Center for Physical Health, a clinic of Taos Health Systems, is providing a part time athletic trainer to the Taos High School varsity teams. Camille Rivera, a Taos High School graduate and former athlete, is a Physical Therapist Technician as well as a Certified and licensed athletic trainer. She is working with the varsity teams at their home games and some of their practices. This athletic trainer support is being offered by Taos Health Systems as a form of community support; the High School is not charged for this service.
“My main goal is to get them to return to playing as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Camille. “I’m the first line of defense if an athlete gets injured, but I also work with them to prevent injuries.”
As an athletic trainer, Camille sees the athletes for a variety of issues ranging from acute and post injury care to preventive issues such as taping, strengthening, and stretching. She also makes sure the coaches are stocked with medical supplies.
An athletic trainer is similar to a first responder for athletes. If an athlete is injured, Camille assesses them and refers them to the appropriate place of care. Sometimes she says it’s to Holy Cross Hospital for imaging, stitches, concussion evaluation, etc. Sometimes it’s to Dr. Reid from Taos Orthopaedic Institute, the team physician. She then follows up with them, usually the next day, for treatments that can include ice baths, massages, stretching, and other rehabilitation exercises.
Camille graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Mexico. She also completed the athletic trainer certification (ATC). During her training she completed 1,600 clinical hours working with the UNM athletic teams including UNM’s football, baseball, men’s and women’s soccer, and the men’s and women’s basketball teams. She also worked as a student athletic trainer for Sandia Prep High School and the Red Bull Rampage professional downhill biking team.
“After graduation I went away for college, but knew I wanted to come back and give back to the community,” said Camille. “I really like Taos.”
“I thank Dr. Reid for his presence at the local football games, as well as for the relationship and advice he provides to me,” said Camille. “I also thank the Center for Physical Health for providing the outreach athletic trainer position to the high school athletes and opening my schedule, which allows me to help them.”