December 20, 2013

SLU AT Student Association Conducts Holiday Toy and Book Drives

SLATS Spreads Christmas Joy with Books and Toys 
By: Kayla Kelley and Andria Lampe (MAT Class of 2015)

The Saint Louis University Athletic Training Society (SLATS) recently held a toy and book drive to benefit children and their families in the Saint Louis community. The toy drive was set up through Children’s Hospital, while the book drive was through a program called Reach Out and Read. Both programs captured our hearts. You see, some children do not have the opportunity to spend much time at home with their families this holiday season because they are fighting a battle of their own. As a program, we wanted to give these children the best holiday we could with the goal of putting smiles on their faces and warming their hearts.
Reach Out and Read is a pediatric literacy program where doctors give books to children in need, ages six months to five years of age, and encourages their parents to read aloud to their children so they may grow up with a love of reading and books. We wanted to give children the same opportunities we had as children. Every door is open to these young children. Fostering a love of learning could take them great places regardless of their background.

We found that the toy drive for Children’s Hospital and the book drive for Reach Out and Read was a great way for us to give back to our community. For more information, visit their websites at and If you are interested in making a donation, I would encourage you to do so—you can make a huge impact on the lives of young children and their families. Both organizations accept donations year round. We look forward to another successful toy and book drive next year.

Wishing everyone safe travels and a happy holiday season!

December 19, 2013

St. Louis Review Story Details SLU-Archdiocese Sports Medicine Partnership

Partnership keeps student athletes safe and in game

Created 12/18/2013 - 6:11pm
Submitted on December 18, 2013
By: Zac Boesch |

St. Mary's and Bishop DuBourg high schools have teamed with St. Louis University in a three-year pilot program to provide on-site sports medicine for athletes during competition and practice.

"They're in the city. They're our neighbors. It makes sense to reach out," said Anthony Breitbach ATC, director of the athletic training program at SLU's Doisy College of Health Sciences. The program is provided to the schools free of charge by SLU Hospital through a grant. After the fall sports season, the program received positive reviews from students, parents and coaches.

"It is unquantifiable in words how much it helped," Alex DeMatteis, head varsity football coach at St. Mary's, said. He never went more than 24 hours without understanding his students' injuries.

Bridget Quirk ATC preps athletes before the Bishop Dubourg-St. Mary's football game.
"The ability to take it out of our hands as non-medical professionals and give it over to a medical professional, it just frees you of the anxiety," DeMatteis said of how decisions about things such as concussions used to be in the hands of coaches. When something goes wrong he tells students to go see "Coach Q," as Bridget Quirk ATC, athletic trainer for both schools, has come to be called. Quirk said students and parents are still learning all the services she can provide. Though people often think of athletic trainers providing only acute care, Breitbach said, the main task of athletic trainers is primary care as they see the athletes every day. Mark Hacker, athletic director at St. Mary's, said the importance of rehab also cannot be overstated as the previous protocol was to rest the injury. Now students are provided with exercises and stretches to aid recovery.

The partnership also provides accelerated access to care in orthopedic sports medicine clinic. Dr. Scott Kaar and Dr. Adnan Cutuk, both SLUCare orthopedic surgeons, were on the sidelines of home football games for the two schools. Previously, most students would go to general practice doctors, which would often take longer. DeMatteis said everything is expedited and the health professionals and coaches have the same goals of getting players back on the field as soon as possible in the safest manner.

Bishop DuBourg athletic director Daniel Borkowski said Quirk has been busy between the two schools sports programs, though he often tells her before games that he hopes she won't be busy. Borkowski said the expense of employing an athletic trainer had prevented them before but now they are very fortunate to be partnering with SLU.

When asked throughout the season which of the two rival teams she cheers for, Quirk said she does not show favorites, instead focusing on the welfare of the students.

Happy Holidays from the SLU AT Program!

