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SEARHC’s Alexei Desatoff wins USPHS therapist award


SITKA, April 23, 2012 — Alexei Desatoff, DPT, who heads the physical therapy program at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka, has been notified that he will be awarded the U.S. Public Health Service Therapist Junior Officer of the Year Award this June.

The award honors a U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps junior officer who is selected by his or her peers across the country for “overall performance in the delivery of quality health care and outstanding contributions in the area of clinical health care/health care management.”

Alexei, who holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the USPHS Commissioned Corps, also won this national award in 2004 and is the only person listed who has won the award twice. Alexei won his 2004 award as a clinical instructor for Doctor of Physical Therapy students, and he will be awarded the 2011 award for co-authoring and implementing a business plan (approved by the SEARHC Board) that brings significant upgrades and increased services to the hospital. An award presentation takes place at the Commissioned Officer Foundation Symposium this June at the University of Maryland.

“As department manager over the past two years, Alexei has expanded and modernized physical and occupational therapy services at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital,” said Dr. Marty Grasmeder, MD, S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Administrator/Medical Director. “This recognition is well deserved.”

Alexei earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. His medical interests include outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine. He also is an avid cyclist.

Alexei has been with SEARHC since 2000 and was promoted to department manager of physical therapy in Sitka in 2010. Since becoming department manager, Alexei expanded the department to three physical therapists (Alexei; Gio Villanueva, DPT; and Christopher Jones, MSPT) and a part-time occupational therapist (Lois Denherder, OTR). He also led a renovation of the clinic space, increasing the area for therapeutic exercise and adding substantial new equipment.

“Providing the highest quality of therapy services in partnership with Native people is our department goal,” Alexei said.

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