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Geriatric Physical Therapy Residency Program

VA Northern California’s developing residency program is designed to offer robust and comprehensive clinical learning across four practice settings. The residency faculty is composed of seasoned and passionate physical therapists, who are highly versed in pre and post-professional education. The range of their specialty areas are broad and well connected to the health care needs of older adults.

The clinical training offered through this program will help the resident prepare for Geriatric Clinical Specialist (GCS) certification from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).

The VA Northern California Health Care System employs the residents full-time for the year-long program. Clinical training consists of managing caseloads involving older adults, weekly mentoring with experienced clinical staff , and a didactic curriculum. The clinical training opportunities are spread out over Acute Care, Skilled Inpatient Rehabilitation, Home Health, Outpatient, Health & Wellness, Vestibular Rehab, Brain Injury, Pelvic Health and Chronic Pain clinics. Residents also participate in interdisciplinary patient rounds/clinics, journal clubs, staff in-service presentations, research project participation or exposure, clinical instruction to doctoral students, surgery observation, and special gait analysis experience with UC Davis BRaIN lab staff.

Mission and goals

Mission statement

The mission of VA Northern California Health Care System Geriatric Residency is to provide advanced, evidence-based education to physical therapists in the area of geriatric physical therapy so they will provide specialist-level care to the veterans we serve. The residency curriculum will include best practices, incorporation of patient outcome measures to ensure enhanced patient care and client education. The program will promote growth and practice continuous improvement and strategic initiatives in support of the Mission of the VA.


  • The VANCHCS Geriatric Residency will provide excellent mentoring and resources in support of the residents.
  • The  VANCHCS Residency will provide an up to date, evidence-based curriculum to the residents.
  • The  VANCHCS Residency Program will achieve and maintain full accreditation status with ABPTRFE.
  • The  VANCHCS Residency Program's key components of the residency are sustainable.
  • The Residency Program will support the mission and core values of the VANCHCS, to improve the quality of care to geriatric veterans served by advanced geriatric practitioners.
  • The VANCHCS Residency Program will prepare the resident to effectively communicate with patients/clients, referral sources, clinical faculty, administration, physicians, and other members of the health care team.


The program's comprehensive curriculum will follow all Learning Domains set forth by the most recent version of the ABPTRFE Description of Residency Practice (DRP) in Geriatrics. Educational methods will be broad to ensure the participants are advancing their level of mastery, and meeting all defined competencies in the ABPTS Description of Specialty Practice (DSP). 

Curriculum Design will follow a structured, systematic process that ensures content validity in accordance with the ABPTRFE DRP in Geriatrics. Clinical experiences will occur in the four practice areas of Acute, Outpatient, Home Health and Skilled Nursing care. The curriculum of the program ensures congruency between clinical and didactic components.  The curriculum design observes and follows ABPTRFE Quality Standards requirements, such as residency program clinical hours of no less than 1,500 being met.  300 educational hours and 150 hours or more of 1:1 mentoring will be provided throughout the program.

VANCHCS Geriatrics PT Residency didactic curriculum will include online offerings from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Learning Center, MedBridge, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Talent Management System and staff presentations. This residency offers remote access for completion of some didactic components off-site.

How to apply

Admission requirements

  • U.S. citizen
  • Applicant must have a degree from CAPTE accredited program
  • Successful/satisfactorily completed National Physical Therapy Examination
  • Applicant must obtain PT licensure prior to beginning the program (may be obtained from any state)

Application procedures

To view our program profile, please visit the ABPTRFE website. If you have met or will meet requirements prior to the residency start date, you may apply using the APTA Residency/Fellowship Physical Therapist Centralized Application Services (RF-PTCAS). All applicants must participate in an interview process and submit all required documents if selected.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

When will this residency program begin?

The VANCHCS Geriatrics Physical Therapy Residency Program begins July, 2024. 

How many residents do you accept?

This residency program accepts one resident each academic year. 

How long is this program?

This is a one-year, temporary appointment.

What will my schedule look like?

Residents at this facility will have 6 to 10 hours each week devoted to didactic curriculum time and one-on-one mentoring. The remaining 30-34 hours are set aside for clinical patient care obligations. Time outside of regular hours is expected for additional didactic components and presentation preparations. The resident's tour of duty is 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, although this schedule may change based on mentors' schedules and patient care needs. Weekend and holiday work may be required.

