Ryan Chesterman, MPA, CTRS, CPRP
Ryan Chesterman is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and has served as a Recreation Therapist with the VA New Jersey Health Care System since 2008. Throughout his time at the VA Ryan has been instrumental in promoting and supporting the adapted sports movement within the New Jersey Health Care System. Ryan has managed a variety of adapted sports clinics at the VA including hand cycling, wheelchair track and field, kayaking and weight training. For the past 4 years Ryan has also served as a coach at the National Veteran Wheelchair Games. Most recently Ryan has transitioned into the role of Patient Relations Specialist within the Patient Centered Care/Planetree section of the Office of the Director. His new role will have program responsibility for planning, establishing, administering and evaluating performance improvement activities related to the patient centered care and Planetree model of care.
Prior to joining the Department of Veterans Affairs, Ryan worked as a Recreation Therapist at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, NJ where he worked within physical rehabilitation specializing in spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. During his time at Kessler, he became involved with the WheelBlazers, the Kessler Foundation’s wheelchair racing program and coached the team for 4 years. Ryan has also worked within community parks and recreation lending his skills of therapeutic recreation to the Township of Teaneck assisting to develop their inclusive recreation programing.
Ryan also holds a certification through the National Recreation and Park Association as Certified Park and Recreation Professional. Ryan earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Management and Policy with an option in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of New Hampshire in 2006. While at UNH Ryan had the opportunity to work with Northeast Passage, a premier community adapted sports organization where he assisted with a variety of innovative programming. Ryan has volunteered with many local and nation adapted sports programs in multiple capacities most notably the Wheelchair Sports Federation, Wounded Warrior Project, Life Rolls On and the City of Sacramento Access Leisure program. In May of 2012 Ryan graduated from Kean University in Union, NJ with a master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Non-Profit Management.
Ryan has a deep passion both personally and professionally to continue to create and enhance adaptive sport and recreation opportunities in New Jersey for all individuals living with a disability.