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Kiwanis Club Learns About Sports Medicine

Kiwanis Club Learns About Sports Medicine

The Carmi Kiwanis Club met January 31, 2019. President Katelyne Wolff began with an introduction of many guests which included Key Club members from CWC High School. Kim Gwaltney claimed the winning ticket for the 50/50 drawing. President Wolff thanked club members for bringing friends during the month of January. Pancake Day is Saturday, February 23 at Washington Learning Center. The public is invited. Tickets are available from any club member.

Andrew Kleinschmidt, Vice President of Professional Services at Wabash General Hospital, returned for the second week. He thanked the club and the Carmi community for supporting the services provided by Wabash General Hospital. Andrew introduced Dr. Karsten Slater, physician of Sports Medicine.

Dr. Slater has been at Wabash General Hospital for six years. He grew up in Georgia and found his way to southern Illinois via his studies at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He described sports medicine as the application of all non-surgical orthopedic procedures. Eighty percent of orthopedics is non-surgical.

Wabash General provides orthopedic and sports medicine services at five clinics: Mt. Carmel, Lawrenceville, Fairfield, Carmi, and Albion. Through these clinics, trainers are provided to serve seven high schools and three colleges. The trainers are a free service to the high schools and charge a minimal fee for the colleges. Dr. Slater and his trainers work with athletic directors and coaches by doing injury checks, assisting with rehabilitation, and giving on-site care at high-risk athletic events. Dr. Slater also works with coaches to customize training workouts that will help reduce the risk of injuries common for each sport. His passion is, “To take young people and make them better.” His goal is, “To keep kids on the court and on the field, but to keep them safe.” Dr. Slater and his trainers make safety and the well-being of the student-athlete their highest priority.

During a question and answer session, Dr. Slater said the best thing older adults can do for their joints is, “Don’t sit down.” The joints naturally lubricate when you move. When cartilage eventually wears out, injections and surgeries are the next steps. Taking supplements only helps 25% of people according to the data. The best advice is to eat well and move well.

When asked if cheerleading was a sport, Dr. Slater emphatically said, “Yes.” Cheering and tumbling have the highest injury rate and are the most demanding sports on the body. The key to healthy cheering and tumbling is a strong core, the muscles that connect to the spine. Regardless of the sport or activity, you cannot be in shape and have a weak core.

Dr. Slater expressed how fortunate he feels to have found where God wants him and blessed to live out his passion every day. “God gave me a servant’s heart. I’m here to work and serve,” he told the club. Clearly, Dr. Slater’s humble upbringing influenced him to be a common and approachable man today, who wants to help the youngest to the oldest to live their lives well.