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Navy Medicine’s Physical Therapist of Year Focused Daily on the Mission

Navy Medicine’s Physical Therapist of Year Focused Daily on the Mission

Story by PO1 Brannon Deugan on 01/14/2019

Lt. Cmdr. Marissa Greene, associate director of Clinical Support Services, Naval Hospital Pensacola (NHP), was recently named Navy Medicine’s Physical Therapy Senior Officer of the Year for 2018.

Out of more than 100 physical therapists, Greene was selected for her leadership, innovative strategies and dedication to duty that ensured 100 percent access to care for all active duty and post-operative patients.

“In my 30-year career, I have not run into an officer with this level of quality,” said Capt. Michael Allanson, director of Clinical Support Services, NHP. “Her ability to multitask is noteworthy, her attention to detail is exceptional and she anticipates to ensure our directorate is successful. She makes my job as a director easier, and she does all of this while maintaining the priority of providing the highest level of patient care.”

Allanson informed Greene of her selection for the award while she was on leave and traveling through the mountains of North Carolina with her family.

“I was speechless at first,” said Greene. “I didn’t know what to say. It is truly an honor and surprising.

“This recognition is a good reminder of all the hard work that has taken place [here] over the course of the last year,” continued Greene. “Even though my name is on the citation, it was a team effort that earned this recognition and I’m happy to be a part of this team.”

Greene explained that the best part of being a physical therapist is working with the patients and watching the positive changes therapy has in their lives. The one-on-one interactions with patients allows her to witness transformations from the first appointment to last one.

As a physical therapist in the Navy, Greene aids injured warfighters by increasing their functional ability so they can return to the mission.

“Working with active duty and keeping service members in the fight is important,” said Greene. “For example here in Pensacola, we keep the service members that are students in their prospective training pipelines so they can finish their training and move on to their first duty station in the fleet. On the other side of this situation, we work to maintain readiness by ensuring the service members that teach the students can complete their mission of training the future warfighters.”

Originally from Green Mountain, North Carolina, Greene was a high school student athlete in cross country, volleyball, basketball, softball and track. During her time as an athlete, she encountered injuries that required visits with the school’s physical therapist.

“In high school, I was an athlete and I had personal interactions with physical therapists during my own injuries,” said Greene. “I developed a strong understanding about the physical therapists capabilities and impact on others.”

The positive experiences with her high school physical therapists helped mold and narrowed Greene’s decision on what career path would be best for her to pursue.

“As a senior in high school, I had narrowed my decision between being a physical therapist and a mortician,” said Greene. “I decided to go with physical therapy because it was more colorful, had really cool toys and I got to move around a lot.”

After high school, Greene attended Appalachia State University for her undergraduate studies prior to earning a doctorate in Physical Therapy from East Tennessee State University. While completing an internship for her degree, Greene was able to work at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where she was able to work with wounded warriors. Greene explained that this experience is what made her decide that she wanted to be in the military.

For more than eight years, Greene has been commissioned in the Navy as a physical therapist and she finds a great deal of satisfaction while being stationed at NHP.

“Honestly, I love my job,” said Greene. “I love what I do. I enjoy coming to work every day to focus on our mission here at NHP. It makes me excited about the future of military medicine. So far this is the most fun I’ve had in the Navy.”

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