Even with a mask on, you can tell Andre Griggs is all smiles when it comes to his job.
“What I enjoy most is facilitating an environment that is comfortable and healthy for our patient population to get better, to heal, to get stronger,” said Griggs, a physical therapy assistant at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. “I work on in-patient services and out-patient orthopedic services. We provide follow-up treatments to Soldiers, civilians, and family members. Post-operative care is the biggest thing.”
Originally from Miami, Griggs has served on active duty twice.
“I’m prior service Army and explored several different jobs during that time,” he said. “I separated and joined the Army Reserve. A few years later, I went back on active duty and then separated from active duty again. That’s when I started pursuing more of the healthcare-related occupations.”
Griggs used vocational rehabilitation through the Veterans Affairs to pursue a physical therapy assistant program. He also used the GI Bill to study massage therapy, a skill set he said helps with performing manual therapy.
“I was working in Miami at the county hospital but was looking for more opportunities,” he said. “This is actually my second time here in Germany and I’m really glad to be here.”
Griggs worked at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio prior to his current position.
With the Army changing over to the Army Combat Fitness test, Griggs believes that’s where he and the orthopedic services team contribute most to Soldier readiness.
“Some of the movement patterns that are critical to the ACFT, we cover those here in physical therapy with the goal of preventing injuries,” he said.
Like many departments at LRMC, physical therapy has remained open during the pandemic but with modifications.
“We are using more personal protective equipment,” he said. “We have to communicate a little more closely because of the masks and we are maintaining robust infection control awareness.”