Mountaintop Medicine from Estes Park Health: Estes Park Health keeps rodeo athletes healthy

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Whether it’s wrangling the horses or hanging on to a bull, rodeo participants can put their bodies at risk when they engage in their high energy sports.

That’s why the professionals at Estes Park Health are always on site at the Rooftop Rodeo, providing orthopedic, nursing, physical therapy, and emergency care to keep everyone involved in the event safe.

“We have a lot of rodeo participants who spend the summer going around to different rodeos and so they have a lot of bumps and bruises and other things and a lot of aches and pains,” said EPH orthopedic surgeon Dr. Aaron Florence. “We try to alleviate that and help them out a little bit. We’ve had some serious injuries, some fractures and dislocations. Rodeo coverage is very similar to any other athletic event where it’s good for the physician to be on the sidelines watching the event, to see the injury happen, optimally. That really facilitates good patient care and continuity as you can immediately help that patient out.”

The Rehabilitation Services team also enjoys being part of the Rooftop Rodeo and supporting the athletes.

“We’re excited about supporting them in their sport and also giving them the opportunity for a safe ride,” commented Kendra Vancil, EPH Rehabilitation Services Manager. “It’s a beautiful setting and it’s a lot of fun.”

Kathy Giesige is one of the EPH Rehabilitation Services physical therapists. She is on site at the rodeo the supply everything from tape to bracing for injury prevention and injury care after the rodeo events.

“The riders are quite good athletes as you can imagine,” Giesige pointed out. “And they’re usually very gracious, very humble. They’re looking for not only support, but advice as far as how to treat any of their recurring injuries that they may have. People enjoy coming to this event and we want it to be safe and we want to support the riders.”

“Plus, we love their accents,” she joked.

EPH also supplies emergency care at the arena with paramedics and EMTs.

“We support them with emergency medical services,” said Chip Brownlee, EPH EMS Operations Manager. “If one of the riders or participants in the rodeo gets injured, we are there at the rodeo. We go out into the arena if need be and assist and transport them to the hospital if that is the case. It’s a big community event. We consider ourselves a community emergency service. And so, we like to support those events.”

If you see our crew at the Rooftop Rodeo, say hello and thank them!

To watch a video about Estes Park Health’s involvement in the rodeo, log on to