Joachim J. Tenuta, MD
April 28, 2018 — The UVA Medical Alumni Association recognized Joachim J. Tenuta, MD ’87 , as co-recipient of its 2018 Walter Reed Distinguished Achievement Award during a presentation on April 28 in Charlottesville. Dr. Azizkhan received the award along with Richard G. Azizkhan, MD.
After completing his medical degree at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1987, Dr. Joachim Tenuta was trained in the US Army Medical Corps Graduate Medical Education program. He completed his Orthopaedic Surgery training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington D.C. in 1993.
His first assignment was at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. There, he became the orthopaedic surgeon for the U.S. Army’s elite Special Forces Operational Detachment. While serving in this role, he earned the Combat Medical Badge in Somalia and had other deployments including Haiti, the Middle East and North Africa. He remained closely affiliated with Delta Force for 15 years.
He was assigned to his alma mater, the United States Military Academy at West Point, in 1996 where he served as team physician and Clinical Instructor for the Army Sports Medicine Fellowship. He contributed to numerous national publications and presentations in that role.
In 2001, he was assigned to Landstuhl , Germany which soon after became the focal point for medical care in the nation’s war on terrorism. Landstuhl Medical Center developed into the receiving center for all combat casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan and Dr. Tenuta, as chief of orthopaedics, was instrumental in the development and implementation of the critical role orthopaedics played at this center. The Orthopaedic Service was responsible for the highest volume of war injuries during that timeframe. He volunteered to remain overseas for an additional year in order to continue this essential mission, providing needed continuity and leadership.
In 2005, Dr. Tenuta returned to West Point, again as team physician and fellowship instructor, while also serving as orthopaedic chief, as well as deputy consultant to the surgeon general of the Army. He continued his contribution to the war on terrorism in these roles, along with his participation in the yearly War Extremity Symposia and funding efforts with the federal government. During this assignment, he also deployed to Afghanistan, where he served as regional director of medical operations, along with his orthopedic surgery duties.
His awards include the Bronze Star and Order of Military Medical Merit. He received the prestigious “A” Designator, the highest award for a Medical Corps Officer.
He retired from military service in 2011, at the rank of Colonel and began practice with Capital Region Orthopaedics, where he has remained involved in resident education at Albany Medical College.
Classmate R. Maxwell, Alley, MD ’87 nominated Dr. Tenuta for the award. In his nomination, he said, “I think it would be most fitting if the Walter Reed Award was given to someone who actually did his residency at Walter Reed and provided such a great model for leadership in the U.S. Army for over 25 years.”
Congratulations to Dr. Tenuta on his distinguished career and on this well-deserved recognition.