March is Athletic Training Month

Every March, Clear Lake Physical Therapy and Rehab Specialists (CLPTRS) likes to shine a light on our athletic trainer on staff, Mel Lewis. We do this because Mel has been a vital part of our success in restoring human performance in our community. And as it is National Athletic Training Month, we recognize the important role she plays at CLPTRS.

A major part of Mel’s job is to provide training, screenings, assessments, and care to athletes in both the Clear Lake and Clayton school districts. Athletic trainers, also known as ATs, specialize in the management, prevention, and recovery of injured athletes. Many times, athletic trainers are the first medical professionals on the scene after an injury during a sporting event or practice. Athletic trainers collaborate with doctors to provide emergency and follow-up care and develop injury prevention and treatment programs for injured athletes.

Athletic trainers also provide a vital communication link between the injured athlete, the physician, the coach, and sometimes the athlete’s family to determine when it’s right to return to practice and competition.

But Mel doesn’t work to keep just student athletes safe. Another big component to Mel’s job as an AT is industrial rehab. CLPTRS currently works with 11 local industries to keep workers’ compensation costs at a minimum. Local industries partner with Mel as she provides services such as on-site safety and injury prevention, on-location ergonomic assessments, and early intervention rehab. She conducts health and wellness seminars for employees, provides preventative education, and conducts functional testing.

Through CLPTRS’s industrial rehab, businesses can also have access to pre-employment drug testing, vision screening, drug and alcohol testing, and respirator fit testing.

Mel attended Northland College in Ashland, WI, for four years where she played basketball for the Lumber Jills. She graduated with a biology degree and a coaching minor. She then attended graduate school at the College of Saint Scholastica, receiving an entry-level master’s degree in athletic training.

You may not recognize the name Mel Lewis, as she was recently married and was Mel Waytashek. Same great AT we’ve had at CLPTRS for years, new name! Mel grew up on a small dairy farm in Little Falls, MN. She enjoys playing and watching sports, being outdoors, gardening, baking and spending time with her husband and their pets.

CLPTRS would like to recognize Mel Lewis for helping keep student athletes and industrial workers safe. As a healthcare professional, she is highly educated and dedicated to the job at hand. Not only has she been a part of the CLPTRS team for years, she has been a fixture within our schools and community. She provides expert care with a servant’s heart. We are quite proud to have her be a part of our staff and we celebrate her as an athletic trainer this month!