Missoula Bone & Joint employs a team of licensed and certified athletic trainers to work in our sports medicine outreach program. You will most likely meet an athletic trainer on your visit today; either as your OA or in the physician extender position. Where you will most likely find them is at local high school sporting events and practices caring for your high school athletes. MBJ currently serves 18 high schools across northwest. Our athletic trainers work under the direct supervision of Dr. Robert Amrine, a fellowship trained Sports Medicine Doctor.
Let’s meet some of the athletic trainers!
Bob is the MBJ Sports Medicine Outreach Director. He earned his degrees in physical therapy and athletic training from the University of Montana. He has been providing care to athletes in most of these communities now for about 25 years. Bob has devoted so much time and effort into improving the support and services for young athletes through both physical therapy and athletic training. You will most likely find Bob along the sidelines of Frenchtown High School or watching a variety of different sports at Charlo. He has not only grown to know most of our schools coaches but has built strong friendships with many of them. Bob started this program on his own while he was going through physical therapy school and his continued hard work and effort has helped this program grow even beyond his dreams.
Dustin graduated from the University of Montana Athletic Training Program in 2011 and is currently about to graduate from UM MBA program May 2020. He has worked at Missoula Bone & Joint his entire career except for a short stint with Florence-Carlton High School. He spent a majority of his nine years working outreach for multiple schools and is now in his third year at Sentinel High School. He enjoys covering Sentinel because he has gotten to know the student-athletes, their parents, and coaches well since he is there every day. Dustin has built great relationships with a lot of people heI gets to work with on a daily basis. Every year he strives to make the athletic training program at Sentinel better than it was the year before and he truly enjoys that part of his job. Athletic training has kept Dustin involved with sports and athletics, which is something he loves. What he didn’t think I would ever find out is how much he likes to work with the kids and how great it is to see them be successful. “I am truly proud to be a part of our amazing, talented team of athletic trainers at Missoula Bone & Joint!”
Paul received his bachelors of science in athletic training from the University of Montana in 2013 and his Masters of Science in Athletic Training (Adolescent athlete focus) from the University of South Florida in 2017. He is in my 7th year at Hellgate, 2 of those years have been with MBJ. He loves the community feeling that Hellgate High School has. He has been lucky to work with mostly the same coaches throughout his career, and those people have become great friends. Additionally, he has been at Hellgate long enough where he is starting to work with younger siblings of student-athletes he worked with 5 or 6 years ago, and the parents have always been supportive of my goals and my abilities as a healthcare professional. Overall, Hellgate is a great place to be! What he enjoys most about athletic training is how it requires you to have a deep understanding of human anatomy, and the “puzzle” you have to complete every time an injury occurs to accurately diagnose the injury and develop a treatment plan. He also thinks that athletic training provides a unique way to be involved in youth athletics. There is nothing better than being on the sideline during the introductions to a state championship game, and thinking about injuries and struggles many of those athletes have gone through with me to get to that point.
Seth graduated with his Masters’ in Athletic Training from the University of Montana. Seth is currently in his first year at Big Sky High School. One thing about his first year at Big Sky is that he enjoys working with the athletes and helping them attain their athletic goals. Seth enjoys athletic training because he enjoys being involved in sports in any way that he can.
Jessica received her bachelor’s in health and human performance with an emphasis in exercise science and her master’s in athletic training at the University of Montana. She has been with Missoula Bone and Joint for almost 5 years and is currently covering Drummond and Granite High School. Jess is also a Drummond High School alumni. Her favorite part about her region is the small town and rural communities and she likes being able to give back to the community she grew up in. Her favorite part about athletic training is being an advocate for high school athletes in western Montana.
Stephanie received her undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sports Science from Concordia University in Portland, OR and her Masters in Athletic Training from University of Montana. After graduating from UM she started out as an Orthopedic Assistant at MBJ for about a year. She then transitioned as a full time Athletic Trainer. This is her second year as a full time outreach Athletic Trainer for Missoula Bone and Joint. Stephanie currently covers Frenchtown, Clarkfork, and Arlee. She enjoys the athletes and coaches I get to work with in my region. There are several things she enjoys about being an Athletic Trainer. One of her favorite things is seeing an athlete overcome an injury and return to full play. She also enjoys getting to celebrate the accomplishments of my athletes. This year she got to see one of her teams compete in the Class C 8 man state football championships which was a very unique experience.