December 17, 2013

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Belleville Althoff Catholic High School

Althoff Catholic High School – Home of the Crusaders!
By: Andria Lampe (MAT Class of 2015)

At Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville, Illinois I have had many memorable experiences. My preceptor, Meghan Gehrs ATC (SLU MAT Class of 2011), and I have treated athletes, coaches and referees for a wide variety of injuries. Every day we see something new and different from the day before. From football linebackers to volleyball hitters to wrestlers; our patients vary in shape, size and injury. 

Meghan Gehrs ATC and Andria Lampe
My knowledge of treating athletes has grown immensely over the past four months. I have seen emergency situations requiring EMS care that taught me more than simply reading about it ever could. I have wrapped more ankles, wrists, thumbs and fingers than I can count, and my confidence has grown tremendously since my first day at Althoff.

I am excited to experience another athletic training room setting and to learn even more, but forming my foundation at Althoff has been very rewarding. Watching Meghan run her athletic training room has taught me what it takes to be successful in this field and there is so much left to learn. With the pleasant staff and students of Althoff it has been a great place to get hands-on experience that I will carry with me throughout my career.

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Columbia High School

My great new adventure at Columbia High School!
By: Brittany Koops (MAT Class of 2015)

Moving here from California, I was 1,800 miles away from everything I’ve ever known, and all I had with me was my dog, my sister, and the passion and drive to pursue my education in athletic training. I was in a new city and at a new school, and anxiety and anticipation of the new semester were running high. I had hopes to be able to make friends with my classmates and find a place where I can feel I belong here in Saint Louis, but all that went away when I realized I was the only student assigned to my clinical site at Columbia High School with James Sepich ATC from Monroe County Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine.

Brittany Koops and James Sepich ATC
I was hesitant at first. I felt I was being isolated from my peers. They all already knew one another, and had sites that played against each other, and would talk and share stories. I thought how can I make friends and feel comfortable in a new place when I am so far away?

What I thought was going to be a long semester alone was just the opposite. These past few months have passed in the blink of an eye. The moment I walked into Columbia High School I felt welcomed. I never felt that I was an inconvenience or just another face here for a few weeks, and then to never be seen again. The school’s staff was quick to learn my name, and always showed interest in my schooling and in me as a person. I am naturally a shy person and slow to warm up to people, but the warmth I felt at Columbia made it so much easier to gain the confidence I needed to achieve this past semester.

I wasn’t as afraid to ask questions, or to be wrong when I answered them. I knew my opinion mattered, and if I was wrong I wouldn’t be shut down, demeaned and embarrassed. My questions were taken considerately and answered effectively. I was challenged to retain the knowledge I had gained over the semester, and to learn things I wasn’t sure about. My clinical knowledge has greatly grown over this past semester, but that is not the only thing that has changed.

I feel Columbia High School has helped me grow as a person. My confidence in myself and my skills has been cultivated and has begun to grow in an environment that made me feel purposeful. I wasn’t just a face. I had a name, people cared about who I was, what I was there for, and they cared when I was gone. I learned that without confidence in myself, my knowledge will lose its power and validity. How can an athlete, coach, or parent trust what I have to say if I can’t say it confidently? Relationships are important in this field, and without them being strong, the job of an athletic trainer would be a lot tougher.

If you had asked me if I’d change my clinical site back when I first got assigned I would’ve said yes, now I know I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. It’s helped me become not only a better student, but a better person. I may not have made any friends with my classmates like I had hoped, but I have gained something long lasting nonetheless. In my preceptor I have found someone I feel comfortable asking questions, and I can trust and look up to as an athletic trainer. The comfort and belonging I have found at Columbia High School is what has kept me going through this hard semester alone in a new city. Even when homesickness was at its highest, and I felt like giving up, the people I’ve met at Columbia and things I’ve learned there have kept me going through this long haul, and will continue to keep me going into next semester.

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

December 16, 2013

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Oakville High School

Oakville High School – Home of the Tigers!
By: Stuart Plamp and Chris Miller (MAT Class of 2015)

This fall semester we have had the privilege to have our clinical rotation at Oakville High School under the supervision of their athletic trainer, Kevin Buckhaulter ATC, from PRORehab.  Oakville is a moderately sized high school about 25 minutes from SLU’s campus.  Under the observation of Kevin, we have spent the past four months working with athletes and coaches from all fall and winter sports including football, men’s soccer, softball, wrestling, and men’s and women’s basketball.  There has never been a dull moment because of the constant flow of athletes into the athletic training room from so many sports teams. 

