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Barton medical staff gives back to community

Molly Hucklebridge
Communications Specialist Barton Health
Dr. Jonathan Finnoff assists an athlete at the 2013 Tahoe Marathon.
Courtesy of Barton |

Tahoe’s rugged landscape and mild summer temperatures attract a mountain of sports events. From large events such as America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride and the Lake Tahoe Marathon to local favorites like the Tahoe Kids Triathlon, there is a sports event for every ability and age group. Barton Health’s medical staff is gearing up for many of these events, but not just to compete.

Throughout the year, the Tahoe Center for Orthopedics staff, as well as other nurses and doctors from Barton, provide medical support for sports events. This summer, Barton’s crew has signed up to help out at more than 20 different community events. They will offer their medical expertise and, for the most part, volunteer their time and service.

“Healthcare providers already have the responsibility and desire to help others, it’s what they do every day at work,” said Chris Proctor, director of the Tahoe Center for Orthopedics. “These events allow them to help people in need in a different and exciting environment than what they are used to.”

In addition to giving back in a different work environment, Barton’s medical providers are also filling in some of the healthcare gaps in the community.

“Many sporting event coordinators, athletic directors, and school administrators lack the expertise, funding, or qualified personnel to provide the emergency care that is required,” Proctor said. “In this way we achieve two really great goals, allowing our providers to do what they do best and collaborating with our partners to provide them expert medical care for their clients, students, or athletes.”

Barton’s medical providers wear a variety of hats at each event. They assist athletes at a number of rides and races, including the Run Tahoe Events, Tahoe Kids Triathlon, the Tour De Tahoe, and the Tahoe Fun Runs.

Sean Sweeney of Epic Tahoe Adventures states, “The medical support Barton provides is invaluable. They are world class professionals that not only provide the medical coverage we need, but do it with an amazing level of personalized service and care.”

More than 40 staff complete hundreds of sports physicals for students athletes at local schools. In addition, Barton employees provide athletic training and physician coverage to Douglas, South Tahoe and Whittell high schools as well as the Tahoe Blue Junior A Hockey team. Next year, the goal is to provide the same level of coverage for the newly formed LTCC men’s and women’s soccer teams.

While most sports activities are on a local level, Barton physicians have also become regular faces for the U.S. Olympic Winter games and U.S. ski team. This past February, Barton physicians Jonathan Finnoff, DO, and Terrence Orr, MD, volunteered as team physicians at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Barton’s care team provides thousands of hours of volunteer service at these events.

“It is difficult to estimate the actual donation value, but each event adds up,” says Proctor. “For example, the annual labor cost of covering a team like the Tahoe Blue equates to an in-kind donation upwards of $15,000. But it all comes back to service and helping others — something that both Barton and its medical team are committed to providing.”

For more information on the Tahoe Center for Orthopedics, physicians, and upcoming sports events, visit http://www.tahoeorthopedics.com.


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