MEDCoE and Martin Army Community Hospital partner to expand Physical Therapist Intern Program at Fort Benning, GA

By Terry BeckwithAugust 14, 2020

The Medical Center of Excellence (MEDCoE) and Martin Army Community Hospital have officially partnered to expand Physical Therapist training to accommodate the Army’s increased demand for clinical experts in Human Performance and Rapid Recovery. The MEDCoE’s Army-Baylor DPT program is the primary means of creating the skillsets to fill this critical requirement.

TRADOC through MEDCoE, expanded existing Physical Therapist graduate degree academic and clinical education programs to support the operational force manning requirements for the Army's Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) initiative. "Clinical education at our partner Military Treatment Facilities is critical to sustaining and improving the Army's ready medical force," said LTC Carrie Hoppes, DPT, PhD, the Director of the Army-Baylor Program. "Placing Physical Therapist interns at Fort Benning, GA demonstrates the commitment to advancing clinical practice aimed to improve Tactical Athlete Readiness and Soldier Lethality."

The agreement provides an opportunity for Physical Therapist interns to rotate through a wide variety of operational experiences offered at Fort Benning, and surrounding region including: The Maneuver Center of Excellence, Ranger Training Battalion, Airborne training units, Basic Combat Training and One Station Unit Training environments, as well as some of the region’s best civilian medical treatment facilities. Fort Benning sees over 50,000 trainees pass through its gate annually with thousands more transitioning through this TRADOC/FORSOM base for Ranger, Airborne, and Special Operations training. Fort Benning is also unique in having connections to Mountain Phase of Ranger Training at Dahlonega, Georgia and Swamp Phase at Eglin, Florida. Another unique experience offered to Physical Therapist interns is the chance to work with competitors in the Best Ranger Competition. These highly trained tactical athletes compete annually at Fort Benning, and Martin's Physical Therapy and Chiropractic sections have developed an enduring relationship with many of these units to provide supportive musculoskeletal care and rapid recovery.

The Army-Baylor Physical Therapy program is a top-ranked physical therapy school committed to "producing clinician scientists and leaders of tomorrow." Through excellence in academics and clinical education, we select and train highly-qualified individuals to become active duty military physical therapists. Since 1922, the US Army has trained physical therapists to meet the needs of injured soldiers. In 1971, the United States Army and Baylor University partnered to establish and conduct a graduate-level, physical therapy training program for the armed forces. Since that time, this program has continuously adapted to meet the physical therapy needs of the armed forces through excellence in academic coursework, clinical education, research and professional development of uniformed physical therapists.

“Our shared commitment to developing a ready medical force makes this a win-win partnership,” said MAJ Travis Robbins, Chief of Martin Community Hospital’s Department of Rehabilitation Services. “The unique mixture of TRADOC, FORSCOM, Special Operations, and forward Musculoskeletal Care really makes Fort Benning special and provides an optimal environment to enhance Physical Therapist skills for our tactical athletes.”