Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics Expands Innovative Program with On-Site Care for Bloomington First Responders

Posted on 
May 19, 2022

Athletic trainer to be embedded with police, fire as part of Forté’s Tactical Athlete Program

BLOOMINGTON, IND. - Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, formerly known as Methodist Sports Medicine, is expanding an innovative program in service of those who serve Indiana communities. Forté, known for the highly specialized orthopedic care it provides to the Indianapolis Colts, Purdue University, Butler University and other high-performing teams, will provide on-site orthopedic care to police officers and firefighters in the City of Bloomington.

The partnership is an expansion of Forté’s Tactical Athlete Program, which was one of the first of its kind in the country. The program embeds an athletic trainer with tactical athletes, or professionals whose jobs require a high level of physical activity. These athletic trainers provide in-house preventative care, health maintenance support, injury triage and rehabilitation, as well as direct access to Forté’s highly skilled orthopedic surgeons who have extensive experience with tactical athletes.

“It’s our privilege to help treat these tactical athletes like the professional athletes they are,” said Scott Linger, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. “Gone are the days when first responders need to wait for imaging or expert orthopedic care. Our team provides continuous preventative care, treatment and access to specialized orthopedic experts right here in Bloomington to help improve their performance and get them back to their main focus – protecting and serving those who live and work in this community.”

Tactical athletes are at a greater risk for work-related injuries than most occupations, which means their colleagues are often asked to switch shifts or work overtime to reach necessary staffing levels. The Tactical Athlete Program helps reduce costs incurred by paying overtime to those who help cover shifts missed due to an injury. It also improves team performance and morale by reducing time spent off work or on adjusted schedules.

“This program is an investment in our firefighters that says we care about you, not only as a person who’s here to fill a role but also as someone who may battle injuries as a result of this physically demanding job,” said Bloomington Fire Department Chief Jason Moore. “It’s a way to fulfill our promise to look out for those who serve in order to help them serve our community.”

“This program helps promote a better mindset because they know we’re concerned about their well-being,” said Michael Diekhoff, chief of the Bloomington Police Department. “Having an athletic trainer in-house is hugely beneficial for keeping our officers healthy and keeping them working. Our officers truly appreciate that.”

Selected to provide care for Bloomington’s police and fire departments is Samantha Ray, a certified athletic trainer who has experience serving athletes at Franklin College across a variety of disciplines, such as volleyball, cheerleading, and men’s and women’s cross country and track and field.

“It is a rewarding experience to give back to those who give so much for us,” said Ray. “In our daily interactions with tactical athletes, we become trusted resources who serve as both healthcare providers and patient advocates. I’m looking forward to supporting these heroes and doing everything I can to safely keep them on the job.”

Forté currently provides tactical care for the Carmel Police Department, the Greenwood Police and Fire Departments, and the White River Township Fire Department, in addition to serving first responders in Bloomington. Learn more about Forté’s Tactical Athlete Program online or by calling 317.817.1200.

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About Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics

Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, previously known as Methodist Sports Medicine, is an independent, physician-owned orthopedic practice recognized as one of the region’s most respected orthopedic groups. Founded in 1983 as one of the country’s original sports medicine practices, Forté’s physicians and staff provide comprehensive, specialized sports medicine and orthopedic care to patients of all ages.

Clinical evaluations performed by highly skilled fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons, combined with advanced surgical techniques and comprehensive non-surgical treatment options, provide patients with exceptional treatment outcomes and a return to active living. Forté provides patients with expert orthopedic care in several sub-specialties, including hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder; foot and ankle; hip and knee; joint replacement and revision; spine care and sports medicine. Forté has been trusted by the Indianapolis Colts as their official team physicians since 1983 and serve as the orthopedic provider for Purdue University, Butler University, Indiana State University and numerous high schools and public safety departments throughout central Indiana.

Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics also innovates daily through a separate 501(c)(3), Forté Orthopedic Research Institute, that improves the lives of patients everywhere through advanced clinical research and education.

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