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Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program

The JAHVH Physical Therapy Department offers a Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program that is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) since 2012.

Orthopedic Residency Overview

The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital (JAHVH) is located in Tampa, Florida and provides comprehensive services to more than 116,000 Veterans. We are one of the largest VA hospitals and one of five Polytrauma facilities in the nation.

The JAHVH Physical Therapy Department offers a Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program that is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) since 2012. This exciting and innovative program is designed to offer the recently licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy an opportunity to advance their knowledge and skills in the area of orthopedic specialty practice in preparation for Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) examination and certification through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).

Residents are employed full-time by the JAHVA for the year long program and thus must be U.S. citizens. Clinical training consists of managing a caseload of patients with Orthopedic involvement, mentoring sessions with highly experienced clinical staff (2 to 4 hours/week), as well as a didactic curriculum and OCS Prep component. Clinical training opportunities/rotations exist within the following clinical areas: Outpatient Orthopedics, Acute Care, Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program, Vestibular/Post-Concussion, Amputee, Pelvic Floor, Aquatics, Inpatient Rehab, and Cardiac Rehab.  Residents will also have opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary patient rounds, journal clubs, in-service/poster presentations, scholarly activity, and mentoring doctoral students.

JAHVH Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency has a 100% Program pass rate and 95% OCS pass rate.

Mission Statement, Goals, Objectives

Mission Statement:

The program prepares qualified physical therapists for orthopedic specialty practice to provide exceptional healthcare for those they serve. The faculty cultivates highly-skilled, independent clinical specialists utilizing diverse clinical experiences, meaningful mentorship, and comprehensive didactic education. This leads to the development of clinicians who consume evidence-based research, consider the whole person, value teaching & learning, and uphold the program’s core values.

Program Goals:

1) To recruit and passionately mentor residents equipping them to deliver exemplary specialty rehabilitative care

2) Critically assess and appraise the current literature and integrate the latest relevant evidence into advanced practice.

3) Exhibit the skills and knowledge to be competent mentors, instructors and advocates of orthopedic physical therapy practice.

4) To provide opportunities through direct patient care and specialty observation for residents to excel in orthopedic practice for a diverse patient population and within a variety of practice settings.

5) To graduate caring and compassionate residents who are prepared and committed to pursue and obtain board-certification through ABPTS.

6) The program maintains ‘good standing’ and full ABPTRFE accreditation.

7) The program will maintain financial stability and program sustainability.


The program’s didactic curriculum is primarily based on the APTA Orthopedic section’s Description of Residency Practice (DRP) which integrates didactic learning activities from the Orthopedic Certification Prep section of MedBridge and APTA Monographs.

Clinical mentoring will occur weekly (2-4 hours) with faculty in each of the clinical practice settings. It is estimated that approximately 30-32 hours a week will be dedicated to clinical practice with the remaining hours available for educational experiences such as journal clubs, scholarly activity, teaching opportunities, interprofessional experiences, observation in specialty clinics, and mentoring doctoral physical therapy students.


Varied and dependent on the clinical setting. Clinical mentoring will be performed weekly( 2-4 hours) with direct resident supervision, assistance, and feedback to enhance clinical practice.

Scholarly Activity

A scholarly activity in the form of contribution to the physical therapy evidence will be performed by each resident. Examples include but are not limited to case studies, case series, literature reviews, or program development strategies. The scholarly activity will consist of a written paper and a poster presentation given during a formal hospital-wide annual Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research Day. Opportunities to publish or submission for conference poster presentations will be given as needed/desired by individual residents.

Journal Clubs

Each resident will be responsible for participation in monthly journal clubs. These department-wide meetings are opportunities for residents to explore current evidence and develop case-based presentations. These will be presented to the faulty, mentors, and staff for development of case-based critical literature appraisal and public speaking skills.

Lunch and Learns

Each resident will be responsible for participation and leading monthly lunch and learn discussions. These meetings are performed in conjunction with the online learning assigned in MedBridge, webinars and case studies to facilitate discussion for examination, evaluation, differential diagnosis, and treatment of various Orthopedic specific topics.

Program Outcomes:

Demonstrate advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities described in the current ABPTRFE Description of Residency Practice (DRP) in orthopedic physical therapy. Perform patient examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention and clinical reasoning consistent with advanced level orthopedic physical therapy practice.

Demonstrate skills necessary to locate and critically review the current scientific literature and the ability to consistently and appropriately apply and integrate current orthopedic physical therapy evidence into patient care.

Demonstrate the ability to self-reflect and collect ongoing assessment/input from self and others to use as a tool for professional growth and ongoing development.

