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Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy Residency

The mission of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS) Residency in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy is to mentor the professional development and advanced clinical training of cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapists so they may exhibit the core values of physical therapy professionalism and may contribute to the field of cardiopulmonary physical therapy as practitioners, educators, and clinical scholars who demonstrate advanced clinical practice guided by current evidence.

Application Deadline: On March 15 the application portal will close.  Applications will be reviewed and candidates accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.


This residency is designed to prepare participants to become skilled cardiopulmonary physical therapy clinicians by providing them with education through both academic and clinical experiences. Participants will function as an integral member of an interdisciplinary team to assure integrated care for the patient, and will be given the opportunity to provide specialty level care for veteran patients.

The goals of the residency program are as follows:

Goal 1. Support the mission and values of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and its Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation by creating an innovative mechanism to train physical therapists in the specialty area of cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy, thereby expanding the quality and coordination of care delivered to Veterans with physical, cognitive, and social disability resulting from cardiovascular and pulmonary impairments.

Goal 2. Develop and deliver a curriculum for post-professional experiential learning program in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy that integrates advanced Veteran-centered practice and interdisciplinary training with a theoretical knowledge base in cardiopulmonary clinical science.

Goal 3. Engage physical therapists in a deliberate and systematic use of reflection in delivering veteran-centered care.

Goal 4. Empower physical therapists to practice ethical clinical decision-making and demonstrate virtuous behavior.

Goal 5. Develop the clinical and didactic teaching skills of the resident and the residency faculty, fostering a practice environment where clinical knowledge is freely shared through dialogue and interdisciplinary education.

Goal 6. Advance a commitment to contributing to the design of a Veteran-centric healthcare model and infrastructure to help Veterans navigate the VA health care system and receive coordinated care.

Goal 7. Promote advancement in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy by engaging physical therapists in activities that promote excellence and seek to discover or appraise new evidence to guide practice decisions.

Goal 8. Graduate physical therapists that are prepared to pursue American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) certification as a cardiovascular and pulmonary clinical specialist.


Overview: The program is designed to provide residents with a year-long intensive study of cardiopulmonary physical therapy, preparing them to sit for (and pass) the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialist Examination offered by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Clinical time during the residency, which includes structured one-on-one mentoring, is provided for 75-80% of a typical week. The remainder of time is spent completing didactic training, research, projects and presentations related to the overall curriculum of the residency program.

Credentialing: The Program has full credentialed status with the American Physical Therapy Association/American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education.  The credentialed status was effective in July 2013.

Length of Study: 12 months.

Program Entrance Date: the Monday following July 4th each year.

Tuition: While enrolled as a resident in the AAVA program, there is no fee for tuition.

Salary: Residents will receive a salary. Salaries are approximately 70% of those for new graduate PT's, plus benefits. Residents carry a 75% case load in order to allow time for didactic coursework, research, presentations and projects.

Benefits: Residents are eligible for benefits through the VA. This includes employer supported health and dental insurance, life insurance, and paid time off. This is not a full description of benefits, and applicants are directed to the human resources department at VA Ann Arbor for a full description of benefits.


Sample Learning Unit Topics

  • Review of cardiovascular and pulmonary anatomy and physiology
  • Cardiovascular and pulmonary pathophysiology
  • VA Healthcare Delivery System and Sites
  • Interpreting and Using Research in Clinical Practice
  • Exercise Physiology Considerations
  • Cognitive/Psychiatric Considerations
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Women's Health Considerations
  • Pediatric Considerations
  • Psychosocial and Caregiving Issues
  • Speech, Swallowing and Communication Considerations
  • Critical Care/Intensive Care Complexities
  • Use of Technology in Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Cardiopulmonary Outcome Measures
  • Functional Assessments
  • Prosthetic/Orthotic Considerations
  • Normal and Abnormal Responses to Exercise
  • Adult Education Theory and Practice
  • Ethical Considerations
  • Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology
  • Health Promotion and Wellness
  • Oxygen Therapy and Mechanical Ventilation
  • Adaptive Equipment
  • Consulting, Case Management, and Advocacy
  • Clinical Decision Analysis


Clinical Faculty:
           Stephanie Kostsuca, PT, DPT, CCS (Program Director)
           Crystal Gluch, PT, DPT, CCS
           Marissa Demers, PT, DPT, GCS  
           Jessica Vogt, PT, DPT, CCS

Core Academic Faculty:
           Stephanie Kostsuca, PT, DPT, CCS
           Crystal Gluch, PT, DPT, CCS

Adjunct Faculty
           Alexandria Sciaky, PT, DPT, CCS
           Rachele Burriesci PT, DPT, GCS, CCS
           Morgan Johanson, PT, CCS                                  


1. The applicant must be a graduate of a CAPTE (Commission for Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education) accredited physical therapy program and hold a current license to practice physical therapy in a state in the United States of America.  Work experience as an acute care and/or cardiopulmonary physical therapist is preferred but not required.  Applicants must be a citizen of the United States of America.

2. Acceptance will be based on interest, ability, and aptitude for a career as a physical therapist in a cardiopulmonary setting. Desirable applicants include those who:   

  • Completed a clinical experience which included cardiopulmonary physical therapy practice as part of the requirements for a degree in physical therapy  under the direct supervision of a Clinical Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy
  • Possess superior verbal and written communication skills
  • Have experience in data collection, analysis, and publication
  • Possess strong fundamentals in the principles of clinical reasoning and the application of examination and treatment procedures related to the practice of physical therapy
  • Exhibit high standards of professional behavior. 

3. Residents will be selected by the Admissions Committee and their decision will be final. Superior candidates will be given an interview, which is conducted by    one or more members of the admissions committee. Candidates are assessed in the areas of commitment, knowledge of the purpose of the program, interests (as outlined above), and attitude. Good candidates will possess qualities of flexibility, team building, leadership, professionalism and desire to learn.


Students requesting disability accommodations must do so by filing a disability accommodation request in writing with the program coordinator at the time of application.


Go to the RF-PTCAS web site to submit your application.  CLICK HERE to access the link.

Applications are due March 15 each year with interviews in April and a final decision by April 30th.  Applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.


Download a copy of the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy Post-Professioinal Residency Program Information Frequenty Asked Questions.

For further information you may contact:

Stephanie Kostsuca PT, DPT, CCS
PT Residency Program Director
VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
2215 Fuller Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
Telephone: 734-845-3334

This information represents what is current at the time of printing this publication and is subject to change. Applicants should contact the Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Residency Program at VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System to verify the requirements for the year for which the residency application will be made.

It is the policy of the VA Cardiopulmonary PT Residency Program to recruit, admit, and retain participants on a nondiscriminatory basis. Specifically, the program does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability or health status.

Program Year Program Graduation Rate by Year Board Exam Pass Rate by Year Overall Program Board Exam Pass Rate 2018 100% 100% 2019 100% 2018 grad did not pass 2020 100% 100% *including retake from 2018 100% 2021 100% 100% 2022 100% 100% 100%