Supporting Our Communities


Creating Paths for Young Students Interested in Medicine

The Twin Cities Orthopedics Foundation Medical Mentorship Program was designed for high school seniors interested in careers in medicine. The program was created to provide an exposure to students as well as mentorship along their educational and career journeys. The TCOF Medical Mentorship Program continues to provide students with a first-person view of a variety of fields before they embarked on a college education.

In July 2018, the Twin Cities Orthopedics Foundation completed the second class of the Medical Mentorship Program. One month later, it welcomed its third class of students. The program was created to provide exposure to the medical field and mentorship along their educational and career journeys for high school seniors interested in careers in medicine.

Students are selected through an application process as juniors. Many of these talented students have faced significant challenges, including emigrating from abroad to Minnesota and financial family hardships.

The class meets from August to July to learn from a variety of TCO health care professionals, including physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physical and occupational therapists. They explore in depth different avenues and opportunities that exist in medicine. This class receives a total of 30-50 hours of hands-on learning in some of the various careers in medicine through lectures
and clinical rotations in a program led by Adam Bakker, MD.

“There are a lot of different career paths in medicine, and the program introduces a variety of careers that exist in the medical profession,” Dr. Bakker said. “I didn’t have a clue what certain medical jobs were until I entered the field. Students in the Medical Mentorship Program get a firsthand look before they enroll in college, to better guide them along their educational process.”

The program helps to address some of the college requirements of certain medical programs in order to better prepare students when it’s time to select their college courses.

The Medical Mentorship Program aims to provide longitudinal mentorship and communication beginning as high school seniors and into college, graduate programs and finally into each student’s desired occupation.

Ruth Hailegabriel was a student in the first year of the program. Today, she’s a student at the University of Minnesota majoring in health services management.

“Dr. Bakker calls and texts occasionally, provides guidance and offers any help that I may need. The Medical Mentorship Program has helped me make health care connections. I have experience and help from someone who knows the environment and it has helped guide me in the direction I wanted to go for a career.
– Ruth Hailegabriel, Medical Mentorship Program graduate

The TCO Foundation provides financial support for the education of each student who completes the program in the form of a $1,000 college scholarship.


Funds Provide Supplies for Local High School Partners

The Twin Cities Orthopedics Foundation’s “Adopt an Athletic Training Room” initiative was created to provide funding for supplies to athletic training rooms at local high schools with a TCO sports medicine partnership.

In 2018, funds were used to purchase a hydrocollator for the athletic training room at Henry Sibley High School.A hydrocollator is a machine that contains hot water and is used to rapidly heat pads for treating injured or sore muscles.

“The hydrocollator has been used daily by student-athletes,” Kari Johnston, ATC, the athletic trainer at Henry Sibley, said. “They love having heat as an option for muscle soreness and as relaxation before games and practices.”


Foundation Contribution Makes Concussion ImPACT Testing Possible for Local High Schools

Twin Cities Orthopedics is proud of the sports medicine support it provides local high school partners. The TCO Foundation is no different when it comes to the financial contribution it has made to ensure concussion ImPACT testing for student-athletes at those schools.

Developed at the University of Pittsburgh in the late 1990s and released broadly in 2002, ImPACT is an FDA-cleared concussion assessment aid and stands for “immediate post-concussion assessment and cognitive testing” and is a collection of neurocognitive assessments administered online in a controlled environment. Baseline and post-injury testing are used to determine if a student-athletes can safely return to play.

Tests include assessment of post-concussion symptoms, verbal and visual memory, visual motor speed, and reaction time. The foundation’s financial support makes it possible to complete the baseline tests.

“It enables us to utilize the ImPACT test as an important tool in our tool box for the proper diagnosis and treatment of concussion,” said TCO Concussion Program Coordinator Chris Ashton, MS, LAT, ATC. “The money from the foundation allows us to offer the tests to student-athletes at various partner schools at no cost and make sure we’re providing the best possible treatment for the injury and safely returning the student-athlete to play.”

With more than 16 million ImPACT tests administered, this platform is the most widely used neurocognitive test for concussion from youth to professional sports.



CycleHealth teams with leaders in business and health care to equip kids with tools to create a new cycle of health in America. World-class events and programs, delivered through CycleHealth’s innovative Sweat Rx, allow kids to lead the way to wellness.

“From the beginning, TCO has partnered with us in game-changing ways. From foundation support, to amazing volunteers and safety coverage at events, to hosting special clinics and educational programs . . . TCO is the perfect example of an organization making an impact in community well-being in more ways than one.”

– Betsy Grams | Executive Director, CycleHealth



United Heroes League’s mission is to empower military families to stay healthy and active 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.

“We’re so honored to have the support of the Twin Cities Orthopedics Foundation and the involvement of their wonderful volunteers. Together, we’ve been able to positively affect the lives of more military families by providing opportunities for them to stay healthy and active through sports, and for that we are truly grateful!”

– Shane Hudella | President & Founder, United Heroes League



Bolder Options is a wellness-based, youth mentoring organization that utilizes caring, adult mentors along with our structured program of physical activity, academic improvement, goal setting, and empowerment, to build self-esteem and healthy habits in youth ages 10–14.

“For more than 25 years, Bolder Options has matched caring adults with youth willing to learn from them how to succeed in all of life’s races. 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 community is genuine and we are grateful to have them stand with us.”

– Darrell Thompson | Executive Director, Bolder Options