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SMART Clinic

Ashley Kech, an Illinois State University graduate student, uses a therapeutic ultrasound on the knee of ISU student Scott Picton, Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, in the Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Therapy Clinic. Focused ultrasound can be used as a heat therapy treatment that loosens tissue and increases range of motion. (The Pantagraph, David Proeber)

NORMAL — A newly opened facility at Illinois State University will enable students to get rehabilitation treatment for orthopedic injuries while also providing clinical experience for students studying to be athletic trainers.

The Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Therapy Clinic saw 10 students in its first week of operation, but Kevin Laudner, professor of kinesiology and recreation, expects that to grow to 10 or 12 a day as more people become aware of the clinic — and club teams and intramurals sports get into full swing.

While intercollegiate athletes have their own trainers and training facilities, non-athletes don’t have access to those resources, said clinic Director Justin Stanek, an instructional assistant professor in ISU’s School of Kinesiology who also is clinical coordinator of the undergraduate athletic training education program.

The athletic training lab is used for classes daily from about 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and some evenings. The SMART Clinic will use the space from 2 to 6 p.m. and may add hours as demand increases.

The clinic is only for students and they need referrals from Student Health Services. Students pay $10 per visit.

The lab is located on the second floor of McCormick Hall in what used to be a basketball gym. The idea for the clinic came up as the university was planning the Student Fitness Center, which is attached to McCormick Hall.

“We saw a need for students on campus to have orthopedic rehab services,” Laudner said.

While Student Health Services provides acute care after an injury occurred, students had to be sent elsewhere for ongoing, rehabilitative care, he explained. Some students had trouble with insurance issues, scheduling or transportation.

Available treatments include hydrotherapy, ultrasound, various manual therapies and strengthening, stretching and balance exercises. There are two certified athletic trainers on staff.

Laudner said having such a facility is “a valuable asset” — not only for students who need the rehabilitation treatment but also for athletic trainer students who need practical experience under the supervision of certified athletic trainers.

“We hope this can be a standard we set and others can follow,” Laudner said.

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