CAPT Jeffrey D. Richardson PT, DPT, OCS, ATC
Chief Therapist Officer, U.S. Public Health Service
Captain (CAPT) Jeff Richardson was selected as the 13th Chief Therapist Officer of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) on March 1, 2020. He provides leadership and direction for the Therapy Category, which includes; physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, audiology, and respiratory therapy within the USPHS. He collaborates with the Office of the Surgeon General on strategic priorities and initiatives to advance public health, promote professional development of USPHS Officers and staff, and to enhance recruitment and retention.
CAPT Richardson has enjoyed a distinguished career in the USPHS since 1999. He currently serves as a Health Insurance Specialist within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He started his career as a Staff Therapist in Sells, AZ on the Tohono O’ Odham Reservation. He started to develop a reputation as a clinic builder within the Indian Health Service as he became the Chief Therapist of the Hopi Health Care Center and initiated a new Physical Therapy Department on the Hopi Reservation in Polacca, AZ. A few years later, he became the Chief Therapist and initiated a new Physical Therapy Clinic at the San Carlos Indian Hospital on the San Carlos Indian Reservation. Subsequently, he was instrumental in expanding that clinic into a Rehabilitation Clinic which became the only location within the Phoenix IHS Area to have all three therapy disciplines, (Speech-Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy). CAPT Richardson then served for more than 5 years as the Health Services Administrator at FCI-Safford within the Bureau of Prisons. For his leadership and career efforts in developing and expanding rehabilitation services within the Indian Health Service he was awarded the USPHS Meritorious Service Medal.
In support of the USPHS, CAPT Richardson has shown great leadership through 2 terms of service, each, in the Junior Officer Advisory Group (JOAG) and in the Therapist Professional Advisory Committee (TPAC). His service within JOAG culminated when he was selected as the Chair in 2003. Within the TPAC, he served as the Category Lead for the Transformation Functional Group and served as the Executive Secretary for the Clinical Functional Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General in 2006 and 2007. His involvement through TPAC resulted in the development of appointment board policies for Respiratory Therapists, the renewal of the TPAC charter, adjustment to the TPAC promotion precepts and benchmarks, and the development of the TPAC response for the National Prevention Strategy. CAPT Richardson has had regional and national impact through his career efforts. His belief in the value of unselfishness and diligence in Public Health Service has guided him and he has been awarded the William Fromherz Award, the Therapist Officer of the Year Award and Therapist Junior Officer of the Year Award.
CAPT Richardson was raised in Tempe, Arizona. He is a graduate from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Exercise Science and is a graduate of the University of Southern California Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. As a clinician, he has served as a Clinical Instructor for over 20 physical Therapy students. He is been board certified as an orthopedic specialist since 2002 and is certified as an Athletic Trainer. He has been a volunteer for more than 20 years in the Boy Scouts of America and as a little league coach of multiple sports. He currently lives in Thatcher, Arizona with his wife, Gina, and their 6 kids; Daniel, Lily, Grant, Rachel, Jade and Cole.