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Physical Therapist Is Employee of the Year in Newport

Despite being a relative newcomer to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital, Physical Therapist Joe Cappelleri has had a noticeable impact on patients and colleagues, earning him the hospital’s 2022 Employee of the Year Award.

Cappelleri has worked at Samaritan Physical Rehab – Newport since October 2021. He came with more than two decades of experience, and an obvious love of his profession and patients. When prompted, he talks enthusiastically about educating patients to the workings of their bodies and reasons certain treatments are helpful. His primary areas of expertise include orthopedic, sports and spinal rehab.

“In high school, I was immediately interested in the physiology of the human body. Every day I am most excited about educating my patients and creating an environment to heal and promote a healthy and complete lifestyle,” he said. Cappelleri began his career in Minnesota, followed by years as a travelling physical therapist in Virginia and Hawaii before settling down for 12 years in Alaska.

Those who nominated Cappelleri wrote:

  • “Joe has done a great job in his transition here to PCH. His skill level is outstanding and you can really tell he loves his job. Joe is always willing to help out the staff no matter what it is and his dedication in helping our patients in their recovery is something we haven’t had here at PCH in a long time.”
  • “Joe is always here early, even sometimes before the patients have had breakfast, with a ton of energy and a positive attitude. It has helped so much having Joe here at the hospital because we can get patients evaluated early. This helps us get them up to breakfast and the bathroom safely, improving patient dignity. Joe is always willing to help us transfer patients to the chair or toilet and has even helped staff clean up the room after patients have had an accident. He does not shy away from work and he is a shining example of positivity and passion for his job. If I could nominate Joe for a DAISY Award (for nurses) I would.”

Cappelleri received a $500 monetary award in his paycheck, a traveling trophy, a Samaritan fleece jacket and other small gift items. Through the hospital’s Employee of the Month program, all employees are encouraged to nominate a deserving fellow worker, with a committee making the final choice. Then, at the end of the year, all earlier Employees of the Month are in the running for the top annual award.