With JAG Physical Therapy’s Princeton Office Thriving, Gallucci Aiming to Make Impact with N.J. Fitness Council
PROFESSIONAL APPROACH: John Gallucci, the president and CEO of JAG Physical Therapy, administers to a New York Red Bulls player. Gallucci, whose company recently expanded its Princeton office, has been named as the Chair of the New Jersey Council on Physical Fitness and Sport. Gallucci also serves as the medical coordinator of Major League Soccer. (Photo Courtesy of Steinlight Media)
As John Gallucci, Jr. looked to expand his JAG Physical Therapy business, some personal history led him to consider the Princeton area.
“I have a close relationship in the area because my uncle taught for years at the Hun School,” said Gallucci, the president and CEO of JAG, which he founded in 2005.
“I have many colleagues in the sports medicine division at Princeton University. I thought based on the quality of care we were giving, that Princeton would be an ideal location for growth.”
Starting at a site in Forrestal Village, the office has been a success, necessitating a recent expansion.
“Princeton has been outstanding for us, the community has adopted us as a resource for physical therapy care,” asserted Gallucci, noting that JAG now has 10 facilities in the New Jersey and one in New York City with another office set to open soon in Union County.
“We just relocated our clinic to a stand alone in the Forrestal Village. We used to be within Can-Do Sports but our demand and population of people that wanted to access us became so immense that we had to relocate to our own individual location. We are excited about that and it has taken off wonderfully for us.”
Gallucci, who serves as a resource in his field statewide, has been recently named as the Chair of the New Jersey Council on Physical Fitness and Sport.
“The goal is to make New Jersey healthy, the initiatives are based on fitness, nutrition, and sports safety,” said Gallucci, who started assisting with some of the group‘s programs in 2003 before getting appointed to the Council in 2008.
“It is very similar to the mission of the President’s Council, which is through general fitness, sports safety, and good nutrition we can combat the obesity, statistics, the diabetic statistics, and the cardiological statistics by living a healthier life.”
Gallucci, 49, brings a wealth of experience to that effort as he holds master’s degree in sports science and athletic training along with a Masters and Doctorate in physical therapy. He served as an athletic trainer at NYU for five years before heading to a similar position at Columbia University. He worked as a medical coordinator for the New York Knicks and as a trainer for the MetroStars and New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer (MLS). He currently serves as the medical coordinator of MLS.
“My first job at NYU was very advantageous for me,” said Gallucci.
“I worked with a really great head athletic trainer John Eckel, who taught me the ropes of dealing with coaches and athletes. It was fantastic, it gave me a platform and a direction and professionalism that brought me to Columbia. I also worked with the New York Knicks for a couple of a years.”
Starting to work with the MetroStars, Gallucci has enjoyed a productive relationship with the league.
“I had a dear friend of mine that got involved with MLS with the Metro Stars,” recalled Gallucci, who authored a book titled, Soccer Injury Prevention and Treatment: A Guide to Optimal Performance for Players, Parents, and Coaches, in 2014.
“I went down to help him out on a rehab component and hit it off with the coaches and GM. One thing led to another and I ended up becoming a director of rehabilitation for them and their athletes. It was great because it was a new league, I was setting up a foundation. They definitely didn’t have people as experienced as me that worked in many different organizations so I became an asset to the league. The commissioner asked me to come into a position in MLS because he didn’t want to lose my expertise in different facets of pro sports, workman’s comp, policy writing, and he offered me a position in the league office as a medical coordinator.
In starting JAG, Gallucci aimed to give members of the general public the kind of treatment accorded to pro athletes.
“I think our approach is that it is not about treating the injury, it is about treating the individual,” explained Gallucci.
“Our philosophy has always been that we want to treat people the way we want to be treated and the way you would want someone to treat one of your family members. With me coming out of pro sports for 25 years, I know professional athletes are treated unbelievably well and I wanted to bring that to the general public. I like to say that everyone in JAG Physical Therapy is treated as a VIP.”
In his role as the chair of the New Jersey Council, Gallucci is looking to spread that philosophy into the daily fabric of life statewide.
“We have great opportunities to get the information out; the council is not just about sports,” said Gallucci.
“The council is about grandpa and grandma having facilities and recreation centers to walk to and take care of their aerobic thresholds to make sure that their hearts are strong. It is very important for people who don’t have access to certain things to give them that access. Some of our inner cities of New Jersey do not have bike paths and do not have areas where people can jog. Some of our parks are just green grass. It is important that a lot of recreation parks across the state have tried to put in different strengthening programs. With these different park exercise programs, I think what we have to realize is health doesn’t have to come from a gym membership, health has to come from people moving their bodies.”