Fortaleza Rehabilitation Center Celebrates Grand Opening
by James Coulter
Puerto Rico, along with every other Spanish settlement, had stone watchtowers where the Spaniards would stand guard and survey the ocean for potential enemy ships. They were the first line of defense to ensure that their island home remained safe.
These towers were known as “fortaleza”, which is Spanish for “fortress.” As they were a sign of strength, it was only fitting that their name is used for Fortaleza Rehabilitation Center, a medical center that helps its patients regain their strength, both physically and mentally.
Fortaleza Rehabilitation Center first opened in Philadelphia in 1994. They have since opened another location in Winter Haven, where they hope to continue their legacy of providing high-quality physical therapy. The same level of care they provide up north they hope to continue providing down south.
“The Fortaleza staff leads with a forward-thinking Patients First philosophy that is applied to all aspects of our operation,” their website states. “For our patients, this means that Fortaleza will work every day to meet every one of their rehabilitation needs. Our patients can always expect individualized care, advanced treatment techniques, and clinical excellence.”
Owner Luis Hincapie brings with him 24 years of clinical experience in rehabilitation with a background in sports medicine. He received his formal education from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, where he received his master’s degree.
“When he is not problem solving and teaching at the clinic, his passion is in coaching youth competitive travel soccer teams,” their website states.
Luis started Fortaleza Rehabilitation Center in the Philadelphia area. He wanted to provide healthcare, primarily physical therapy, to an area that lacked adequate access to it. He mentioned how many people there had to take three to four buses just to receive rehab, as most of it was provided at the main hospitals.
Luis wanted to broaden his outreach, so after much prayer and contemplation, he and his staff decided to open a new location in Florida, where they eventually settled upon Winter Haven.
“We had a vision to come down here, and we came down here because this is the place,” Luis said. “This is where God sent us, and I really do think with the great folks we have today, the great staff that we have, and the fact that we never give up.”
His partner, Joshua Rivera, spent countless hours, day and night, working alongside his wife to prepare the facility for its grand opening. Both Joshua and Luis believe in their endeavor, and it has been this faith that has driven them to open their new location.
“We believe in this rehab center,” she said. “We believe that we will make a difference in this community because we are doing it from the heart. We work so hard for this, and we know we will succeed because we are positive about this, and I have a partner who will not give up.”
Fortaleza Rehabilitation Center celebrated its grand opening last Thursday. The ceremony included two ribbon cuttings from the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce and the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Polk County.
Ana Rivera de Ramos, Hispanic Chamber Head, commended Luis and his staff for choosing Winter Haven as their new location, and she wished them good luck for their service: “I wish you a lot of luck here. And I would love to expand to the next building. The bigger, the better.”
Ana Saavedra, Membership & Sponsorship Development Manager, boasted about how the first stop Joshua made on his first trip to Winter Haven was the chamber. She appreciated working closely with him to help him start his business, and she wished him the best of luck in his endeavors.
“It was easily the easiest and best meeting I ever had since I started a year and a half ago,” she said. “I am excited. I know this is a passion project. And you could have picked anywhere. And we are happy you chose Winter Haven in particular.”
Fortaleza Rehabilitation Center is located at 205 1st St S Unit 103, Winter Haven, FL 33880. For more information, call 863-280-6766, or visit their website at: https://www.lafortalezarehab.com.