Demonstrate effective interpersonal and communication skills (written and oral) to communicate information pertinent to patient management and facilitate coordination of care with interdisciplinary team members, while demonstrating the highest level of professional behavior and integrity.

Be prepared to sit for and successfully pass the ABPTS board certification examination following satisfactory completion of the residency.

Demonstrate the ability to clearly explain and model orthopedic physical therapy and patient management principles to interns, colleagues, peers and other healthcare professionals.

How to Apply

US citizen

Applicant must have a degree from CAPTE accredited program

Successful/satisfactorily completed National Physical Therapy Examination

Applicant must obtain PT license prior to beginning the program (may be obtained from any state). A temporary license is sufficient to begin the program, but the applicant must obtain their permanent license while in the program.

Health Professions Trainees (HPTs) are appointed as temporary employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs. As such, HPTs are subject to laws, policies, and guidelines posted for VA staff members.  There are infrequent times in which this guidance can change during a training year which may create new requirements or responsibilities for HPTs.  If employment requirements change during the course of a training year, HPTs will be notified of the change and impact as soon as possible and options provided. The VA Training Director for your profession will provide you with the information you need to understand the requirement and reasons for the requirement in timely manner.

Application Procedures

If you have or will meet requirements prior to residency start date you may apply using the APTA Residency/Fellowship Physical Therapist Centralized Application Services (RF-PTCAS). Should you have any other questions please contact the program coordinator, Dr. Richard Scafidi at or Residency Director, Dr. Amy Firestone at

Faculty & Staff Orthopedic Residency

Dr. Amy Firestone,  DPT, SCCE, Residency Program Director, PT Supervisor received a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of South Florida in 2006 and joined on with the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital as a staff physical therapist immediately following her graduation.  She went on to complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Temple University in 2010.  Her clinical experience has included: Polytrauma/TBI, acute care, spinal cord injury, inpatient rehabilitation, orthopedics, and locomotor training.  Dr. Firestone has served as a Neurologic PT residency faculty member since its establishment in 2012 and has been a clinical specialist in locomotor training since 2013.  In 2016 she became the Site Coordinator of Clinical Education (SCCE) and Orthopedic & Neurologic Residency Program Director for the physical therapy department. She continues to serve at the JAHVH in these manners in addition to other duties including being a PT Supervisor, Chair of the Hospital Affiliations Committee, and a member of the hospital education committee. She also serves as an adjunct faculty and member of the Curriculum Committee at the University of South Florida School of Physical Therapy.

Dr. Rich Scafidi, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC has been working with veterans at James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital since 2016. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2013 with a B.S in Athletic Training working with the football, baseball and men’s soccer teams. After undergrad Dr. Scafidi received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from University of Central Florida. After graduation, Dr. Scafidi did an Orthopedic physical therapy residency at James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, officially earning his OCS in 2018.  He continues to focus in orthopedics and chronic pain and serves predominately as an orthopedic specialist and mentor in the Outpatient PT facility. Outside of work, Dr. Scafidi enjoys traveling, exercising, outdoor activities and spending time with friends and family.

Dr. Mandi Lewis, MPT, DPT, OCS, MTC, received her Master in Physical Therapy from the University of Florida in 2002. She went on to earn her Manual Therapy Certification from the University of St. Augustine in 2007 and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Temple University in 2011. She is board certified in Orthopedics (OCS).  Dr. Lewis joined the staff at JAHVH as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist in 2008. She is currently working in Outpatient Orthopedics as a mentor for the Residency program. Dr. Lewis uses her manual therapy background specializing in spine and extremity orthopedic related injuries with emphasis on movement analysis. Professional experience includes sports/orthopedics, chronic pain, inpatient rehab , various acute care settings, workplace ergonomics and spinal cord injury.


Dr. Devon Wolf, PT, DPT graduated from the University of South Florida with her BS in Athletic Training in 2004 eventually deciding to pursue an A.S. in Physical Therapist Assistant. She began her career with the VA in 2009 as a physical therapist assistant, eventually going on to complete her DPT at the University of St Augustine. She graduated in 2014 and since has spent time working in Acute Care, Polytrauma, and Outpatient Orthopedics. She is a Washington University, St. Louis movement system fellow and is passionate about melding the movement system approach with a manual therapy approach to physical therapy.  Additional areas of interest include amputee rehab, gait impairments and their impact on musculoskeletal pain, and treatment of secondary orthopedic impairments after neurological insult. Outside of work, she enjoys doing Karate, reading, and spending time with her 3 kids and husband. She has a goal of segment hiking the Appalachian trail.  

