Accredited Program is One of Only Three Sports Residencies in Virginia, Showcasing Expertise and Vision of Riverside Sports Medicine

Newport News, Va. – Riverside Health System's Sports Medicine team is pleased to announce the launch of the Riverside Physical Therapy Sports Residency Program, a new professionally-accredited program designed to meet a growing demand for licensed physical therapists seeking to advance their knowledge and skills in this specific area of clinical practice.

The Riverside Physical Therapy Sports Residency Program is one of the first three residencies of its kind in the state of Virginia, underscoring the deep expertise and vision of the Riverside Sports Medicine team.

Fully accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE), Riverside's new program provides a unique opportunity for physical therapists to further specialize in their chosen field while working with the area's most accomplished medical professionals and brightest young athletes.

"We're delighted to officially launch Riverside Physical Therapy Sports Residency Program, successfully meeting the accreditation requirements after several years of hard work and careful planning," said Will Parker, PT, DPT, SCS, Riverside's first Sports Certified Specialist (SCS) who helped create and build the residency program. "This program is just the latest testament to the dedication of our team who is building a great place for physical therapists to work and grow professionally –while also serving athletes who are incredibly committed to their personal health and performance."

Riverside began its work toward launching the Sports Residency Program two years ago and built on an existing relationship as the official Sports Medicine provider for the athletic department at nearby Christopher Newport University (CNU). Riverside sports medicine physicians and surgeons work with CNU athletes regularly and are joined by Riverside team members and residents who provide physical therapy hours in the training room and on-the-field support during events.

Physical therapists must meet certain requirements before entering the Sports Residency Program, Parker said.

For example, the resident must possess an ATC (athletic trainer certification) or EMT (emergency medical technician), or they must have taken an Emergency Medical Response (EMR) Course. These designations demonstrate a proficiency needed for the on-field management of injuries.

Once accepted, the resident begins the intensive 12-month program, which includes 1,500 hours of required study and mentoring. In addition to research, screenings and surgical observations, residents also shadow physicians in the office, accompany them on their rounds, and also spend significant time in athletic training rooms each week.

After completing the program, residents qualify to take the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties sports certification examination and earn the coveted Sports Certified Specialist (SCS) designation.

"Athletes are highly motivated, so working with them is demanding yet exceptionally rewarding –a true labor of love," said J.R. Barley, M.D., a fellowship trained sports medicine primary care physician and the CNU team physician. "Riverside's Physical Therapy Sports Residency Program is an incredible opportunity for our physical therapists to grow professionally, collaborating and learning with the very best in the sports medicine field, and focusing on a discipline of high demand."

For more information on the Riverside Physical Therapy Sports Residency Program, please visit

Published: August 24, 2017