Chris Miller
Everyone at Oakville, from students to staff, has treated us wonderfully.  The athletes have always been respectful and willing to be patient as we learn how to become faster and more proficient at helping them.  The coaches and faculty enjoy seeing us and have always made Oakville feel like our own high school.  Coaches and athletes are always willing to talk and have fun, but also see us as a member of the medical staff and will help us in any way they can so we can assure the athletes stay as healthy as possible.
The Fall sports season at Oakville was exciting as always.  Unfortunately, strong regular season performances by the soccer, football, and softball teams did not fruition into post season success.  Thankfully, many of the athletes at Oakville play multiple sports, so we have had the pleasure of working with many of them in basketball and wrestling this winter as well.

Stuart Plamp
Kevin has done a fantastic job working with faculty, coaches, and athletes to set a foundation for success when it comes to managing athlete care.  In doing so, he has been a great example to us on how to be prepared for any medical issue regardless of the severity.  We have gotten an opportunity to learn so much through Oakville athletics that we could not have received in the classroom.  As our time at Oakville this semester ends, we are truly thankful for the 4 months we have been able to spend with Kevin and all of Oakville athletics.

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

December 13, 2013

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Triad High School

Triad High School – Home of the Knights!
By: Jose Mendez and Eldon Reid (MAT Class of 2015)

This semester, we have had the privilege of having Jack Edgar, ATC, as our preceptor at Triad high school in Troy, IL. Ever since we started at Triad, we have been accepted into the family. It has been a privilege where the school community welcomes outsiders so quickly.  Working with Jack has been a blast because the man always brings energy to his work place. He is the first to arrive and the last to leave on a daily basis and his passion for the profession is evident.  His enthusiasm has helped motivate us throughout the semester and challenged us to get better everyday.

Jack Edgar ATC, Eldon Reid and Jose Mendez
Triad high school has offered a wide variety of experience in many different aspects of athletic training.  Their athletic training facility is top notch for a Class 5A football school. They have many modalities that you would find in a NCAA Division 1 athletic training facility,  including an electrical stimulation/ultrasound combo unit and whirlpool for ice baths. Their weight room is extremely nice and has been a great tool to utilize during our athletes’ rehabs. Since working with Jack, we have learned to appreciate the amount of work an athletic trainer can put in this semester. We have done everything from fitting football players with to organizing the athletic training room closet to make things more accessible for us.   Jack’s motto for when the day is done is this: “The day is not done as long as there remains an opportunity to get better”.

During the fall, we covered football, soccer, and cross-country meets. Probably one of the coolest traditions that Jack has is that “Tribute to Troy” is played while preparing for Friday football games.  Hearing that song got us primed and focused for the work we had to do before the game. Jack runs Triad as if it were an elite university rather than a high school of 1200 kids.  Now we are moving on to covering winter sports, which includes wrestling and boys and girls basketball.

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

December 09, 2013

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Lafayette High School

Lafayette High School – Home of the Lancers!
By: Angie Vitale (MAT Class of 2015)

This past semester I was given the opportunity to be at Lafayette High School with athletic trainer Heather Carroll ATC from PRORehab.  Located in Wildwood, MO, Lafayette is home to the fighting Lancers.  Under Heather’s supervision, I was able to experience a wide variety of sports, and was able to work with sport related injuries in football, cross country, soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming, and field hockey.  As the only athletic trainer for such a large number of athletes, Heather never has a dull moment at school.  With all sports practicing at once, Heather and I spend most of our afternoons running from one practice to another, always anticipating the next radio call.

My first week at Lafayette, I was welcomed by both coaches and athletes, alike, and was immediately thrown into the hustle and bustle of Lancer nation.  From pregame taping and heating to on field first aid and evaluation, I learned that I had to adapt quickly.  Everyone was very encouraging and offered very helpful feedback in the learning process.

