December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays from the SLU ATEP!!!

We wish you an enjoyable and blessed holiday season!
We hope you get a chance to spend time with family and friends.
If you have to travel...please do so safely.
Happy holidays!

December 19, 2008

Darcy Downey Interviewed in University News

Healing the issue of alternative medicine as therapy
By: Laura Casey

Posted: 11/20/08

Sometimes, ankle wrapping and ice packs just don't do the trick. When it comes to this, Saint Louis University (athletic) trainers turn to alternative approaches to treating a wide range of sports injuries.With a common goal of alleviating pain, techniques such as chiropractics, acupuncture, massage therapy, laser therapy, "rolfing" and light therapy are methods that make up these alternative approaches.Unfortunately, every injury is unique.

There is no one, universal algorithm applicable to every case."You have to look at treatment options on an individual basis," Miya Sullivan, SLU's assistant athletic trainer, said. "Of course, we want to try and use all of the services we have at SLU, but if that doesn't work, I would be open to trying alternative approaches."

Darcy Downey, clinical coordinator for athletic training education, reiterated this sentiment."It's definitely something to look at if 'regular' measures aren't working," she said.Regardless of the effectiveness of these so-called "regular" measures, alternative treatments are becoming a more standard method of therapy.

According to an article on, more than 36 percent of adults over the age 18 have sought some type of alternative treatment.Because of their cheaper prices, alternative treatments are becoming more popular. The same online article said that 60 percent of healthcare companies have jumped on board to this trend.

One of the therapies that SLU (athletic) trainers are currently using is laser light therapy. Sullivan explained how she has been having good success with an alternative treatment called "light therapy" on some athletes. This is the same therapy that Lance Armstrong and his teammates made use of during the Tour de France.

Downey said that many of these alternative treatments could be effective. She emphasized a technique called "rolfing," a structural integration technique featured on Oprah. Rolfing is similar to a deep tissue massage, except it uses a whole-body approach. It is a series of 10 sessions designed to realign the body's structure to reduce pain. She said SLU doesn't use this approach too often. At the University of Texas (where she used to work), however, the rolfing technique was used frequenly.

Along with physical measures, Downey also emphasized looking at nutritional aspects, as they can have a huge effect on healing. Freshman Nicole Kent, a member of SLU's field hockey team, said that each team works with a dietician who outlines what they should and shouldn't be eating. Athletes are educated on what the makeup of the food they each should look like and encouraged to be conscious of how it affects them. While they are not required to take dietary supplements, Kent said that some men's teams are required to take a protein supplement called "Muscle Milk" after workouts.So, why are these approaches labeled as alternative or unconventional?

Many of these methods are based off of unscientific methods, principles and knowledge. Many of them also lack a scientific model for experimentation. Some people, including Sullivan, say they think that the power of the mind may play a part in the results of these treatments. The power of the mind can affect the healing process.

Whether or not skeptics agree, the effectiveness of these measures is incontrovertible.

"They definitely have a place," Downey said.

© Copyright 2008 St. Louis University News

December 17, 2008

Getting going on the right foot!!!!

The first full semester of classes is finished and it has been a great semester! We have 40 students across all levels of our program and we all showed a tremendous amount of growth.

In addition to our regular faculty, being located in a town like St. Louis gives us access to alot of great resources.

Recently, our professional students took a field trip to Wrymark/Resource Labs for a demo on orthotics and prosthetics. Orthotists and certified athletic trainer Dale Watson showed them all aspects of orthotic design, production and fitting. It made for a great day!

Making an impression of a foot. What a plantar-flexed first ray!

Preparing the plaster cast of the foot for production of an orthotic.

Checking out the large production facility.

December 01, 2008

U101 wraps with some food and fun

The U101 "Enhancing the First Year Experience" wrapped up the semester with some pizza and fun at Vito's restaurant last week. U101 is designed to help first semester freshmen get acclimated with SLU and college life. The Athletic Training Education Program also has a section that is designated just for AT students. This aids in the communication between program faculty and staff and the new students.

Some of the topics include:

  • Getting connected to the SLU community: Involvement on campus

  • All about SLU: Learning about campus resources

  • Decision Making in College: Issues for college students

  • Time management: Achieving your goals

  • Academic Success: Tips for in and out of the classroom

  • Diversity: Exposure and understanding

  • Career preparation: Values as they relate to your choices

  • The Jesuit mission: Core values

The class also had a field trip to Rams Park and did a med campus scavenger hunt.

