Say hi to Chris Sutton, the Medical Integration Manager at Power Wellness.
Chris received his MS in Exercise Science from Mercyhurst University and his BS in Exercise Physiology, Aquatic Therapy from West Virginia University. Chris is a Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist® through American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and hold the Exercise Is Medicine Credential Level 3.
Chris currently serves on the MFA Certification Committee (thanks, Chris!). He is also the 2020 recipient of MFA’s Marla Richmond Educator of the Year award (way to go, Chris!). And, if you couldn’t tell from his photo gallery below…he is a Minnesota Vikings fan!
We caught up with Chris recently and here’s what he had to say.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to 30+ centers throughout the US working with colleagues and healthcare clinicians serving on center medical advisory committees. I’ve had the chance to meet and network with some incredible people. I enjoy most the collaboration with healthcare providers and the process of creating reciprocal referral channels and collaborating with hospital departments.
What led you to choose this field? Athletic performance always interested me in high school but it wasn’t until my junior year at WVU did I pivot towards a focus on special populations. A professor of mine introduced me to Aquatic Therapy and the benefits of exercising in water. Soon after I began an aquatic therapy focused internship with HealthSouth in Morgantown, WV working with individuals with multiple sclerosis and Guillain-Barre syndrome. I’ll never forget the experiences I had working with two particular individuals who inspired me to write my thesis on the benefits of aquatic exercise on multiple sclerosis.
What one piece of advice would you give to those just coming into this field of medical fitness?
As you earn your bachelor’s degree, find out what interests you, what makes you tick. Earning a BS in Exercise Science is great but narrowing your scope will present you with a clear path for what is next. Have a plan. Whether that is entering the workforce, obtaining a specific certification, or continuing onto graduate school, take the steps to further distinguish yourself from others. Join a leading association and start contributing to the industry as a young professional. Author articles, attend webinars, conferences, join committees, all priceless opportunities for networking and collaboration.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love the sun, being outside and enjoy playing golf as often as I can. I recently picked up tennis, which is more difficult than it looks. Cooking is a favorite pastime of mine; I find it very therapeutic and rewarding. Being a triplet is cool, aside from my mother, my two older sisters (by 2 minutes) are the most incredible women I know. Both located out east, I enjoy catching up with them and their kids via FaceTime. Finally, my father and I are die-hard Minnesota Vikings fans and sharing this fandom with him is what I like most outside of work. I would not trade it for the world.
Thank you, Chris, for all your enthusiasm for medical fitness!