By Alexander Germanis
No one can live a lasting, happy, healthy life on one’s own. It is one of the main reasons we congregate in large towns and cities: we seek a reliance on our fellow man. Communities around the globe are based on this—the need to be around and to be there for one another.
For years, the surgeons at Orthopedic & Sports Enhancement Center (OSEC) have made being there for the community a foundation upon which the practice is based. By partnering with others who seek to extend that helping hand, they work together to improve the community’s health by improving the health of the individual within it.
It is no surprise the health care system in this country is massive, complex, and often difficult to navigate. Because of this or due to a simple lack of insurance or funds, some people simply do not get the care they need.
For these individuals the Community Health Care Clinic (CHCC) was established in the early 1990s. Beginning in those early years, OSEC’s Dr. J. Anthony Dustman shared his time with them. OSEC’s foot and ankle orthopedist, Dr. Bryce Paschold, later joined the effort as well.
“OSEC is our primary referral partner for all things orthopedic,” explains CHCC’s Executive Director Mike Romagnoli. “Having them come to our place to see patients makes it incredibly efficient, and we can knock out all of our ortho or podiatry referrals in a single afternoon. Also, both Dr. Dustman and Dr. Paschold bring a nurse with them—who go above and beyond for the patients—so any procedures that have to happen at the hospital are coordinated with the patient while they are here.”
Neither doctor is limited when seeing patients at the clinic, both providing their full range of services. A lot of that service includes convincing patients that surgery is not always the best option. “So many of our patients have worked manual labor jobs their whole lives, and those bodies get worn down,” Mike says. “Dr. D is great at explaining this to patients and they seem to really appreciate his perspective and his honesty.”
For Dr. Paschold’s patients, getting them out of pain immediately is a major concern. “It’s great to see people come in with a limp and leave so happy once he’s gotten them taken care of,” Mike shares.
Filling a Need
The Community Health Care Clinic came to be in order to fill a need. OSEC’s partnership with them came about to help with that. “Dr. Dustman just saw an increasing need for orthopedic services for our patients, and it actually started with a young girl with rheumatoid arthritis that Dr. Dustman had seen in the hospital,” Mike recalls. “Through treating her, he got acquainted with our services, and has been an incredible partner ever since.”
Mike goes on to explain how patients are not the only ones who have benefitted from this partnership between the two care giving entities. “My nurse practitioners here have been able to learn an incredible amount from both doctors—seemingly simple things like what x-ray views to order for the best picture of a joint,” he says, “but also what techniques they use to evaluate a patient complaint.”
From High School…
The old adage saying it sometimes takes a village to raise a child applies to training great athletes as well. From parents and friends to teammates and coaches, an athlete rarely succeeds on his or her own.
Adding to this cadre of support are the athletic trainers and medical professionals who not only coach athletes through extracurricular training but are there when injury strikes to fix and rehabilitate the athlete back to their former strength.
Providing athletic training to the high schools of the Bloomington-Normal area is a huge undertaking. Athletic Director of Normal West High School Stan Lewis mentions 21 varsity sports at his school and OSEC trainers cover all of them from practice to games.
“Our long-standing relationship with OSEC has provided many benefits to our athletes, their parents, and our coaches,” he states. “Injured athletes receive immediate treatment for practice or contest injuries, which helps with the recovery process. Parents have the peace of mind knowing that their athletes will receive excellent care, and our coaches know that the athletic trainers will handle the injuries and keep them informed of each injured athlete’s ability to continue playing.”
Establishing a solid trust with the student-athletes, their parents, and coaches is not an easy task, but OSEC athletic trainers do just that. Normal West’s OSEC athletic trainer is Colleen Daniels and Stan can’t say enough about her. “Colleen’s rapport with athletes is a strength,” he says. “Many of our athletes who have been injured will continue to stop by the athletic training room to say hello long after they have been released to practice/play. Colleen is frequently invited by athletes and parents to National Letter of Intent signing ceremonies and is often thanked by the athletes when they speak at these ceremonies. Normal West athletics would not be the same without OSEC ATC Colleen Daniels.”
Normal Community, Fieldcrest, Heyworth, Eureka, Tri-Valley, and Central Catholic High School athletic programs also benefit from OSEC’s services. Central Catholic’s Athletic Director Hud Venerable agrees with Stan Lewis when it comes to the partnership with the athletic trainers. “The communication between the student-athletes and their parents, along with the school counselors and myself with Eleanor Spencer, our ATC (Certified Athletic Trainer), has been terrific,” he shares. “The addition of the Healthy Roster App has allowed us to be kept informed and updated on every student-athlete who Eleanor has treated. This has been a wonderful addition.”
OSEC’s interest in helping student-athletes extends well past the four final years of primary education. That hand of health is extended to the athletic programs of Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan Universities as well, all through the efforts of Dr. Dustman, Dr. Robert Seidl, and Dr. Bryce Paschold.
Illinois Wesleyan’s Head Football Coach and Associate Athletic Director Norm Eash describes the work OSEC’s Dr. Dustman does with the student-athletes as “pioneering.”
“He was way ahead of his time when he thought about providing health care to high schools and colleges that needed that type of care,” Coach Eash says. “He saw there was a need for athletic training services; he was passionate about it and he really started it.”
“He’s a dying breed,” the coach continues. “Many modern day physicians are not as caring as he is. I think the world of him; he has done so much for so many people in the Bloomington-Normal area, all the area high schools, and for Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan athletics.”
Illinois State University’s Head Football Coach Brock Spack has nearly identical feelings about OSEC’s Dr. Seidl. “I am starting my 37th year of college football coaching and Dr. Rob Seidl is the best orthopedic surgeon I’ve ever been around,” says Coach Spack. “He has zero ego and will do what’s best for the patient and his/her long term health. He will explain complicated issues very clearly so the patient can understand and make a well-informed decision. I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Seidl!”
Drs. Dustman and Seidl represent OSEC’s level of compassion and care for the athletic programs in Central Illinois as they donate their time, their facilities, and their equipment to help fill a need at the schools.
Our community is made up of a diverse collection of individuals, spanning every age demographic, every race, and every creed. From the young to the elderly, from the sedentary to the athletic, eventually, everyone in a community needs some help.
Unfortunately, our individual reach can only extend so far. It is heartening to know there are those, like the surgeons at Orthopedic & Sports Enhancement Center, who will also extend their hands, reaching out to help those in need and making a positive impact on the health and well-being of our community.
For more information or to set up an appointment, you may contact Orthopedic & Sports Enhancement center at 309-663–9300, or visit them online at orthopedicsec.com. Their office is located at 2406 East Empire St. in Bloomington.