Good stuff from the NATA

From the National Athletic Trainers Association website (

Salary Survey Shows Pay Scale on the Rise

"Athletic training salaries are on the rise nationwide, according to the latest NATA Salary Survey.
Compensation in all 10 NATA districts is higher than in 2005. The national average for a full-time position now stands at $44,235 (not including bonuses and benefits). Not only are salaries increasing, but we’re also seeing a wider variety of opportunities. This year we measured salaries for 34 different job titles, across 36 specific job settings....."

They also produced a video that features an interview with an athletic trainer in the university setting.

November 23, 2008

Big Weekend for the Billikens

Its been a fun weekend on campus!

Friday night, the Men's Soccer team hosted Drake in the NCAA Tournament, winning in the 2nd overtime 1-0. Congrats to the team and SLU men's soccer athletic trainer Angie Wills as they head to Indiana Tuesday night.

Saturday afternoon, the Men's Basketball team knocked off Boston College at a rocking, nearly sold out, Chaifetz Arena. Athletic trainer Jonathan Burch was kept busy, especially when Kevin Lisch took a shot to the nose and came back to lead the team to victory!

Kevin Lisch gets bloodied.....
But not beaten!

Last, but not least, SLU hosted the A-10 volleyball championship. The 21st ranked Billikens swept its way to victory over Xavier and Dayton! Best of luck to them and athletic trainer Theresa Hummel as they move on to the NCAA tournament.

Click here to read the story


November 08, 2008

Its 1:45 am and the Hockey Bills just beat Mizzou 4-2

Trying to serve a previously unmet need, our faculty covers the Billikens Hockey Club. Coach Darren Helmkamp and his team are great to work with, and we hope we are having a positive impact as we cover their home games and serve them otherwise as needed.

Tonight...due to technical difficulties at the rink, the game vs Mizzou, that was scheduled for 9:00 pm, had to be postponed until 11:30 pm. We stuck it out with the the team and were treated to a hard fought 4-2 win, ending at 1:45 am.

Best of luck to the Bills saturday night, as they play at Mizzou.

Here are a couple of pics:

November 06, 2008

AAOS posts article on Athletic Trainers as Physician Extenders

The website for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has posted an article on the increasing prevalance of certified athletic trainers working in orthopaedic offices as physician extenders. This is definitely the case in the St. Louis area and it is a growth area for Athletic Training as a profession.

November 05, 2008

SLU Volleyball Lead Story on ESPNU website

The Saint Louis University volleyball program is featured on the ESPNU web site.
Congrats to Coach Anne Kordes and the #21 ranked Billikens!

Chaifetz Arena Profiled in the Post-Dispatch

Tonight is the first men's basketball game at Chaifetz Arena. The St. Louis Post Dispatch web-site did a feature on the arena, with a story and a narrated slide show. It really gives you a feel for the place. It will be exciting to finally have a large crowd in there....

October 27, 2008

Football Field Trip

St. Louis Rams Head Athletic Trainer Jim Anderson and his staff rolled out the red carpet for our students today at Rams Park. Not only did our students get an extensive tour of their facilities, but the Athletic Training Staff gave our students a good idea of what NFL Athletic Trainers do every week and the kind of equipment and supplies they use. It is great to have colleagues such as Jim and his staff in our community.

The lobby/entrance at Rams Park.
In the Rams locker room.
In the practice facility.
Its huge!

October 19, 2008

ESPN Outside the Lines Video Regarding Athletic Trainers

ESPN Outside the Lines Video

For 16-year-old Jaquan Waller, his passion for football ended in tragedy last month. After just two carries in a high school football game, the junior running back from Greenville, North Carolina collapsed on the sideline and was declared brain dead the following morning. This after being cleared to play following a head injury in practice two days prior. Waller died from complications of second impact syndrome (SIS), when a second concussion occurs before the first one has completely healed. Sunday on Outside the Lines, David Amber examines the need for Certified Athletic Trainers to protect high school football players.

October 17, 2008

SLU Hydrotherapy pool featured on Grimm website

The state of the art hydrotherapy area in SLU's Chaifetz Arena is featured on the Grimm Scientific website.