Lexie received her undergraduate in health and human performance, then earned her master’s in athletic training in May of 2019 from the University of Montana. Lexie is currently covering Loyola, Seely, and Valley Christian. One thing she enjoys about her schools is the variety of athletes. She also enjoys the fact that her schools have been very welcoming which has made her job enjoyable every day. Some things she likes about athletic training is being able to care for athletes and building relationships with the kids. She also enjoys that every day is so different and watching the progress of the injury and watching the kids succeed and overcome obstacles.
Keegan received her Bachelor’s of Science in athletic training from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND in 2018. Her first year back she worked for Hamilton Physical Therapy, and then started with Missoula Bone and Joint in June of 2019. Keegan currently covers Ronan, Charlo and Mission. Something she enjoys about her region is every one of her schools made her feel at home from the very first day. All of the coaches, parents, and athletes have been amazing. Being from Frenchtown she is also excited to give back to Montana, and help make Montana sports even better. She enjoys athletic training because she loves teaching kids thats its ok to ask for help when it comes to injuries. Her favorite part of her job is watching an athlete put their work in and progress back to play safely. “Nothing is better than watching the kids reach their goals.”
Bella received her bachelor’s in athletic training at South Dakota State University and her master;s in health and human performance at the University of Montana. Bella started at Missoula Bone and Joint September of 2019, but before that worked for the university as the athletic trainer for the volleyball team. You will see Bella in the afternoons in the physician extender position and teaching the total joint classes. She loves the opportunity to educate patients before and after surgery assist in creating a smooth and stress free experience. One thing she enjoys about athletic training is working as a team with patients and athletes alike to reach their goals after sustaining an injury. On top of being at MBJ, Bella also provides athletic training services at the Missoula SmokeJumper Base during fire season through the University of Montana to bring healthcare services to an underserved population of tactical athletes.
Taylor got her Bachelors of science in biology from the University of Portland and her Masters of athletic training from University of Montana. She then started my career at Seattle Children’s Hospital as an athletic trainer for Lincoln High School in Tacoma before coming back to Montana and joining MBJ as an outreach athletic trainer. Taylor is currently covering Stevensville and Florence. Something she enjoys about her region is the Bitterroot valley is beautiful and her coaching staff, athletic director and athletes have been incredibly welcoming and fun to work with. When it comes to athletic training she loves getting to know all the athletes. “High schoolers are a unique group of individuals.” She really enjoys getting to see athletes come back from their injury and go back to playing the sport they love.
Casey joined the MBJ team in February of 2020 and will be working with the Mavericks Legion Baseball team this summer. She has worked in several different settings as an athletic trainer over my career. Most recently she worked for Western Orthopedics in their Physical Therapy Clinic. She has volunteered for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for their Sports Medicine Volunteer Program. Prior to that she worked in the Division I collegiate setting as Assistant Athletic Trainer for Women’s Basketball, Women’s Lacrosse & Women’s Soccer at University of Denver, Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer Track & Field/Cross Country at University of Minnesota. She received my Masters of Education in Applied Kinesiology in Exercise Science with a Minor in Sport Psychology from University of Minnesota and her Bachelor Degree in Athletic Training with an emphasis in Health Promotion from Michigan State University. She enjoys the collaborative approach our practice takes to Sports Medicine. “We have a great team of Physicians, Surgeons, PA, PT that respect what ATs are able to provide in the care of sports injury and try to utilize our skills to the full scope of our skill set.” Casey enjoys treating “athletes” of all stages of life. In years past she has worked with Division 1 and Olympic athletes as well as weekend warriors and adventures. She believes that physical activity and exercise can be used in and of itself as medicine for our physical and mental well-being. “If we live a healthy active lifestyle there is a little bit of athlete in all of us. Getting athletes back moving to do the thing they love whether that’s organized sport, or in this region of the country, could be skiing and backpacking.”
With all the work we put into our community, there is a lot on our plates. With that being said we wouldn’t be where we are today without our part time athletic trainers covering extra events: Scott Ritcher, Erika Stinchcomb, Mitch Willert, and Melanie McGrath. Our wonderful athletic trainers working in the clinic with our providers are also a great resource we use: Becca Frye, Tasha Kohlwes, and Jennifer White. Thank you for everything you all do!
The Missoula Bone and Joint athletic training program is growing and so is the amount of work we put into the profession. The athletic trainers at MBJ give their all to their jobs and to their athletes. We all agree that the best part of being in these communities is providing a quality service that would otherwise not be offered. The relationships we get to build with the young athletes, coaches, administration, and their families are a great reward for the work we do. Thank you to our amazing communities for supporting our profession and our program!
Written by Keegan Cossio, MBJ Athletic Trainer