What does mentoring entail?

Mentoring is a professional relationship where a more experienced mentor guides a less experienced mentee to promote professional growth in a clinical setting. It is different from providing clinical instruction to the entry-level Physical Therapy student. It is pre-planned to meet specific educational objectives and facilitate the development of advanced professional behaviors, clinical decision making, proficiency in communications, and consultation skills.” (APTA 2012). Our program has a minimum of 150 hours of 1:1 mentoring.

Will I receive a stipend/salary?

Yes. The salary is determined annually by the VA Office of Academic Affiliations. The salary for 2023 is $64,009.

Will I be eligible for benefits?

Yes. Benefits include health insurance and options for vision and dental insurance. Residents receive ongoing accrual of 4 hours of paid annual leave and 4 hours of sick leave per biweekly pay period. Residents also receive 11 paid federal holidays each year.

Will I have an opportunity to attend a professional meeting or continuing education courses?

Geriatrics PT Residents are encouraged to attend combined Sections (CSM) and/or credentialling course series; Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults (CEEAA).  Funding from VA Northern CA may be available, however is not guaranteed. Medbridge and other online educational courses will be provided. 

Will I be eligible for a job at the VA upon graduation from the residency?

Residents in good standing will be encouraged to apply for job vacancies within the VA system, but a job is not guaranteed. We will help support residents during the Spring as they search and apply for potential post-graduation employment opportunities.


Dr. Neil Gregor, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA

PT Residency and Gerofit Director

Dr. Gregor received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2008 and his Geriatrics Specialization from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties in 2014.

Neil has provided Geriatrics focused care in home health, skilled nursing and outpatient settings. 
Dr. Gregor is a Director of the Northern California VA Health Care System’s (VANCHCS) Exercise and Wellness Program, GEROFIT. He is also Director and a Mentor for the VANCHCS Geriatric Physical Therapy Residency Program. As a credentialled Clinical Instructor, Neil has taught Physical Therapy students for over ten years.

Dr. Gregor has graciously donated his time to his profession. He has served as a public reviewer for clinical practice guidelines for rehabilitation following hip fracture and as a state advocate for the Academy of Geriatrics under the American Physical Therapy Association. Neil has a deep seeded passion for Geriatrics focused education, rural health care and preventative medicine services. Above all, what Dr. Gregor loves most in his career, is providing patient-centered care, developing meaningful connections with those he serves, and the countless life lessons learned from them.

Dr. Angela Brigham, PT, DPT

Site Coordinator of Clinical Education

Dr. Angela Brigham received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy degree from Samuel Merritt University in 2009.

After graduating, she started her career in the private sector at a skilled nursing facility.  In 2011, Dr. Brigham began her journey with the VA, taking a position in the Center for Rehabilitation and Extended Care in Martinez, CA. She took over the role of Site Coordinator of Clinical Education (SCCE) for the Northern.
California Health Care System in 2014. Since taking over the role as SCCE, she has placed dozens of students at various sites throughout Northern California. Angela is a certified clinical instructor and personally takes 1-2 students every year.
Angela is currently serving her second two-year term as a member of the National Clinical Education Strategic Workgroup, a group aimed to assist Physical Therapy clinical educators in VAs across the nation. Angela serves as the coordinator for the Geriatric Residency Program and will also serve as a mentor for the resident.

Dr. James A. Patrizi PT, DPT, CWS, FACCWS

APTA certified clinical instructor

Patrizi earned his Physical Therapy degree from Northwestern University and his transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of the Incarnate Word.

He earned his Wound Specialist Certification and Diplomate designation from the American Board of Wound Management in 1999 and was named a Fellow of the College of Certified Wound Specialists in 2005. He has been adjunct faculty for two DPT programs for 15 years, teaching the Integumentary curriculum.
Patrizi’s practice focus has been limb salvage for patients with vascular disease and edema management. Additionally, he has been a voting member of the VISN 21 Interprofessional Subcommittee, the Wound Care Task Force, and the Product Review Committee. He routinely conducts staff training and one-on-one mentoring for DPT students and RN, LVN, PA, NP students, and MD/DO residents rotating through the facility. Other activities include ongoing evaluation/implementation of emerging advanced products related to tissue healing, wound cleansing/irrigation, and vascular device selection for rental/purchase for the inpatient and outpatient populations. Patrizi is an APTA certified Clinical Instructor.

