According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, the month of March is dedicated to acknowledging the work of Athletic Trainers. Lake Forest College is fortunate to have two athletic trainers on staff to provide treatment and support for all student-athletes at Lake Forest College throughout their career as Foresters: Michael Gilboe and Rosemarie Patrick.
Gilboe has served as the Head Athletic Trainer since 2001 and is widely known for his passion for what he does and for the success of the athletes he serves. Along with his responsibilities at the College, he is also the Public Relations Director at Illinois Athletic Training Association Foundation, a position he was appointed to three years ago.
Patrick began her time at the College in the summer of 2015 as the Assistant Athletic Trainer after working for Accelerated Rehabilitation Center as the head athletic trainer at Jacobs High School in Algonquin, Illinois, and Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville, Illinois. Patrick is also a member of the Boomer’s Wellness committee, a program that seeks to promote leading a healthy lifestyle physically, emotionally, and socially.
Both Gilboe and Patrick work with approximately 400 Foresters and provide services to these athletes, including the prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries, as described by the National Athletic Trainers Association. Many of the College’s student-athletes give the utmost credit to Gilboe and Patrick for the role they have played in helping them recover from injury.
Sydney Gardner, a standout playeron the softball team, suffered a severe injury during a team workout. Gilboe was the first one to arrive to the scene. After evaluating the injury, he set up a MRI and appointment with Dr. Chams, the team physician. When Gardner learned she needed to undergo surgery, she noted that Gilboe and Patrick were able to help her “get back to where she needed to be.” Gardner goes on to say that, “throughout post-surgery recovery, both Gilboe and Patrick worked on increasing my range of motion in my leg, as well as strengthening it.”
Gardner is not the only athlete who has experienced an unfortunate setback. Sophomore men’s soccer player Leo Lehto suffered a season-ending injury in the team’s first game of the year at Benedictine University last fall. After just six months of rehabilitation under the guidance and care of Gilboe, Lehto was able to participate in practices again.
“In the very beginning I would either see or talk with Gilboe every day. He was with me from the moment I had my long leg cast to being able to play again. It means a lot having athletic trainers at our school to help you rebuild after injuries” commented Lehto.
Another student-athlete who is grateful for the support she has received from Gilboe and Patrick is women’s basketball player Bridget Bilek. An injury shortened Bilek’s freshman season to just five games.
Following the incident, Bilek noted that Gilboe immediately took her under his wing and helped her through treatment every day. “I’ve never had an injury like this before and without the support of the athletic trainers my experience would have been so much different”, said Bilek.
After going through a series of rehabilitation work throughout the rest of the season and off-season, Bilek returned to the court her sophomore year stronger than ever and received second team all-conference honors for her performance. “I couldn’t have done it without help from the athletic trainers.”
Patrick has made a lasting impact on the individuals she works with as well, and Matt Demirs is one of those athletes. Demirs, a member of the men’s swimming and diving team, battled back from injury to compete in 2016-17. Demirs noted that, “I did rehab work with Rosemarie for about three months and I couldn’t be more thankful for the help I received. Her help made it possible for me to finish the season, compete for my team, and have more time to do what I love.”
Patrick’s transition from working with high school aged athletes to collegiate athletes has been a positive experience for her in many aspects, one being the maturity of the students. “It’s nice working with older athletes because they care and will do what it takes in order for them to get healthy again,” said Patrick.
Patrick continued, “another benefit to moving to the collegiate level is working alongside another athletic trainer. It’s a lot different because when you are all alone, you are pretty much calling the shots. When you work with a partner, you are able to bounce ideas off each other and have the other person’s back.”
Gilboe also spoke to the partnership and relationships with his colleagues. “Yeah, RP (Patrick) and I get along great. I really like all the people that I work with, including the athletes. The support that we receive from the athletic department is great and Coach Slaats tries to help us as much as she can,” said Gilboe.
The College is lucky to have such passionate and knowledgeable athletic trainers who are passionate about the profession and make decisions with an athlete’s best interest in mind.