Fairview athletic trainer wins ‘trifecta’ of awards for his work with student athletes

Scott Westermann
May 21, 2013
Fairview has more than 100 certified athletic trainers who provide services for 41 high schools in the greater metro area and two professional teams. One of those trainers—Scott Westermann—recently became a sort of triple-crown recipient of athletic training awards.

He has earned the:
  • 2013 Fred Zamberletti Award from the National Football Foundation (Minnesota Chapter)
  • 2013 Athletic Trainer Service Award from the Minnesota Athletic Trainers’ Association (MATA)
  • 2013 Athletic Trainer Service Award from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA)

Scott is a certified athletic trainer with the Institute for Athletic Medicine (IAM), a service of Fairview and North Memorial. In addition to its work with schools and teams, IAM provides orthopedic and sports physical therapy at more than 30 clinics.

“Throughout his career, covering nearly three decades, Scott has impacted the lives of student athletes and their families in meaningful ways and has made a difference throughout IAM and within the communities we serve,” says Scott Kulstad, executive director of Fairview’s orthopedic services. “This year, he earned the award trifecta, and there are few so deserving.”

A key part of the health care team
Certified athletic trainers like Scott are a key part of the health care team. They are at the schools to assess, manage and guide athletes back to play after injury or illness. The close relationship between athletic trainer and athlete helps in seeing other “red flags.”

In talking with students, athletic trainers have been able to identify a wide range of health concerns, including eating disorders, depression, asthma, steroid use and drug addiction and other systemic conditions because of the effect they have on athletic performance, says Lori Glover, director of Community Sports Medicine for IAM.

“Our athletic trainers work with families and try to get the students the care they need,” says Lori. The athletic trainers are partnering with other Fairview providers and services to offer health care that meets the specific needs of the communities beyond athletes. Some of these have been in the form of education, preventive programming and resources.

In addition to working with high schools, IAM provides athletic training services for two professional teams—the Minnesota Lynx and Minnesota United—and for the Minnesota State High School League and the National Sports Center in Blaine. IAM also provides athletic training services for all Special Olympics state events.

Volunteering in the community
Scott was recognized for both his on-the-job work and for his volunteer service. It’s not unusual for IAM athletic trainers to volunteer their skills.  “We consider it part of our jobs to help where needed and give back to the community,” says Lori.

Both the NATA and MATA Athletic Trainer Services awards recognize athletic trainers who volunteer at the local and state level through professional associations, community organizations and grassroots efforts.

Scott has volunteered with MATA since 1993, serving on its golf committee for 20 years.  He also has volunteered to work triage at the Twin Cities Marathon finish line. The MATA award was given in April at the state conference; the NATA award will be given during its annual conference in late June.

More than an athletic trainer—a mentor
The Fred Zamberletti Award, named for the legendary athletic trainer for the Minnesota Vikings, honors an outstanding Minnesota athletic trainer who has had strong impact in the athletic training profession. It was presented to Scott during the National Football Foundation’s Minnesota “Honoring Legends, Inspiring Leaders” gala April 28.

Scott has had a long career in the Minnesota athletic community, beginning in 1988 when he graduated from the University of Minnesota.

He has provided athletic training services to several Twin Cities-area high schools and colleges and has served as a concussion spotter for the National Football League during Vikings games.

His favorite part of his job with IAM in Robbinsdale has been providing athletic training for Hopkins High School for the past 13 years. “It’s fun to be around the kids,” Scott says. “A lot of them need another adult presence in their life, so I try to be positive and give them advice.”
“I’m really humbled by these awards,” he adds. “I love my job—I really do, and I don’t do it to earn awards."

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