October 15, 2008

Post-Dispatch appearance

Tony Breitbach was featured in the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch and its website

Got hurt? Teaching athletes when to get out of the game

Wednesday, Oct. 15 2008
The "no pain, no gain" mindset for the athletes who make it into the big show isn't a healthy mantra for prep athletes or weekend warriors. Olympians and professional athletes take a calculated risk, pushing themselves to the limit — and beyond — for the glory and the gold.

"The biggest mistake people make is (to compare) what they do to an Olympic athlete or a professional football player," says Tony Breitbach, director of athletic training at St. Louis University. "For an NFL player, the difference in playing hurt could be an extra million dollars, so that's a risk he takes."

Athletes — from young people who fantasize about themselves as their favorite athletes, to older people trying to recapture their high school or college glory days — often overdo it, Breitbach says.

When professionals get hurt, they have coaches, (athletic) trainers, doctors, physical therapists and their own knowledge of their bodies' strengths and weaknesses to help them determine whether they can play hurt or it's time to go on the disabled list. Athletes struggle through an injury knowing they're going to have months to recuperate, Breitbach said. They tend to know what their bodies can and can't do and how to compensate for injuries. Professionals can turn up their focus to compensate for an injury, something that separates them from weekend warriors.

Breitbach says he's glad to see that more schools have athletic trainers on the sidelines, watching for signs of injury. "We look at the athletic trainer as the athlete's advocate, someone trained to know (the extent) of an injury," Breitbach said. "Only a person with a medical background should say whether a child can play after an injury."
Even on high school sidelines, playing hurt can be a calculated risk. If an injury happens early in the season, sitting out a game or two may prevent problems later in the season. However, an athlete may play on a lesser injury in a championship game because he has months to recuperate. Still, says Breitbach, younger players need to gain a more realistic attitude about injuries, he said. As the fortunes of Olympians in all sports clearly showed in Beijing, "setbacks happen — at all stages of life," Breitbach said.


For older players who think they can play a pickup game with a bunch of 20-somethings, "The key is how much money could you stand to lose," Breitbach said. "If you work in an office and you (break an ankle), that's not going to be a big problem. But if you work construction and you break an ankle, you can't work." 314-340-8345

October 07, 2008

Welcome to the team!

We would like to welcome Jason Bennett MPT, ATC as an adjunct faculty member. He is teaching at the laboratory sessions in MAT 524 Musculoskeletal Assessment and Management I this fall and MAT 525 Musculoskeletal Assessment and Management II this spring.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa, Jason has significant and varied experiences as both an athletic trainer and a physical therapist. He continues to be active in athletic training in the area and in physical therapy at ProRehab's Florissant clinic.

October 03, 2008

Program Advisory Board has first meeting

The first meeting of SLU's Athletic Training Education Program Advisory Board took place on September 24, 2008. The purpose of the board is to provide external feedback to the program with regard to mission, objectives, curriculum and clinical education.

The members of the Advisory Board are:
Dr. Tricia Austin, Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy
Jonathan Burch, Saint Louis University Athletics
Randy Craig, ProRehab Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine
Julie Davitz, Rehab One Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine
Dr. Lyndon Gross, The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis
Dr. Scott Kaar, Saint Louis University Orthopedics
Rick Larsen, Washington University Athletics
Aaron McBride, Pioneer Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine
Dr. Paul Nativi, Saint Louis University Team Dentist
Laura O’Connor, Heritage Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine
Fred Shinn, Monroe County Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine
Dr. Tyler Wadsworth, SLU Primary Care Physician

Also attending were the following representatives from the Doisy College of Health Sciences:
Dr. Charlotte Royeen, Dean
Dr. Mark Reinking, Department Chair
Dr. Mike Cannon, ATEP Medical Director
Dr. Tony Breitbach, ATEP Director
Darcy Downey, ATEP Clinical Coordinator
Brittney Diener, ATEP Administrative Assistant

October 02, 2008

Eating Saint Louis Event

The Doisy College of Health Sciences has a great event coming up on October 18th to launch the "Eating St. Louis" book.

September 24, 2008

A fresh non-traditional perspective!

