AVH athletic trainers focus on student wellness
Local young athletes and sports enthusiasts have plenty of options to choose from all year long. During the winter months, it’s hockey, basketball, snowboarding and skiing. In spring, they look forward to baseball and lacrosse. Once fall rolls around, it’s time for soccer and football. There’s truly something for everyone. Unfortunately, active kids are also at risk for potential injuries, which can have serious implications for bodies that are still growing.
That’s why Aspen Valley Hospital made the commitment to staff a full-time athletic trainer at the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club (AVSC) and Aspen High School (AHS). Both Erin Young, ATC, at AVSC and Celty Fitterer, MA, ATC, at AHS are onsite to provide full-time athletic training support, including injury prevention, emergency care, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries.
SPECIALIZED CARE, SAFER PROGRAMS
AVH and its orthopedic specialist group, OrthoAspen, collaborate with the #1 orthopedic hospital in the country, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), to further enhance and ensure the highest quality of orthopedic care for our entire community. In particular, this partnership elevates the experiences of our young athletes. It allows them to achieve their full athletic potential with sports-medicine support specifically prepared for competitive and recreational athletics programs at AVSC and AHS.
“Athletic trainers are a critical component of an effective healthcare team,” Erin said. Celty added that athletic trainers can help to ensure the best practices are in place to make sure athletic activities are safer for all participants. “We’re very fortunate to have these expert partnerships in our community as the majority of Colorado high schools and competitive clubs do not have full-time athletic trainers,” she said.
Both Erin and Celty oversee the general care that includes injury rehabilitation, injury evaluations, protective taping, conducting concussion follow-up and overseeing return-to-play protocols. They assist with strength training and conditioning with a close eye on body movements to identify any weakness that may lead to injury. When injuries such as torn ACLs, dislocated shoulders or broken bones occur, they are onsite to begin immediate medical treatment, collaborating with the AVH staff to get athletes on the proper path to complete recovery.
BOOSTING AVSC’S COMPETITIVE EDGE
With AVSC shifting to a year-round program schedule, having a full-time athletic trainer devoted solely to club athletes enhances the athlete experience. Their programs offer specific, quality healthcare and wellness regimens for young athletes participating in competitive and recreational alpine ski racing, freestyle skiing, Nordic skiing and snowboarding. The club serves 2,400 local youth age 3½ years and up.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome Erin,” said AVSC Executive Director Mark Godomsky. “Her ability to handle medical decisions, act as a liaison between parents and medical staff, and educate families on the resources available through AVH allows our staff to focus on our athletic programs. This type of health and wellness resource is imperative to keeping athletes healthy, strong and at the top of their game.”
Erin has an extensive sports medicine background. She received her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology athletic training from San Diego State University, where she gained experience working with Division I college athletes. She developed her expertise working in the physical therapy, fitness and wellness departments at the Aspen Club and Aspen Club Sports Medicine Institute. Erin also worked as athletic trainer for the Aspen Leafs U20 Juniors hockey team and the Aspen Men’s Lacrosse Club’s local tournaments.
A former student athlete, Erin tore her ACL while playing high school soccer. The athletic trainer who saw her through the injury and rehabilitation made a lasting impression on her. “This is an incredible opportunity to grow the presence of athletic training and enhance AVSC’s already world-class programs,” she said.
PEAK PERFORMANCE FOR AHS ATHLETES
Celty first became interested in athletic training after taking a basic introductory class as a junior in high school. She received her bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver and her master’s degree in athletic training from San Jose
State University. Celty is now in her seventh full rotation as AHS’ full-time athletic trainer, overseeing 350 to 400 student athletes who participate in 25 varsity sports.
“I love all the aspects of my job,” she said. “I’m honored to be part of AVH’s high level, efficient healthcare team serving our community’s athletes.”
As AHS athletic trainer, Celty monitors athlete training, diagnoses injuries, initiates treatments and works extensively with student athletes to return them to peak sports performance. “I work with our athletes, guiding them toward achieving their best physical condition, before, during and after injuries and ailments,” she said. “I also get athletes through treatment processes quickly, resulting in complete and timely recoveries, and as needed, I collaborate closely with the highly knowledgeable, skilled AVH and OrthoAspen staff.”
“AHS is blessed to have Celty on staff as a full-time athletic trainer,” said AHS Athletic Director Martha Richards. “She keeps our student athletes healthy and playing. And when injuries occur, she gets our athletes immediately onto treatment plans and refers as appropriate to the AVH/OrthoAspen healthcare team and guides them through the entire post-injury recovery process.”
“Injuries are never an easy situation,” Celty said. “Through the collaboration with AVH, I get our athletes on the best treatment path immediately and work toward complete recovery with no lingering effects. Then I monitor athletes’ performances post-injury with individualized therapies specially designed to their unique situations to avoid setbacks.”
EDUCATING ATHLETES AND THE COMMUNITY
In keeping with AVH’s mission of promoting wellness, Celty looks forward to continuing to collaborate on presentations designed to bring awareness of functional movement and musculoskeletal health and wellness to more area student athletes. This initiative will integrate research and programming from HSS’ Sports Safety workshops, another benefit of the affiliation between AVH/OrthoAspen and HSS. Plans are to roll out across AHS teams and to other active community groups as well.
“We have a very active, outdoor-focused community with many young athletes who are rising stars,” Celty said. “We want to especially educate young athletes and active residents of all ages on injury prevention, proper training techniques and general performance guidelines.”