WVF Entrepreneur Stories

Russalette (Pinky) Magbanuga, Director, ProTherapy Rehabilitation

Pinky hails from the Philippines where she worked at the University of Philippines’s General Hospital as Chief Occupational Therapist and Clinical Training Coordinator.
She went on to become a consultant to Rehab Partners in Manila and left that post to come to the U.S. on a work visa securing a post as Pediatric Occupational Therapist at Rehab Resources, Inc. She became a U.S. citizen in 2008 and held positions in hospitals and clinics including Lincoln Hospital Center and NYU Rusk Outpatient Center.

During her work in NYC medical facilities, Pinky saw that many of the patients living in the Bronx had to travel far for treatment because there were few practitioners in their communities. She addressed this gap by opening a practice in the Bronx in September of 2013.

Her relationship with doctors lead to referrals and a busy practice in a few short months. To better serve her patients, Russalette sought a loan for additional equipment. That process proved frustrating and unproductive for her. When she came to Women’s Venture Fund, we could see that Russalette had the skills and experience to grow this practice with a little guidance in understanding her financial data. WVF provided her with a loan to buy equipment and hire contractors; rand worked with her to better manage her growth by clearly tracking her cashflow. As Russalette’s patient load increases, her team is also expanding, providing employment opportunities within the community.

We caught up with Pinky recently. Her clientele has grown two-fold since she opened, mainly due to word-of-mouth and referral from the many doctors in her network. At the same time, she has streamlined operations, improving efficiency including full-time, fully engaged staff rather than a roster of contractors; and outsourcing the billing function. She credits WVF training and
advisory for making better business decisions and forging profitable partnerships. She credits WVF with keeping in contact with her to ensure she’s on track with her business goals and extending opportunities for further business training and networking opportunities. “WVF mentoring has been invaluable.”