By Marcella MacDermott.
Hellooo to all my AT peoples!! I must first introduce myself, so you know who/why this is, and give you a little insight about me! I am from St. Louis, raised in a small town, one of which you may have heard of due to our mayor, Valley Park.
I went to high school at Valley Park; most people find it interesting I graduate in a class with 56 people or so... And I will be happily reaching the age of 23 next month. I just transferred to SLU from SEMO.
I have had a very "non-traditional" college experience thus far in my life and I would like to share it with you all.

Upon being asked the question in high school, "where do you want to go to college?", I had to find an answer. At first I took the route of wanting to please the wrong people (ehem, Dad) and decided to take on the position of an architect. It didn't take long to realize this answer wasn't going to exactly allow my life to pan out the way I wanted.
So after my first year of college I took a step back to remember my favorite activities in high school, they were gym, any science class I took and sports. I was pumped and planned on returning sophomore year to steam-roll my way to a degree in Health Management with a highlight in Exercise Science! Unfortunately financial problems put out the fire in my engine. Luckily, I found a place I called home, for about a year; Gold's Gym. The experience was great and as time went by the fire (and money) was replenished and school again called my name.

I returned to SEMO for two years; after the two years I decided it was time to move back home. After all, I did a lot of growing while in school and family became of the utmost importance. Since I wanted to move back home it was kind of important for me to find another school I would graduate from. (enter-stage right) SLU!!!! (angels singing in the background).
I checked out the website and loved everything about SLU, especially the service!! I was accepted not too long after and all I had to do then was finish SEMO and get the heck out of there!

Which brings us to the day of orientation! I had the best time and everyone was so amazingly wonderful!! Especially our leader Dr. Tony Breitbach!! I couldn't believe what was happening, this whirl-wind of oppourtunity picked me up and still hasn't put me down. I was welcomed into the AT program that day and my heart rests there until the day of graduation!

Since school has started I have been a little shy, but am loving all the chances to meet new people and do new things! Everyone, staff, teachers, Tony, Darcy, all I have come into contact with amazingly, helpful people!

I am a transfer and commuter student, but I still feel at home thanks to all the people her at SLU! I hope in the future you all will listen to my adventures again so you too may know the awesome-ness of the AT program at SLU!!

September 15, 2008

Talk a Walk Around the Med Campus

Our new students are taking EDL 101: Enhancing First Year Success and, as a part of that class, they went on a photo scavenger hunt to become more familiar with the Medical Campus at SLU.
Hopefully their experience will help you get to know us better.

Make sure you take a map! MEDICAL CENTER MAP
There is also a video tour! MEDICAL CENTER VIDEO TOUR

Our tour starts at the Crave Coffeehouse, where we grab a latte for extra energy.

Then we start, of course, at the Athletic Training Education Program offices!

A quick check of our e-mail at the computer lab!

Then its off to the Center for Advanced Dental Education. Look at those great smiles!

We grab a breather along the babbling brook adjacent to the sparkling new Doisy Research Building.

We meet with our academic advisor on the 4th floor of the Nursing Building.

Then off to the Medical Bookstore to grab a clicker.

Then grab some resources at the Health Sciences/Medical Center Library.

All this activity worked up a hearty appetite, so we grab a nutritious lunch at Fresh Gatherings Cafe.

Then its back to our residence hall in the timely and convenient shuttle.

Thanks for joining us....come back and visit soon!

September 03, 2008

Congrats to Aimee!

Congratulations to Aimee Warnke, a SLU Athletic Training Student, on winning a gold medal in the 18-19 year old women's division in the International Triathlon Union Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Almere, Holland on August 31.

Aimee, freshman from Rolla, is also in the pre-med scholars program at SLU.

To read more:

August 28, 2008

Welcome Home!

There is a SLU tradition in the first week of school where students, faculty and staff celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit in St. Francis Xavier College Church. After the mass everyone gathers in their academic units to have lunch and get acquainted.
The Doisy College of Health Sciences met as a group in the Multipurpose Rooms of the Busch Student Center. This year was especially important to us because it is our program's first year. There was a great turnout and many prizes were given out, including an iPhone.
Mary Finkenkeller, Shelley Frank and Lizzy Kienstra

Nick Giovannetti, Angela DeLaria & Alyson Dykes

August 21, 2008

Countdown to kickoff

We would like to welcome all of our students back to SLU as they move in and classes start on August 25th. This is an exciting time for all of us!

