Springfield, Ohio – Student-athletes at Wittenberg University have a long history of achievement. Tim Kremchek, Wittenberg class of 1981 and the team orthopaedist for his alma mater for nearly 20 years, took it upon himself to lead an effort to ensure that the medical care Tiger students receive matches their athletic excellence.
Kremchek spearheaded a fundraising effort to renovate the athletic training room in Wittenberg’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Center. He was joined by his family, including his wife Hilary, class of 1982, and his son, Teddy, class of 2016 and an aspiring Tiger men’s basketball student-athlete, in dedicating the Kremchek Family Athletic Training Facility on Friday, Oct. 5, during Homecoming Weekend.
“We are so grateful to Dr. Kremchek and all of the individuals and organizations that made contributions to this important athletic training room renovation,” said Wittenberg President Laurie Joyner. “The improvements made to this facility are the direct result of the power of philanthropy in the life of the university.”
In light of Kremchek’s lead gift to the project, Wittenberg’s Board of Directors moved to name the new athletic training room in his honor. Among the other individuals and organizations to make financial contributions to the project were Ron Sortman ’72; Roger Parker ’73, Jack ’63 and Nancy ’64 Spohn, Jim and Maria Wymer ’77, Doug ’79 and Valerie ’78 Baker, Bill ’54 and Carol Goettman, Doug ’72 and Tammy Vinsel, Mark ’81 and Betsy Phillips, Kirby and Julie Thompson ‘81, Dona and Roland Young, John ’74 and Catherine Paoloni, Jim ’79 and Nancy Donellon, Bill Hauser ‘78, the Wittenberg football program, Community Mercy Health Partners, and Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.
The improvements are evident immediately upon entering the new athletic training room, starting with eight treatment tables, three game-ready machines (ice and compression combination) and four electrical stimulation/ultrasound machines. There is also now space for a shuttle machine to help with rehabilitation, a stationary bike, weights, a custom-made taping station and three whirlpools with custom seating.
During the dedication, Kremchek noted how important athletic training facilities are to the overall college athletics program. To perform their best in games, student-athletes and their coaches must have access to the latest in treatment options to overcome injuries.
“What we’ve done with this new athletic training room is to make sure that the medical care for our student-athletes is no longer being outsourced,” Kremchek said. “In recent years, we have brought Excel Sports Medicine into the HPER Center and made the physical rehabilitation services available on campus. But the problem was that the athletic training room and the equipment in it was outdated.
“This wasn’t just an aesthetic makeover. I believe we now have a state-of-the-art training room that can match up with any school in our region, and it exceeds the expectation that student-athletes have of health care. I want this to be a positive aspect of the student-athlete experience. I think we attained that.”
The athletic training room is brighter, and it is colorfully decorated with framed photos of Wittenberg student-athletes in action. It is also much better organized, thanks to a new storage area built into the equipment room located across the hall, and also thanks to separate offices for the three certified athletic trainers on staff. Each athletic trainer has access to computer equipment outfitted with software that allows them to communicate with doctors and to generate coaches’ reports.
Just as importantly, visiting doctors now have their own office with a treatment table, desk and storage, allowing for privacy for injured student-athletes and the physicians.
“Our goal is to be able to treat the athletes in a timely manner, use our resources effectively and return our athletes back to their sports,” said Ellen Crosbie, Wittenberg’s head certified athletic trainer. “With the new facility, we are able to continue to treat our athletes with up-to-date and outstanding health care. We strive to allow them to be able to carry on the strong Wittenberg athletics tradition.”
A 1986 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Kremchek completed his orthopaedic residency at Tufts University in Boston, Mass., and a one-year orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship at the Alabama Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala. A native of Cincinnati, Kremchek returned to his hometown and began private practice in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine in 1993.
He has served as the medical director and chief orthopaedic surgeon for the Cincinnati Reds for more than 15 years, as well as the team’s minor league affiliates. He has taken an active role in teaching orthopaedics and sports medicine, and he has been published in professional journals, featured on HBO’s Real Sports program regarding youth baseball injuries, and quoted in ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated and USA Today regarding medical health topics.
In addition to the Reds and their minor league affiliates, Kremchek is the team orthopaedist for the Cincinnati Commandos, an indoor football team, the Cincinnati Cyclones, a minor league hockey team, the Cincinnati Sizzle, a women’s football team, Indian Hill High School, Archbishop Moeller High School, and Wittenberg.
Written By: Ryan Maurer
Photos By: Erin Pence