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Katie Smith, outreach manager for SSM Health Cardinal Glennon SportsCare and SSM Health Sports Medicine, worked with gymnast and dancer Heidi Hartwig at Duchesne High School in St. Charles.
Katie Smith, outreach manager for SSM Health Cardinal Glennon SportsCare and SSM Health Sports Medicine, worked with gymnast and dancer Heidi Hartwig at Duchesne High School in St. Charles.
Photo Credit: Lisa Johnston

SSM Health Cardinal Glennon SportsCare focuses on healing

Duchesne student is example of athletes helped through partnership with schools

Heidi Hartwig’s knee is familiar territory for SSM Health Cardinal Glennon SportsCare.

Katie Smith
Katie Smith, outreach manager for SSM Health Cardinal Glennon SportsCare and SSM Health Sports Medicine, recently stopped in to see Heidi at Duchesne High School where SSM Health Cardinal Glennon SportsCare provides athletic trainers for the school’s sports teams. A member of the dance team and a junior at the school, Heidi had bursitis and some swelling in her knee. Therapy and rehabilitation helped along with letting it heal on its own.

Heidi is used to getting help for her knee and other issues from SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Sports Care from her days as a gymnast at Northside Gymnastic Academy. “It’s convenient,” she said. “I’ve gotten to know them very well, and they’re very friendly.”

Heidi’s mom, Karol Hartwig, called SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Sports Care a lifesaver. Especially with gymnastics, Heidi received immediate treatment for any injury with ice packs, strengthening exercises and more. If, after a few days there were no changes in Heidi’s condition, “we’d get in a Cardinal Glennon facility immediately,” Karol said.

SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Sports Care and SSM Health Sports Medicine provide athletic trainers to high school and college athletes as well as pediatric services in education, outreach services and a 24-hour triage line for both pediatric and adult patients. “We meet the gambit for our little guys, 2 and 3, all the way up to our adult patients who are ‘weekend warriors,’” Katie reported.

The program has a strong partnership with archdiocesan schools, providing a full-time athletic trainer to Bishop DuBourg, Rosati-Kain and Duchesne High Schools. “They’re deployed to those schools to provide full-time sports medicine care,” Katie said. “That covers practices and game medical coverage as well as being available every day to meet the needs of the student body population if they have any orthopedic or sports medicine-related issues.”

If athletes need additional services, they receive expedited care at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital or other SSM Health facilities.

Treatment is given to athletes with a range of issues, from concussions to fractures, sprains and strains. “The big difference about sports medicine is getting patients back to the level of activities they were at pre-injury,” Katie said. “Being physically active is important. We’re not just getting patients back to school but to the activities they enjoy most.”

There’s a social aspect to sports and a need for children to have a healthy lifestyle, Katie explained. That’s why the sports medicine staff educates athletes, coaches and parents about nutrition and other topics to establish habits they keep throughout their lives.

SSM Health Cardinal Glennon SportsCare also partners with the Catholic Youth Apostolate’s CYC Sports program, offering educational material on the CYC Sports website on injury prevention and sports safety. Educational programs are offered to teams and community organizations at no charge. “It’s our way at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital of giving back to and being engaged with our community to keep our kids safe and healthy,” Smith said.

The mission of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is fulfilled by reaching out in the community and helping people who struggle to access health care. “In doing that, we are able to reveal the healing presence of God within our community and provide opportunities to receive care,” said Katie, a parishioner at Holy Spirit in Maryland Heights.

SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital provides care to anyone regardless of ability to pay or background, and “that allows me to be in an environment that really showcases my faith,” Katie said. She also appreciates giving back to the CYC and the community where she thrived as a youth.

Sports medicine

WHAT: SSM Health Cardinal Glennon SportsCare provides pediatric sports medicine in St. Louis and St. Charles. Specialists include orthopedists, pulmonologists, cardiologists, radiologists, neurologists, emergency medicine physicians, adolescent medicine physicians, rehabilitation specialists, physical therapists, nutritionists and pediatric psychologists.

PARTNERS: SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, SSM Health Orthopedics, SSM Physical Therapy and SLUCare Physician Group of Saint Louis University.

BONUS: Educational programs and support for parents, coaches and athletes that focus on injury prevention, proper technique and overall athletic health. A good source for tips on injury prevention and sports safety is included on the Catholic Youth Council’s website at playcyc.org. Click on the “play” tab and scroll to the health and safety area.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, to find a specialist 24 hours a day or arrange for educational efforts, call (314) 577-5640 or visit cardinalglennon.com/sportscare.

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