Story written by SCL Health Communications intern Julissa Marie Talkington
Spring sports are underway and whether athletes are stepping foot on the court, track, field or mat, Eastern Montana athletes always give their best to represent their schools, families and communities. That’s why Holy Rosary Healthcare is pleased to have the opportunity to give them the best support and medical care available—and why the organization has spent March celebrating National Athletic Training Month.
Rob Brugger, director of the Holy Rosary Healthcare Therapy team, started offering sports medicine assistance in 1999 when he saw a demand for it in the community. The program has continued to grow to include dedicated, licensed athletic trainers, Amy Tooke and Katie Patch of Miles City.
“I can’t stress enough how thankful I am to have two incredible women like Amy and Katie as part of our team,” he says. “We truly could not do this without them. Their hard work and focused mentality have helped us keep this program going strong.”
Along with attending athletic events, as part of relationships with Custer County District High School (CCDHS) and Miles Community College (MCC), Tooke and Patch provide free athletic training sessions to public school and collegiate athletes from Miles City and surrounding areas through HRH’s Training Room program. During the school year, the Training Room program allows student athlete’s access to HRH’s athletic trainers for injury prevention, evaluation and treatment recommendations at no charge on Tuesdays and Thursday 8-10 am.
Tooke, who has been a trainer in the community for 11 years, says giving athletes the support they need often means long hours, but her job is something she enjoys.
“Helping someone get better after they have an accident is incredibly rewarding,” she says. “You get to see athletes at their worst when they are not only physically strained, but emotionally strained as well. We become determined with them to get them back into their active lifestyle as quickly and as safely as possible.”
Though newer to the athletic training team, Patch says her time with them has been an excellent experience thus far. “You hate seeing injuries but watching someone heal is incredibly fulfilling,” she says.
National Athletic Training Month is held in March to raise awareness about all that athletic trainers do. During this annual observance, athletic trainers are recognized for to injury prevention and for their dedication to helping those they serve stay healthy and active. For more information about the athletic training services available through Holy Rosary Healthcare, please visit www.holyrosaryhealthcare.org or call 406-233-2719.