IMPACT CONCUSSION TESTING
Foundation Contribution Makes ImPACT Concussion Testing Possible for Athletes Like Abby
She was a star volleyball player at Eagan High School with dreams of playing at the next level, but a ‘simple’ concussion rocked Abby’s entire world.
For five months, Abby struggled just to make it through a full day of school. Her friends and teammates didn’t understand, so her relationships suffered. She couldn’t sleep, but was exhausted by everything. Her headaches and confusion made it difficult to function. Volleyball, of course, came to a slamming halt. This concussion was evil. It was isolating. It was long. It was consuming. There were days Abby wasn’t sure if she would recover, and it was clear she needed help. Fast.
Abby’s parents found that amazing help and expertise from Chris Ashton, MS, LAT, ATC, the Concussion Program Coordinator at TCO. He, along with Dr. David Olson and physical therapists Michael Steiner, PT, DPT, and Jake Wendt, PT, DPT, OCS, worked together to put a recovery program together to help Abby heal. Chris started by carefully assessing Abby to determine the type of concussion she had, taught her about the complexities of concussions, and put together a comprehensive program to help Abby move forward.
Chris then coordinated vestibular and ocular therapy with Mike and Jake at TCO’s physical therapy locations in both Eagan and Woodbury. This was not your average-joe physical therapy. They put together a program to help Abby’s eyes work together again to improve her balance, headaches, and fatigue.
Fast forward five months. Abby was cleared to play volleyball again. School improved, she was sleeping well, and she’s now able to spend time with friends.
“Abby got her life back because of TCO,” Abby’s mother said. “Thank you for standing with us, especially on the bad days. Thank you for sharing your amazing expertise. You all are amazing, and Abby can now pursue her dream of playing D1 volleyball.”
Stories like Abby’s are why Twin Cities Orthopedics is so proud to be a sports medicine leader in the community. The TCOF helps support this role by making it possible to ensure student-athletes and youth athletes alike have access to ImPACT concussion testing through generous financial support.
This ensures athletes who sustain a concussion injury are able to receive the best possible care. Over the years, the TCOF’s contribution has made over 22,000 ImPACT baseline and post-injury concussion tests possible for local high schools and youth sports organizations.
THE LADDER PROGRAM
Life as You Climb, Build as You Grow
Ladder program describes itself as a society of medical scholars, comprised of all ages and experience levels, based in North Minneapolis. It encourages participants to ‘lift as you climb’ and ‘build as you grow,’ a metaphor for working together to create new ‘rungs’ of opportunity for yourself and others pursuing careers in medicine. In 2021, the TCOF donated $2,500 to The Ladder program to help fund several key educational initiatives for local youth.
The gift was inspired by TCO’s Dr. David Olson, a primary care sports medicine physician who, in addition to being on the sidelines supporting the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins, also treats patients at Broadway Family Medicine Clinic on the Northside, and has been active with The Ladder for several years.
Founded in 2012, The Ladder aims to inspire underprivileged youth to become doctors, nurses, dentists, and other healthcare leaders, by giving them exposure to the industry through mentoring and training.
During the pandemic, a Virtual Ladder program was developed so that students could continue to learn while supporting the local community. TCOF funds went toward stipends for undergraduate and medical school volunteers who helped run the virtual program. Additionally, funds from the donation are earmarked for scholarships, which will go to students in North Minneapolis pursuing internships in the medical field.
The Ladder program is always trying to connect with more young people in the Twin Cities metro areas who are curious about medical careers. With the support of groups like the TCOF, the organization has been able to keep moving forward through the pandemic to accomplish its goals and make a real, lasting impact on the lives of the next generation.
Y ADVENTURE LAB
Thanks to the support from Twin Cities Orthopedics, CycleHealth’s adventure programs have grown each year – more than 5,200 finishers in the adventure races in 2021! – and are now expanding to the east metro and beyond. And, the Unlock It! series of nature-based map experiences have become wildly popular, with more than 15,000 people of all ages engaged. The future is exciting for this work. It continues to be led by the same core team, and is evolving its name to Y Adventure Lab. More to come! Learn more at CycleHealth.org.
“Knowing TCO is there with safety coverage gives my team confidence, and give participant families peace of mind on our race courses. We’ve experienced amazing growth in the past two years, bringing new communities into outdoor adventures that build confidence and community. Our partnership with TCO has allowed us to try new things and impact the community in new ways.”
– Betsy Grams | Executive Director, Y Adventure Lab (formerly CycleHealth)
UNITED HEROES LEAGUES
United Heroes League’s mission is to help military families build confidence, friendships, and engagement through sports by providing free head-to-toe sports equipment, free skill-development camps, grants to offset sports fees and tickets to pro games so the family can enjoy a night out before or after deployment. Learn more at UnitedHeroesLeague.org.
“We are so humbled by the continued help and support from the Twin Cities Orthopedics Foundation. It has been an incredibly challenging couple of years for the military families in our program; there has never been a more important time to help ensure their kids are staying physically and mentally fit. Support for our programs from the Foundation keeps us going and allows us to positively impact a substantially higher number of these heroic youngsters by getting them in front of coaches and playing the game they love, and for that I am truly grateful.”
– Shane Hudella | President & Founder, United Heroes League
Bolder Options provides transformational individual mentoring and development for at-promise youth ages of 10-14. They harness the power of building meaningful relationships, along with a structured program of physical activity, academic improvement, goal setting and empowerment, to help young people build self-esteem and healthy habits. Learn more at BolderOptions.org.
“For nearly 30 years, Bolder Options has matched caring adults with youth willing to learn from them how to succeed in all of life’s races. The Twin Cities Orthopedics Foundation has been a key partner in this mission. Over the years, they have invested in our shared vision through generous donations, dozens of volunteer hours, and a spirit of collaboration that brings awareness to the work we do. Their commitment to the community is genuine and we are grateful to have them stand with us.”
– Darrell Thompson | Executive Director, Bolder Options