National Athletic Training Month: Unparalleled Continuum of Care


During our final full week of National Athletic Training Month, we want to recognize the unparalleled continuum of care athletic trainers provide for patients. Working in multiple settings, such as primary care support and outpatient rehab, allows athletic trainers to provide medical services not only to athletes, but all types of patients.

Athletic trainers are often on-site when injuries happen and deliver immediate care in coordination with local physicians. According to, “Athletic trainers improve functional outcomes and specialize in patient education to prevent injury and re-injury. Preventative care provided by an athletic trainer has a positive return on investment for employers. ATs are able to reduce injury and shorten rehabilitation time for their patients, which translates to lower absenteeism from work or school and reduced health care costs.”

The Therapy Center Difference

When asked about the role of athletic trainers at Jennings High School, Coach Phelps commented,“Therapy Center is a terrific partner. They are our first line of defense when a player is injured and more importantly, they aid in lowering risk of future injuries through education and training with our students and staff.”

In addition to being a key point of contact, athletic trainers get to know their patients and can impact their lives greatly as is the case with Therapy Center’s physical therapist, TJ Fontenot.

The encouragement and care put into my recovery made me realize that I wanted to do the same for others. ” My first time at The Therapy Center was in the Fall of 2007, when recovering from an ACL reconstruction.  Jim was the athletic trainer at my high school, Rayne High, and I needed help getting back on the playing field my senior year. After getting stronger and incorporating more athletic movements into my rehab program, I was able to return to sport in the spring and play baseball. The encouragement and care put into my recovery made me realize that I wanted to do the same for others. I began undergraduate studies in Fall of 2008 and subsequently attended graduate school for physical therapy. After graduating in December 2015, I was able to get a job here at The Therapy Center. I have truly come full circle, from patient to provider, and all of my therapists and athletic trainers have helped me to understand what it means to put the patient first.”

We could not be more proud of the role our athletic trainers play for our community partners, athletes, and their families.

Joy Melancon TechAthletic Trainer Highlight: Joy Melancon

Joy is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana and holds a Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. She is an integral team member for the Jennings High, Elton High, and Basile High athletic programs. Her passion is the bond she creates with the student athletes in helping them recover from an injury and return to play. Being a trustworthy source of information and techniques to put into practice is what makes Joy a special member of our team.


Athletic Trainer Highlight: Jim DoroticsJim Dorotics 2013-5

Jim has been with the Therapy Center for 9 years and, as evidenced in TJ’s testimonial, has played a tremendous role in helping our young athletes return to the sports they love. Jim currently assists with sports medicine care at Hathaway, Notre Dame, Midland, and Iota High Schools. He is a member of the National Association of Athletic Training and holds a degree from the University of Louisiana – Lafayette.

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