Heather Patterson, MS, ATC
Heather is a graduate of Castleton University in Vermont where she studied Athletic Training, graduated Summa Cum Laude, and was a member of the Iota Tau Alpha athletic training honors society. After working as an Athletic Trainer at the University of Hartford upon graduation, Heather attained her Master’s Degree at Central Connecticut State University, after which she worked as an Athletic Trainer at Williams College in Massachusetts. She has worked with a variety of collegiate teams, to name a few men’s soccer, baseball, women’s basketball, and rugby.
Here at Valley Sports Physicians, Heather serves as a Clinical Physician Extender, assisting the physician with all aspects of direct patient care, including assisting with procedures and addressing patient phone calls. She is also holds a variety of certifications and professional memberships such as: Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC), Certified phlebotomist (CPT), Red Cross certified first aid and professional rescuer, and National Athletic Trainer Association member to name a few. She is an avid downhill skier and she competed both in college and now recreationally. Heather enjoys being outdoors with her dog Tati, and living an active lifestyle. She is also a big fan of guacamole and anything with avocados!
Kyle Koppel, ATC
Kyle is a graduate of the University of Vermont where he studied Athletic Training. He joined Valley Sports Physicians upon graduating from college. Kyle also serves as a Clinical Physician Extender, assisting the physician with all aspects of direct patient care, including assisting with procedures and addressing patient phone calls. Kyle enjoys playing golf, surfing, weight training, and going off roading in his tricked-out Jeep.
What is an Athletic Trainer?
At Valley Sports Physicians we employ Certified Athletic Trainers as assistants to our physicians. Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited collegiate athletic training curriculum. Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences. More than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold at least a master’s degree.
Athletic Trainers (ATs) are routinely employed in hospitals, clinics and orthopedic, family, pediatric, physiatry and sports medicine office practices. ATs working in these settings improve productivity, patient outcomes and satisfaction. They help move patients more effectively and efficiently through the appointment, evaluation and treatment process. By providing quality services to more patients in the same period of time, physicians are able to increase patient throughput and revenue generation. Today many physicians are choosing to hire athletic trainers as a part of their office staff. Athletic trainers provide value to the practice through skills in triage, taking patient histories, performing evaluations, providing instruction on exercise prescriptions, rehabilitation and general patient education.
Athletic trainers are NOT “personal trainers!” although the two professions are often confused. There is, however, a large difference in the education, skillset, job duties and patients of an athletic trainer and a personal trainer. Personal trainers mainly assist individuals and groups with exercise programs, and are most often found in gyms and athletic clubs. Athletic trainers provide physical medicine, rehabilitative and preventative services. Athletic trainers treat a breadth of patients, including, but not limited to: professional, college, secondary school and youth athletes, dancers, musicians and military personnel. Athletic trainers can work in a variety of locations including schools, physician clinics, hospitals and manufacturing plants.