Spokane Journal of Business

St. Luke’s starts working in high school athletics

Rehab institute contracts with Rogers, Shadle, NC

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-—St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute
Keith Eggleston is one of three athletic trainers who has begun working with teams and training staff at Spokane high schools. The organization began offering such services in mid-February.

Spokane-based St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute has begun providing athletic training services to North Central, Rogers, and Shadle Park high schools.

Jan Collins, who manages the athletic trainer program for St. Luke’s, says it’s able to expand its rehabilitation experience to youth at the high school level, while providing injury prevention and working with providers to diagnose injuries and help high school athletes rehabilitate from sports injuries.

Collins says the services began in mid-February at three of the Spokane Public Schools’ five high schools, marking the first time St. Luke’s has contracted to provide such services for school athletics.

Collins says Keith Eggleston is St. Luke’s athletic trainer for Rogers High School, Kendell Erickson is the athletic trainer for Shadle Park High School, and Liz Gelhaus is the athletic trainer for North Central High School.

The other SPS high schools—Ferris High School and Lewis and Clark High School—have contracted with another provider, says Cindy Coleman, the district’s director of business services.

In addition to St. Luke’s athletic trainers, Dr. Benjamin Howie, of Providence Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, is the team physician at Rogers High School with coverage also being provided by Spokane-based Providence Sports Medicine Fellowship Drs. Edward Reisman, Barbara Brandon, and Vance Felton.

Collins says St. Luke’s has been interested in adding services to school athletics since recently delving into sports medicine in collaboration with Providence physicians.

St. Luke’s athletic trainers emphasize sports injury prevention through teaching strengthening, flexibility, and mobility skills, Collins says.

Regarding school athletic training services, Collins says, if a student is injured in a practice or game, an athletic trainer or team physician will stabilize the injury, and the trainer and physician will collaborate in injury management. 

If a student athlete doesn’t require immediate care, the injury will be managed through an athletic trainer in collaboration with the student’s primary care provider, he says.

Heidi Jibby, St. Luke’s director of Rehabilitation Services, says that St. Luke’s certified athletic trainers, working with team physicians, are focusing on the overall safety and health of student athletes.

“Our goal is to keep athletes healthy and at peak performance,” Jibby adds.

Matt Albright, regional director of Providence Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, says, “Connecting the St. Luke’s team and Providence Orthopedics & Sports Medicine program gives athletes access to the region’s largest provider group for this area of medicine and wellness.”

St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, a service of Spokane-based nonprofit Inland Northwest Health Services, is a regional, comprehensive provider of rehabilitation services. St. Luke’s operates a free-standing Level I trauma rehabilitation hospital on its main campus at 711 S. Cowley, in the northeast quadrant of the lower South Hill medical district. 

St. Luke’s also has 10 outpatient clinics throughout the greater Spokane area.

In addition to physical, occupational, and speech therapy, St. Luke’s therapists, athletic trainers, and specialized rehabilitation physicians provide rehabilitative care for orthopedic injuries, work-related injuries, and other injuries and illnesses. 

St. Luke’s is accredited by both the Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, with additional certifications in a variety of specialties.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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