Dr. David Crivello, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

Exercise and wellness program, Gerofit co-director

Crivello received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree from the University of the Pacific in 2012.

He achieved his Orthopedic Specialization from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists in 2019.
Crivello’s clinical experiences lie primarily in outpatient orthopedics but include Home Health Physical Therapy and Acute Care Physical Therapy. Crivello joined VA Northern California in 2015. In preparation for his Orthopedic Specialization, Crivello attended a yearlong Musculoskeletal Residency at Baylor University in 2018. He currently serves as the Co-Director of the VA Northern California Gerofit Program. He is also a board member of the National Pilot Program for Joint Health Management in conjunction with the Memphis VA. Dr. Crivello also is a certified Dry Needling practitioner. Crivello serves as a facility member and mentors for the VA Northern California Geriatric Residency Program.

Dr. Maggie Limmer, PT, DPT, OCS


Limmer earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2018 from the University of Evansville.

She then entered the Utah Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency, from which she graduated in 2019. Her passion for the VA began here, as she spent most of her clinic time at the George E Wahlen VAMC in Salt Lake City. She worked at the University of Utah Health system's Utah Orthopaedic Center. The time split between these two facilities allowed Limmer to gain knowledge in various orthopedic conditions, from treating geriatric patients with chronic pain to NCAA Division I athletes.
Limmer then took her career to Northern California, where she accepted a job in outpatient orthopedics at Kaiser Permanente. She received her Orthopaedic Specialization from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties in 2020. At Kaiser, she was part of a pilot program providing telehealth physical therapy services, which proved helpful as the COVID pandemic hit shortly after. The change in clinical practice due to pandemic precautions allowed her to utilize her telehealth knowledge. After two years at Kaiser, Limmer knew it was time to return to the VA system. She started at Mather VAMC in August 2021, pivoting roles to work in acute care. She immediately became a part of the Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Team, focusing on optimizing hospital outcomes for the senior population. She also acts as a liaison for the Emergency Department and patients with orthopedic conditions who land in acute care. Her eventual goal is to meld her orthopedic background with her acute care knowledge and become a musculoskeletal screener working primarily in the Emergency Department.

Dr. Carolyn Patten PhD, PT, FAPTA


Dr. Patten is a neuroscientist and physical therapist who specializes in assessing and treating motor dysfunction associated with aging and adult neuropathologies, such as stroke.

She directs the UC Davis Biomechanics, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Lab is a Co-Director of the UC Davis Center for Neuroengineering and Medicine. In addition to her primary faculty role at UC Davis School of Medicine, Dr. Patten is a senior investigator with the VA Northern California Health Care System. She holds Research Career Scientist status.

Research Focus

Dr. Patten's research focuses on understanding the neural basis of human movement, investigating human motor control, and learning from a perspective of neuromechanics. Her laboratory has developed techniques sensitive to motor impairment using concurrent behavioral and neurophysiological methods. The lab's current work emphasizes identifying biomarkers to predict motor recovery following stroke and the critical factors contributing to rehabilitation efficacy. To achieve these objectives, the BRaIN lab researches the neural mechanisms and biomechanical effects of CNS pathologies causing motor dysfunction, including novel ways to induce neuroplasticity and motor recovery and individual variations in the course of motor recovery and responses to therapeutic interventions.
Healthy Aging in a Digital World - a UC Davis Big Idea, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Veterans Affairs (Rehabilitation R&D), and the University of California CITRIS support Dr. Patten's study (Center for IT Research in the Interest of Society). She has consistently held federal, peer-reviewed project funding as Principal Investigator since receiving her first Career Development Award from VA Rehabilitation R&D in 1998.

Dr. Kate Schopmeyer, PT, DPT, CSCS, CPE


Dr. Schopmeyer is a clinician, educator, and program coordinator specializing in interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation.

She is actively driving practice changes for pain care via national and regional committees and workgroups, both within the VHA and the non-VA health care community. Her primary goals in clinical work are to foster active patient engagement through education, train behaviors that promote self-management, and teach people how to re-engage in life while living with persistent pain. She believes pain care is a “team sport,” that knowledge is power, and that movement is the best medicine.