How Forté’s Outreach Program Benefits Athletes of All Ages and Abilities

Posted on 
October 17, 2023

For decades, Forté’s athletic trainers have been on the sidelines of major sporting events and athletic contests across the state. Their skills and training in injury prevention, triage, treatment and rehabilitation have benefited athletes of all ages and abilities, from high school and college to youth club sports.

Ensuring everything runs smoothly is a big job, one overseen by Forté’s outreach operations manager, Jillian Hacker. Hacker manages Forté’s partnerships and its team of 35 athletic trainers.

“My main role is that I’m the point person for any partner or event that needs athletic trainers,” says Hacker.

When Hacker receives a request from an organization, she determines how many athletic trainers are needed at the event. She ensures everyone is set up for success – and the safest possible experience.

“For large soccer tournaments, if 40 fields are going, we have 10 athletic trainers who keep an eye on four fields at once,” says Hacker. “We also have a floater so that there is an extra set of hands to come over and help if someone needs it.”

Offering On-Site Sports Medicine

Beyond providing immediate triage at major events, Forté’s athletic trainers are often embedded with teams and clubs, where they work alongside staff to enhance the team experience through services such as:

  • Injury prevention
  • Triage
  • Sports medicine treatments
  • Rehabilitation of sports-related injuries
  • Nutrition and hydration advice
  • Education

“One of the biggest benefits we’re able to offer is patient and parent education,” says Hacker. “When a child gets injured, parents want to know the next steps. We can make a recommendation if their child should be rushed to the ER or if they can wait to be seen by an orthopedic specialist.

Forté’s athletic trainers can also provide direct access to a timely appointment with some of the region’s top orthopedic specialists and physical therapists when needed.

“If it’s not an emergency, we can give you tips and tricks to help manage the injury through the weekend and then get you in to see one of Forté’s specialists first thing Monday morning,” says Hacker. “Another benefit of working with Forté is that our partners have access to everything they need, all under one roof.”

Sharing Knowledge and Shifting Perspectives

Forté’s athletic trainers currently serve 10 individual sports organizations, two dance companies, the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders and six public safety departments.

“It’s been incredible to see the impact on the dancers,” says Hacker. “Most of them grew up without having that athletic trainer or direct access to a physician group. We’re starting to see a shift from ‘if I go to the athletic trainer, I look injured’ to ‘the athletic trainer can help me prevent an injury.’”

No matter the sport or activity, the knowledge possessed and shared by Forté’s athletic trainers can be invaluable to coaches and athletes.

“We can give those in-the-moment evaluations of whether you need to sit out or if you can keep going,” says Hacker. “We know if we can give you some kind of brace, tape or padding to keep you playing or if we need to get you in quickly to be seen by a physician.”

Learn more about Forté’s outreach program online or by calling 317.817.1200.

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