Summit Orthopedics named Official Team Physicians for Afton Alps and Team Afton
Summit Drs. Rupke, Skendzel, Su, and Warner proud to care for Team Afton skiers.
Summit Orthopedics and Afton Alps are pleased to announce that Summit has been named Official Team Physicians for Afton Alps and Team Afton coaches, ski patrol, staff, competitive skiers, and their families. The Team Afton athletes are based at the Afton Alps winter resort in the scenic St. Croix River Valley. There, they hone their skills on the resort’s 300 skiable acres, 48 trails, and four terrain parks.
Summit’s physicians offer Team Afton skiers a depth of ski injury expertise
Sports medicine surgeons Dr. Tracy Rupke, Dr. Jack Skendzel, Dr. Edward Su, and Dr. Brent Warner are on the Summit medical team, providing priority services to Team Afton. This team of specialists represents extensive depth of experience training competitive skiers and treating ski injuries.
Drs. Skendzel and Warner have extensive experience treating both professional and recreational skiers and snowboarders. They treat ski-related injuries, including fracture repair, meniscal injuries, cartilage restoration, and multiligamentous knee reconstruction. Both surgeons completed prestigious fellowships at Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado. Their combined experience includes medical coverage for the U.S. Women’s Ski Team Europa Cup Downhill, the World Cup Downhill, the GoPro Mountain Games, and for the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships.
Dr. Skendzel served as team physician for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Ski Teams. Dr. Warner maintains active certification in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team physician pool. Certification enables him to travel with the teams to provide care at national and international training camps and events.
Summit’s hand and ankle specialists round out the comprehensive care Summit’s team will provide. Hand specialist Dr. Edward Su will treat ski-related injuries like skier’s thumb and snowboard injuries like wrist fractures. With four children who race on the USSA team for Afton Alps, Dr. Tracy Rupke knows Afton well. She honed her expertise treating winter sport injuries with the ACA, Canada’s alpine medical team. She is on the roster to cover alpine events for the Canadian alpine team. Her focus for Afton is on foot and ankle injuries—to which snowboarders are particularly susceptible.
Committed to the health of Team Afton skiers and their families
By partnering with Summit, Afton Alps and Team Afton skiers benefit from medical education, training focused on prevention, and from specialized sports medicine expertise when injuries do occur. “Afton Alps is looking forward to leveraging Summit Orthopedics as a resource to continue to improve the overall health and wellness of our athletes, coaches, staff, and guests,” says Pam Hoye, marketing and public relations manager at Afton Alps.
Summit sponsors Afton’s signature Paul Augustine Jr. Championship event
This year, Summit Orthopedics is the main sponsor for the 28th annual Paul Augustine Jr. Championship on Feb. 18. Skiers between the ages of 8 and 14 will compete against other athletes in their age groups. The championship draws top racers in the Midwest and serves as a fundraiser in partnership with Afton Alps. The race offers all the features and festivities of a World Cup. The event features an opening ceremony, a day of competition, and individual trophies in each age category. Attendees will enjoy a complimentary lunch, sponsor swag bags, and an opportunity for families to meet live reindeer.
The Paul Augustine Jr. Championship, organized and hosted by Team Afton, is the team’s signature competition and fundraising event for the year. Proceeds are used to support timing systems, scholarships, and improvements for the skiers. Resort improvements funded through the championship include a safety B-Net for training, gates, drills, and timing equipment.
Putting skier safety first
“Summit Orthopedics is honored to be entrusted with the health of Afton Alps and Team Afton’s skiers and their families,” says Dr. Skendzel. “These young athletes work hard, and it is our pleasure to help them compete at the top of their game. Sport safety and injury prevention are our highest priorities. If injuries do happen, our team is committed to provide specialized care that will get these young athletes back to the very highest level of performance.”
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“An active lifestyle requires superior physical function, and I understand that my patients have exceptionally high standards for their performance and joint health. My goal is to return patients to optimal function so that they can continue to perform and master their personal athletic goals.”
“As an athlete, I understand the profound impact that an injury can have on a patient’s life and well-being. My goal is to return people to activity as quickly and safely as possible, whether that’s training for an ultramarathon or walking the dog around the block.”
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Most surgeons are well versed in treatments for the painful damaged knee cartilage that typically affects older adults after years of wear and tear. When a young patient suffers cartilage damage, treatment is delicate and requires the specialized expertise offered at Summit Orthopedics.