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Inside the Medical Bag: Christine Chmielewski

05/01/2019, 10:45am EDT
By MiKE ROSS

Happy Wednesday LHSHL Family,

On this installment of Inside the Medical Bag, we have Christine Chmielewski

She was born in Texas but was raised in Sarasota. She attended and graduated from Sarasota High School.

 

After high school, she stayed in the Sunshine State and went on to get her degree from the University of North Florida. She graduated UNF in 1999 with a degree in Athletic Training. Shortly after completing college, she became a board-certified athletic trainer. “It’s was nuts because two days after becoming certified, I applied and got hired by IMG. Which is actually where I worked my first hockey game. Back then IMG had a hockey program.”

 

Christine worked as an athletic trainer all over the state. Throughout her career, she would work in the clinics during the daytime hours and in the evening, she would work high school sporting events.

 

That all changed when she was asked by a doctor that she worked with and who was impressed by her work, asked her to come to work up at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center. Where she would get the opportunity to work with some minor league baseball and hockey teams.

 

“That was one of the coolest things I have ever been a part of. I got to be a part of the Jacksonville Barracudas’ organization in 2003. They were in the World Hockey Association 2 League back then and they actually won the championship the year I was there! I got a ring and everything. It was an awesome experience.”

 

Folks, as always. I am going to give it to you straight. We have some wonderful people who work with us at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, but NOBODY has had a cooler career than Christine.

 

 

After working at Shands, Christine worked up close in the sport of Motocross and Supercross. She traveled around the country going to races and events provided aid to the riders while being a part of a non-profit, The Action Sports Medicine Foundation. “The main purpose of this foundation was to treat riders with medical care that didn’t necessarily need to go to the hospital. We had an RV that traveled around from city to city, sometimes I even got to drive it! We had everything in the RV. We had examining tables, we had an X-ray room, and just about everything but an operating room.”

 

I know most of you are young but for those who are not aware of. Mountain Dew, in the early 2000s and honestly, still to this day, was the leading sponsor for all things related to Action Sports. From skateboarding to surfing, snowboarding, BMX, motocross, and jumping off things for no apparent reason, Mountain Dew had their logo on it. “From 2005 to 2008 I was a member of the Dew Tour medical staff. I was assigned to the Vert Ramp, arguably the most intense event at the Dew Tour when you have athletes going as fast as cars and then going, 10 to 20 feet in the air. I got to work with the best of the best in the business. BMX and skateboard legends like Chad Kagy, Kevin Robinson, Buckey Lasek.”

 

As you can see, sports have played a major part in Christine’s life. “For football, I’m a Cowboys fan. Not just because of the success, they had in the ’90s but I’m the oldest of four in my family. So, growing up my dad always picked me to go to games or sporting events with him. I remember going to the Sun Bowl in 1975 where I got to watch Pitt and soon to be named Heisman winner, Tony Dorsett go off for 142 yards with 2 touchdowns. Once he got drafted by the Boys, I knew from then on, I would be a Dallas Cowboys fan. My fanhood for the Lightning is a far different story. I have been a Lightning fan since they announced the creation of the team. I vividly remember their first ever game back in 1992.”

 

From a professional standpoint, Christine has been with John’s Hopkins All Children’s Hospital since 2011. She is a board-certified athletic trainer, certified in impact testing, and certified in kinesiology taping. As we saw above she is very experienced in her line of work so when it comes to athletes and preventing injuries, she offered this to everyone. “You need to pay attention to medical professionals. People, for the most part, listen but not entirely. When we tell you that you need to stay off an ankle injury, we mean it. Too often we see players come back in for treatment that could avoid re-injuring something just by listening.”

 

Most used item in the bag: Gloves

 

Worst injury seen live: Folks, Christine has seen some stuff. I literally can’t tell you the first two because how bad they were, so we’ll settle for the third worst: Femur Fracture

 

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