Pinnacle of a career: Academy faculty members earn physical therapy fellowship

  • Published
  • By Ray Bowden
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Four former faculty members at the Air Force Academy earned a fellowship from a leading medical foundation specializing in physical therapy.

Lt. Col. Joel Dixon, the school's associate athletic director for sports medicine, said the fellowship, sponsored by the American Academy of Orthopedic Manuel Physical Therapy, shows the commitment to patient care shared by the new fellows, Majors Justin Gleed and Teressa Petosky, Capt. Jon Ruzich and Lt. Col Tisha Sutton.

“This fellowship is the pinnacle of a medical career,” Dixon said during the Aug. 3 ceremony in Arnold recognizing the recipients.

With their fellowship complete, the four officers are moving on to new assignments to serve as human performance subject matter experts. Sutton will be assigned to the Johnson Space Center in Houston; Gleed at Joint Base San Antonio; Petosky at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia; and Ruzich at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

Sutton said she considers the fellowship to represent her ultimate professional achievement.

“Just learning the ability to take care of patients and finishing the fellowship was an amazing accomplishment,” she said.   

Gleed will work with pararescuemen-in-training at Joint Base San Antonio and Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.

“It’s a privilege to graduate from a fellowship as very few physical therapists continue their education past graduate school, less complete a residency and even less complete a fellowship,” he said.

Physical therapists used manual therapy to treat musculoskeletal pain and disability which it includes kneading and manipulation of muscles, joint mobilization and joint manipulation. The four officers were be the leading musculoskeletal subject matter experts at their new assignments.