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CAPT Ron West

Chief Therapist Officer, U.S. Public Health Service

As Chief Therapist, CAPT Ron West will advise the Office of the Surgeon General and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the recruitment, assignment, deployment, retention, and career development of therapists. His vision for the Therapist Category is to strengthen individuals spiritually, physically, psychologically, and professionally. He is excited to lead the incredible officers of the Therapist Category to reach new heights, attain their professional goals, and be the best assets for the agencies they serve.

CAPT West currently works as a division director in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Clinical Standards and Quality.

He led the core planning team for CMS Quality Conference 2023 - CMS’s largest stakeholder quality health care conference. Prior to working at CMS, CAPT West served in the Indian Health Service for 23 years as a physical therapist clinician and rehabilitation clinical director. He helped many underserved patients navigate their health care benefits in outpatient and acute care settings. 

As a young Public Health Service officer, CAPT West received a constant flow of career mentoring and guidance from amazing senior officers. Receiving mentoring early in his career set a trajectory for his professional success. In 2006, CAPT West was detailed to the Office of the Secretary to serve as action officer for the DHHS Hurricane Katrina Lessons Learned Report to the White House. As a result of this report, much of the deployment structure and training for the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps was created. Other professional accomplishments include having served on the Executive Board of the Federal Section of the American Physical Therapy Association and as the COA Phoenix Branch president and treasurer. Throughout his career, CAPT Ron West has maintained a constant presence in leadership in the Therapist Category. In 2000, he served as the Therapist Professional Advisory Committee (TPAC) executive secretary; he has been active ever since serving as the committee, subcommittee, and task force chair and senior advisor. 

CAPT West has practical experience with clinical standards, quality compliance, provider enrollment, hospital policy development, medical staff organization, medical executive committee processes, leadership training, and customer service training. His educational and professional achievements include a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Physical Therapy, and professional board specialty certifications in Geriatrics and Wound Care. 

CAPT West has been married to his wife, Jennifer, for 33 years. They have six children and 5 grandchildren. As a young man, CAPT West served a 2-year religious mission in Chile. CAPT West enjoys gardening, reading, storytelling (to his grandchildren) and exercising. One interesting fact, CAPT West was a competitive gymnast for 20 years, and in his youth was on Junior Olympic teams.

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