Angie Vitale
The fighting Lancers have excelled in many sports this season.  Girl’s Varsity volleyball won State, Cross Country placed third in State, and Varsity football had a very impressive season throughout.  Since the season has slowed, I have been able to focus more on rehab and other therapeutic techniques.  With the semester coming to a close, I can happily say that this experience has changed my entire outlook on Athletic Training and I will be forever grateful for the experience Heather and the Lancers have given me this fall.

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

December 07, 2013

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Lutheran South High School

Lutheran South High School – Home of the Lancers!
By:  Kathleen McGovern (MAT Class of 2015)

This fall semester, I have had the privilege of being the sole SLU student at Lutheran South High School for my first PY1 clinical rotation. My preceptor was Mary Finkenkeller ATC, a graduate from SLU’s MAT class of 2013. Mary works for Monroe County Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine and is contracted as South's athletic trainer. 

We covered 10 sports this fall including soccer, field hockey, softball, volleyball, and football. The busy atmosphere forced me to adjust quickly and completely immerse myself in the athletic training experience. Mary was very approachable and always encouraged questions. Having been through SLU’s athletic training program herself, it was very clear that Mary wanted to give me the best clinical experience she could.  She communicated high expectations, always challenged me, and constantly gave me constructive feedback. 

The students at South were very respectful and understanding of my role as a student. They often agreed to help me practice special tests, tape jobs, spine boarding, etc. I had a lot of fun getting to know them over the course of the semester. The football team always kept us on our feet giving me great exposure to immediate care, on-field assessments, and clinical decision-making. The sidelines were an exciting place to be. Even during games when our athletes stayed healthy, the sidelines were never boring. 

Mary and I did a lot of laughing, and I’ll walk away from this clinical rotation with fond memories. Our football team made it to the second round of playoffs, and the volleyball team won 4th in state. I am very grateful I had the opportunity to apply and develop the skills and knowledge learned in class at South this semester. I can’t believe the growth I was able to achieve in just one semester. I am eager to apply what I learned at South to my next clinical rotation and continue this learning experience.

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Christian Brothers College High School

Christian Brothers College High School- Home of the Cadets!
By: Emily Costabile and Tony Mosello (MAT Class of 2015)
This semester we have had the opportunity to be at Christian Brothers College High School, known as “CBC”, with athletic trainer Kristen Jeans ATC from Excel Sports and Physical Therapy.  CBC is located in Town and Country, MO, only 20 minutes from SLU’s campus.  Under Kristen’s supervision, we have worked with a variety of teams in our four months here, seeing injuries in football, cross country, soccer, wrestling and basketball.  With five soccer teams, four football teams, and five basketball teams, the athletic training room has been a very busy place.  From the beginning we were welcomed warmly by the coaches, administrative staff, and most importantly, the student athletes.  Almost immediately, we were viewed as vital parts of the athletics staff, helping us to gain confidence both on the field and in the athletic training room.

Tony Mosello, Kristen Jeans ATC and Emily Costabile
The Cadets had great success this season in a variety of sports.  Among the great accomplishments were the varsity football team finishing as a state quarter finalist and the varsity soccer team clinching the district championship!  We had the opportunity to travel with the teams, going as far as Jefferson City, MO for a varsity football game against Helias High School. 

With great success this season came a variety of challenges in the athletic training room.  From taping ankles, to evaluations, to rehab duties, we were always seeing and learning something new.  With the semester coming to a close the traffic going in and out of the athletic training room has slowed significantly, but we are coming away with a great deal of new skills and a better understanding of what it takes to be an athletic trainer.  We have greatly enjoyed our time at CBC and will always hold a special place in our hearts for the Cadets.

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

December 05, 2013

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Saint Louis University Athletics

It’s great to be a Billiken!
By: John Runde, Dan Herrin, and Kelley DeGreeff (MAT Class of 2014)

Saint Louis University is a great clinical opportunity for any athletic training student. Not many students have the opportunity to work with multiple NCAA Division 1 sports, while also being able to be involved with treating these high level athletes. There are three PY2's (second year professional students) that work under 5 athletic trainers.

