For the tenth year in a row, the West Campus Sports Council served as the official sports care provider at the Sea Otter Classic, the largest bicycling festival in the United States. The event was held April 19-22 on the grounds of the former Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif. Once again, the Council team demonstrated skilled proficiency so well-oiled that it would have impressed even a team of European road cyclists.
“Our Sports Council had another great Sea Otter experience this year,” said Ed Feinberg, D.C., 2011 ACA Sports Chiropractor of the Year, who has served as the West Sports Council faculty adviser since its formation in 1994. “We provided care in two tents, and we also provided first-responder support at strategic locations along the more-challenging courses. Our students provided professional, compassionate service to every athlete, and every injury, and in multiple age ranges. These West Campus students made me very proud.”
Established in 1991, the Sea Otter event now includes approximately 10,000 competitors, and attracts nearly 50,000 spectators. This year’s Sports Council team featured 94 students: 27 interns, 34 observers, and 32 tent managers. Sports Council officers Nichelle Francavilla and Shannon Snow were the primary event coordinators.
“Our Sports Council team did a phenomenal job this year, not only at the main medical tents, but also did an outstanding job in handling multiple emergencies out on the course,” said Ms. Francavilla, who also is a member of the Campus Guides and will serve as athletic director on the student government executive council that officially takes office in July.
In addition to standard musculoskeletal conditions, the Sports Council doctors and interns kept busy dealing with the types of injuries that are typical of the Sea Otter event, including clavicle fractures, “road rash”, concussions, ankle sprains, and multiple “c-spine” clearance procedures.
“Having the opportunity to provide the primary first aid care for the Sea Otter event is an amazing learning experience for the Sports Council members, “said Ms. Francavilla. “It’s also an honor for the Council. We are not only representing Palmer, we’re also representing the chiropractic profession. It enables us to show the public that in addition to our chiropractic adjusting skills, we also know how to evaluate and diagnose many conditions, and are well-skilled to provide care in emergency situations.”
West ’09 alumnus Michael Lord, D.C., was not able to serve as medical director at this year’s Sea Otter, so current West Sports Council officer Mike Larson was appointed to the role. The Sea Otter medical director has oversight of the providers who comprise the collective emergency response team, which in addition to the Sports Council also includes firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, and the ski patrol.
In addition to Dr. Feinberg, clinicians during the course of the four-day event included: Tony Kearns, D.C. (West ’07); Ed LeCara, D.C. (West ’99); Mehdi Moossavi, D.C. (West ’92); Karen Roitz, D.C. (West ’96); and Jonathan Slater, D.C. (West ’97).
Dr. Feinberg and Dr. Moossavi have served as clinicians at each Sea Otter Classic event since the Sports Council’s debuted as the event’s primary sports care provider in 1993. In fact, Dr. Moossavi has worked every day of every Sea Otter--including the years when the event ran five days!
“I have always enjoyed working with the Sea Otter because of the challenges we face each year handling formidable and traumatic injuries to the riders in which the outcome depends on an accurate diagnosis and proper management,” said Dr. Moossavi.
"We're pleased to have Palmer College's Sports Council team serve as the Sea Otter's primary sports care provider for the past 10 years," said Jeannie Retamoso, director of Media/Marketing and Festival Operations. "Bumps and bruises are as much a part of any major cycling competition as the pedals and wheels, and accidents are going to happen. Fortunately for our riders, the emergency care and clinical skills of the Sports Council team has helped to minimize the physical consequences of these injuries--and, in many cases, riders have been able to return to competition, thanks to the care they received from the Palmer College team."