Speaking of kickoff, things are going well in our students' first clinical rotations with football at Washington University. Darcy Downey, our clinical coordinator, took some "action shots" of our students.
The Bears first game is at Greenville College on Saturday September 6th, click to see the entire schedule:

August 20, 2008

Saint Louis University Climbs in U.S. News & World Report 'Best Colleges' Rankings

SLU listed among the top five Jesuit schools in United States

ST. LOUIS -- U.S. News & World Report once again has recognized Saint Louis University as one of the finest Jesuit, Catholic universities in the United States.

In the 2009 edition of "America's Best Colleges," SLU climbed to No. 80 among the more than 250 national universities in the country -- a list topped by Harvard, Princeton and Yale. The ranking placed SLU among the top five Jesuit universities in the country for the sixth consecutive year.

"With an exceptional combination of Jesuit values, challenging academics and groundbreaking research, it's no surprise that Saint Louis University continues to attract such national attention," said University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J.

SLU's undergraduate programs continue to earn national recognition.

Individual programs also made this year's rankings. The University's undergraduate engineering programs -- offered through SLU's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology -- were named among the top 40 in the nation. Additional rankings for SLU are expected to be included in extended rankings scheduled to be released online tomorrow. The U.S. News rankings come on the heels of another national honor for SLU's undergraduate programs.

In July, The Princeton Review, a New York-based education services company, recognized SLU as one of the best schools in the country for undergraduate education. Only about 15 percent of America's 2,500 four-year colleges made the 2009 edition of "The Best 368 Colleges."
The top rankings for SLU don't end at the undergraduate level. Earlier this year, U.S. News named SLU's health law program the best in the nation for the fifth year in a row. In its "Best Graduate Schools 2009" issue, the magazine also gave high marks to numerous other graduate programs, including geriatrics, part-time MBA, occupational therapy and physical therapy.
SLU also is recognized as one of the nation's leading education values. Both Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Consumers Digest have recognized SLU as a best buy in higher education. The University strives to keep its nationally recognized education affordable, which is why 97 percent of freshmen receive scholarships.

The U.S. News and Princeton Review rankings come at an exciting time at SLU. This year, the University has enrolled one of its biggest and brightest freshman classes in history, drawing students from all 50 states and more than 80 foreign countries.

This spring, SLU opened the $81 million Chaifetz Arena on campus. This 10,600-seat, multipurpose arena offers the Billikens a true home court advantage and provides a world-class venue for top-notch concerts. The University also recently completed another historic building project: the Edward A. Doisy Research Center. This $82 million, state-of-the-art facility is helping SLU's world-renowned scientists further research discoveries in key areas, such as cancer and aging.

Saint Louis University is a Jesuit, Catholic university ranked among the top research institutions in the nation. The University fosters the intellectual and character development of more than 12,300 students. Founded in 1818, it is the oldest university west of the Mississippi and the second oldest Jesuit university in the United States. Through teaching, research, health care and community service, Saint Louis University has provided one-of-a-kind education, leadership and service for 190 years.

August 12, 2008

A "Grand Connection" with Billiken Athletics

We are very fortunate to have such a great relationship with the athletic department at Saint Louis University. They serve as partners in our efforts to provide the best possible professional preparation for our Athletic Training Students.

The SLU magazine "Grand Connections" ran a nice article on the academic/athletics collaboration in its July edition. We have also placed the article on the website.

Read it here:

Our partnership is also evident by the SLU athletes that have chosen Athletic Training as their major:

Lindsay Ciresa, Freshman. Softball
Mallory Dugger, Freshman, Women's Track & Field
Ashley Gaillot, Freshman, Volleyball
J.J. Hannigan, Sophomore, Men's Track & Field
Evan Johnson, Freshman, Men's Soccer
Heather King, Senior, Women's Basketball
Colleen Kustura, Freshman, Women's Soccer
Zach Miller, Freshman, Baseball
Keri O'Keefe, Sophomore, Softball
Cody Stites, Sophomore, Baseball
Caitlin Werkmeister, Sophomore, Women's Soccer

Best of luck to them as they start fall practices!

August 05, 2008

On TV about practice in the heat...

Tony made an appearance on Channel 5, KSDK, during the noon news on August 5, 2008.

He was interviewed by Art Holliday about the dangers of practice in the heat during 2-a-days.

See it here: