Swinging for the Fences

Physical Therapist Keith Levinson Helped Triple A and Major League Baseball Team

February 15, 2019
KEITH LEVINSON, DPT: I am living out my dream, living out my passion of helping and treating professional athletes, helping them on the field, maximizing their performance, making sure that we keep those injuries to a minimum and they're able to perform at the highest level.

I was presented a really great opportunity to work with the Columbus Clippers, which is the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians as part of the Upper Extremity Fellowship through Ohio State University. I start my day at the ballpark and typically we don't leave until games are over. I think a lot of the athletes aren't really aware of their body mechanics. And so physical therapy is a huge component of what it is that they need to do on the field.

Your hands are very powerful tools. And I feel like being able to interact with the patient using your hands just makes them feel more connected to you as an individual and as a clinician. Actually, the most rewarding part of the job is getting people better. Just being able to take all their doubts, take all their frustrations and kind of reverse that process and get them into believing and making them feel like they're able again.

The biggest passion for me is actually being able to see the outcome and the reward of all the hard work and determination put in with that person over the longevity of weeks or months, whatever it took to get them there. That's the beauty of physical therapy. Touro really set the stage for me, and they were a huge part of the success and things that I'm doing today.

As part of an exclusive fellowship, Touro College School of Health Sciences Doctorate of Physical Therapy alum Keith Levinson (Class of ’11) helped promising baseball players get ready for their Major Leagues debut.

“I got to live out my dream and my passion of helping professional athletes,” said Levinson who worked with the Columbus Clippers, the Triple-A team of the Cleveland Indians.

Levinson learned about the benefits of physical therapy firsthand while he was a Division 3 wrestler in SUNY Cortland. “After I got hurt a couple of times, I started noticing how knowledgeable my physical therapists were and how much they helped me get back to where I was before,” he recalled.  After graduating, he learned more about the profession as a PT aide and then, after hearing positive things about Touro’s SHS DPT program, joined the school in 2008.

After graduating, Levinson worked as a physical therapist at St. Charles Hospital’s Rehabilitation Center, while studying for the challenging orthopedic specialist certification. He received his certification in 2015 and then earned additional certifications as a sports specialist and strength and conditioning specialist.

Last year, he received the Ohio State Upper Extremity Sports Medicine Fellowship, a fellowship that trains physical therapists to work with athletes, with a special focus on pitchers and catchers. As part of the fellowship, he worked in the clinic and with the Columbus Clippers.

“I started my day at the ballpark and typically didn’t leave until the games are over,” said Levinson. “Touro set the stage for me and they are a huge part of my success."

During the season, he also spent a month with the Cleveland Indians. He has since returned to his position at St. Charles and is the lead sports therapist at the hospital’s East Setauket location.

“Whether I’m helping a promising baseball player headed to the Majors or an 85-year-old-woman, the satisfaction of helping someone is still the same,” explained Levinson. “The most rewarding part of the job is getting people better.”