Dr. Karen Skop, PT, DPT, MS serves as a faculty for both the orthopedic and neurological residency program. She has been working in the field of vestibular/balance rehabilitation, sports and orthopedics since 2000. This diversity in clinical experience makes her well suited to manage complex concussion / mild TBI population. She currently works in our post-deployment/mild TBI program (PREP) as well as an outpatient vestibular clinic. Dr. Skop serves as a consultant throughout the hospital system to assist with the management of "dizzy" clientele. She has successfully completed all 4 APTA sponsored vestibular clinical competencies and is an active member of both the orthopedic and neurological section of the APTA. She is a nationally nominated member of the Vestibular Rehabilitation Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) task force, holds a role in ANPT’s taskforce on telehealth and is involved with the development of CPG for the VA/DOD for the management of headaches. Dr. Skop holds an adjunct faculty position at University of South Florida and lectures nationally on the topic of TBI and Concussion Management. Her current research interest includes cervical, visual, auditory, vestibular dysfunction associated with traumatic brain injury, assessment and interventions.

Dr. Kerry E. Mazzone, PT, DPT, TPS received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Miami in 2006.  She worked in a variety of settings including acute care, outpatient orthopedic, and skilled nursing facilities prior to coming on board at James A. Haley Veteran's Hospital in 2011.  Dr. Mazzone has worked in a variety of clinics including chronic pain, TBI/polytrauma, SCI, acute care, outpatient and aquatics.  Unable to decide between specializing in orthopedics or neurology, the treatment of people with chronic pain is the perfect blend of neuroscience and orthopedics for her.  This led her to becoming a Therapeutic Pain Specialist (TPS) through the International Spine and Pain Institute (ISPI) and Evidence in Motion (EIM) in 2016. She developed the pain neuroscience education (PNE) curriculum for the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Programs and strives to empower change in Veterans and active duty service members during her patient care.

Dr. Parker Kelly, PT, DPT, OCS, has been working with veterans at James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital since 2017. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2012 with a B.S in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. Prior to PT School, Dr Kelly worked for 2 years as an Ophthalmic Technician with extensive background in retinal clinical interventions and surgery. Dr. Kelly received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from University of Florida in 2017. He then completed the Orthopedic physical therapy residency at James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital and achieved the APTA’s orthopedic certified specialty designation (OCS) in 2018.  He has exposure to various JAHVH clinical settings including acute care, inpatient rehab, direct-access PACT clinic, outpatient telehealth and outpatient orthopedics. He currently serves as an orthopedic mentor and lead PT for the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program – a 19-day intensive, interdisciplinary inpatient program for veterans with chronic pain. Outside of work, Dr. Kelly enjoys traveling, distance running, dad jokes, all genres of music and might be considered an amateur videographer and cosmological philosopher.

Dr. Estey Evans, PT, DPT, TPS earned her Doctorate in Physical therapy from the University of Florida and has since been certified as a therapeutic pain specialist and in the clinical application of therapeutic yoga. She started working at James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in January, 2020 where she is a faculty mentor for the Orthopedic physical therapy residency program. She actively participates in research including her latest publication titled “Functional Disability, Catastrophizing, and the Stage of Change in Veterans with Chronic Pain” published in Orthopeadic Physical Therapy Practice in January 2021. Prior to JAHVA, she spent 3 years at the Anderson CBOC of the Columbia VA Health Care. Here, she helped design and implement an interdisciplinary chronic pain program and presented for a number of programs including a lecture for the pain program on the biopsychosocial model, benefits of cardiovascular exercise for MOVE participants, and seated exercises and ergonomics for nurses week. Her clinical focus of orthopedics involves assessing and treating both acute and chronic injuries with a holistic approach of incorporating the foundational principals of exercise with the integration of motivational interviewing, manual therapy, pain neuroscience education, and mindfulness meditation.

Dr. Maggie Gloger, PT, DPT, OCS has been working at James A Haley Veterans’ Hospital since 2017. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in 2008 from Florida Southern College where she also played volleyball. Dr. Gloger attended University of South Florida and received her doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2013. After graduation, she participated in the Orthopedic Residency at James A Haley and received her OCS in 2015. She worked in private practice orthopedics in Denver, Colorado before returning to the VA system in 2017. Dr. Gloger has experience in many different clinical settings including outpatient orthopedics, aquatics and inpatient and enjoys bringing her orthopedic expertise to all of these areas. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, traveling, and participating in the many outdoor activities this area has to offer.