Story by Avista
Every time a player on the Gar-Pal High School boys basketball team ran across the court, jumped for a ball, and made a basket during the State B Tournament Wednesday night, Amy Garrison was there, watching the team like a hawk.
Amy is an athletic trainer with The Pullman Regional Hospital Orthopedic Center of Excellence and works with the Gar-Pal School District to make sure every student-athlete receives personalized medical care, support, and guidance.
“It’s so rewarding. I feel like all the students are my adoptive kids,” said Amy Garrison.
Amy is one of five trainers with the Regional High School Athletic Training Program, a program made possible by Pullman Regional Hospital’s Orthopedic Center of Excellence and supported by donations. The program serves four rural school districts. In many small towns, access to immediate health care means driving to the next city. Having a certified athletic trainer at every practice and game, ensures student-athletes receive immediate care for an injury.
Amy knows all too well about not having access to medical care while playing sports. In high school, Amy tore both ACL’s and had to wait six weeks before she could even see an orthopedic doctor. Amy grew up in rural Kansas and the nearest surgeon was four hours away. That experience inspired her to pursue a career in athletic training.
“This program is wonderful. There is a sense of community and it feels like home. It’s very, very rewarding,” said Amy.
The program also brings peace of mind to parents like Mike and Evon Jones.
“Amy is really good at working with the community, there is definitely a high level of trust and a high level of comfort,” said Mike Jones.
When Mike’s 16-year-old son, Austin, injured his knee during football season, Amy was there to make sure he received the necessary treatment and rehab to get him ready for basketball season. Amy was also there when Mike’s oldest son, Blake, sprained his foot. Both Austin and Blake were able to play in the State B Tournament for the first time together because of the medical care they received.
“Amy truly has their best interest at heart, it puts your mind at ease,” added Mike.