Dr. Craig Rudikoff has been a physical therapist with VA for four years. He has been at the center of improving Veterans’ lives in Colorado and across the U.S. VA’s Physical Therapy Field Advisory Council has named Rudikoff its 2020 Physical Therapist of the Year.
The counsel makes its selection based on a physical therapist who stands out for exceptional contributions to the field. Rudikoff is in the photo above, working with a Veteran patient. He was chosen for his wide-ranging accomplishments leading to improved Veteran-centric care and the advancement of PT within VA.
His recommended PT practices are now formally adopted into a VHA directive and acknowledged among his peers. His day-to-day work as a provider for Veterans and improving the lives of others is what drives Rudikoff’s work.
Integrity, commitment, advocacy and respect
For these reasons and more, Rudikoff’s supervisor, Dr. David Brazeau, nominated him for this award. “A true testament to Craig’s embodiment of VA’s core values of integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence are his evident daily contributions to VA’s missions.
“He selflessly volunteered during the pandemic. He assisted with COVID-19 testing for patients, screening operations and cross department labor needs throughout the region.”
Serving those who have served is also why Rudikoff chose VA as his employer. “I couldn’t think of anything more professionally rewarding than to give back to those who had sacrificed to give me and this country everything we value and hold dear,” he said.
An example of Rudikoff’s Veteran-centric work is the expanded outpatient physical therapy department at Jewell Clinic. Thanks to Rudikoff and his team’s efforts, Veterans can now experience $100k worth of state-of-the-art physical therapy and rehabilitation equipment in an area tripled in size to 4,300 square feet.
Rudikoff is a subject matter expert and national point of contact for practitioners across VA and the PT field at large.
Terri Rorke is an Army Veteran and a public affairs specialist for the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System.