Miya Sullivan ATC, Dan Herrin, Jonathan Burch ATC and Kelley DeGreeff
Dan Herrin is with Jonathan Burch ATC, SLU Head Athletic Trainer, and the Men's Basketball team. Practicing at their facilities in Chaifetz Arena, their season is just getting underway and they are looking forward to another successful season like that of 2012 with the care of the athletic training staff

John Runde is with Angie Wills ATC and Men’s Soccer; Baseball; and Men’s & Women’s Tennis. The soccer teams compete at Robert R. Hermann stadium, while the baseball plays next door at The Billiken Sports Center. These teams have had successful seasons that they look forward to building upon.

Kelley DeGreeff is with Miya Sullivan ATC and she had this to say about her experience at SLU:

“Working at SLU has been such an awesome experience. I have been working under Miya Sullivan with women's soccer, women's basketball, and swimming. Miya has been at SLU for 11 years, so she knows the ropes! I have learned so much from her and am grateful for the opportunity to work with such amazing people. I love the continuity of working with Division I sports. I see these athletes every day and really feel like they trust me -- I hope!! The soccer team had a rough season injury wise and we worked hard trying to keep the girls off the bench and in play. Now with basketball starting, it’s a whole new set of injuries to consider. I feel like I get to see it all from ACL tears to metacarpal fractures. Being able to put the skills I've learned over the past year into practice is such a rewarding experience. I am proud to work for SLU's outstanding athletic program.”

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

December 03, 2013

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Parkway Central High School

Parkway Central High School – Home of the Colts!
By: Claire Botting (MAT Class of 2014)

This fall and spring semester I get to spend my second professional year at Parkway Central High School with athletic trainer Matt Markelz ATC from PRORehab. Located on a big and beautiful campus in Chesterfield, MO, I get the opportunity to practice and hone my skills I have learned in the classroom and at my past clinical sites. Working alongside Matt, the athletes, and the coaches has been a positive and rewarding experience. I have felt welcomed since day one and am grateful for them allowing me the opportunity to grow as a professional.

Matt Markelz ATC and Claire Botting
This fall I got to work with many different sports including football, boys’ soccer, boys swimming, girls’ volleyball, softball and cross country. It was really exciting football season as the team made it all the way to the Edwards Jones Dome for the Class 5 MSHSAA State Championship. While the outcome wasn't in our favor, it was still a fun and enjoyable season that I’m glad I got to be a part of.   I also got the unique opportunity to cover multiple cross country events since PCHS has a course right on campus.

When Matt and I aren’t covering games or practices, the athletes are keeping us busy in the athletic training room. Between taping, rehab and doing injury evaluations, there is always an opportunity to learn something new. With the busy fall season finally finished, we are beginning to transition into winter sports. Winter sports at PCHS include boys and girls basketball, girls swimming and wrestling. The athletic training room is a little less hectic but there still is always something do! I’m looking forward to what this winter season has in store for us! Go Colts!

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

December 02, 2013

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Fontbonne University

Fontbonne University – Home of the Griffins!
By: AJ VanderVorste (MAT Class of 2014)

Fontbonne University is a small, 4-year college located in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. The Griffins compete at the NCAA Division III level in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and have 19 men’s and women’s athletic teams. The athletic training staff is led by head athletic trainer, Brooklyn Dunihoo, ATC, assistant athletic trainer, Andrea Lindquist, ATC,  graduate assistant, Sharon Henderson, ATC, and intern Ann Schmerbauch, ATC. Together, they provide coverage for each athletic team practice and event for almost every hour of the day.

SLU AT Student AJ VanderVorste with Ann Schmerbauch ATC (SLU MAT Class of 2011)
Fontbonne presents a family-like environment where everyone seems to know and care for each other. So far, in the first semester of my year-long clinical experience, the athletes have been extremely open and helpful in my development as and athletic training student. I have had the opportunity gain friendships with the athletes and athletic department staff, and look forward to coming on campus each day for practice or games. Fontbonne provides everything that an athletic training professional or student could possibly need and more.

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.