was able to personally serve injured soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and amputations.”
In October 2017, Lombardo was awarded Shenandoah’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement. He believes that obtaining his master’s degree from Shenandoah started a catalyst for him to serve others as a physical therapist. “Shenandoah’s Physical Therapy program did an excellent job of providing a strong foundation in clinical practice as a generalist,” said Lombardo. “Additionally, through clinical rotations at the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic, I was prepared to work in a large integrated healthcare system. The professors offer expertise in areas of clinical, research and business practices.”
Lombardo’s advice to students is: “Look for an organization that matches your core principles. Find a company that treats its employees like family. One that understands people are the most important commodity to an organization and need to be protected, developed and rewarded.”