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Providing Holistic Healthcare for Student-Athletes: The Dixon Trio

Articles for Athletic Trainers and News StoriesKatherine Shaw Bethea Hospital (or KSB, as they call it) is a not-for-profit, independent healthcare provider located in Dixon, Illinois. And we like the fact that they put the spotlight on the team supporting their local student-athletes... so we wanted to share the story as well! 

When you think of teams, your mind probably goes to the football or soccer fields and basketball courts. But this team, working hard behind the scenes, is responsible for the health and well-being of those soccer and basketball players.

KSB Athletic Training Team in Dixon IllinoisAt the heart of this care is the trio from KSB: Alecia Spangler, an Athletic Trainer; Dr. Kyle Swanson, a Podiatrist; and Dominic Martinez, a Physical Therapist.

Together, they form the backbone of medical support for the students, keeping them as safe as possible and helping them return to play after injuries: 

Alecia Spangler: The Frontline Support

Dedicated mainly to Dixon High School, Alecia is the constant presence at every home event, practices throughout the academic year, and also travels for football's away and post-season matches.

Whenever possible, she extends her expertise to Ashton-Franklin Center High School's home games.

She describes her role as an Athletic Trainer:

“I'm there to provide immediate care to injuries and illnesses, evaluate the situation, and make referrals as necessary.”

Rooted in a family background where helping was second nature— with her mother as a coach and her father in the fire department— Alecia’s decision to delve into athletic training was born out of her love for sports and her desire to be part of a team. While she knew she wouldn't play sports professionally, athletic training was a perfect blend of her passions.

Dominic Martinez: The Volunteer Spirit

Bringing a hands-on approach to Dixon High School's home games, Dominic’s support stems from personal experience and a genuine love for football.

“Being a former college football player, I resonate with the sport and want to assist the high school athletes in achieving their aspirations on the field.”

His involvement isn't just professional; it's personal. Many of the football athletes have been his patients, establishing a bond that makes his sideline support even more significant.

Dr. Kyle Swanson: From the Court to the Clinic

With memories of his own school and college sports injuries, surgeries, and subsequent rehabilitation, Dr. Swanson’s involvement with student-athletes is deeply personal. He dedicates his time, knowledge, and skills by volunteering at several home games. For him, it’s a way to give back, drawing from the gratitude he felt for the medical teams during his injuries.

Through his lens as a Podiatrist, Dr. Swanson frequently treats conditions like turf toe, foot and ankle sprains, tendinitis, and even plantar fasciitis among young athletes.

The spectrum of injuries in football is wide, ranging from concussions and shoulder sprains to broken bones and tendinitis. But the common goal remains consistent— to ensure that student-athletes are safe, healthy, and at their best.

“Originating from a close-knit rural community in Iowa, I find similarities in Dixon's ambiance. Witnessing our young athletes and their teams achieve their potential is gratifying. Our ultimate objective, when they face injuries, is not just a swift recovery but ensuring they return to the field only when it’s completely safe.”

In the challenging world of high school sports, where every match can be a test not just of skills but also of physical resilience, the trio from KSB— Alecia, Dominic, and Dr. Swanson— are ensuring that their student-athletes are always in the best of hands.