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Martin provides quality care for female athletes as a member of the New England Storm’s medical and training staff
While most individuals might find time on a Saturday to unwind from a hectic week, Tammy Martin, MD is still at the job. She can be spotted away from the hospital, but not far from her work. In the locker room or on the sidelines of Hormel Stadium, Martin ensures Boston’s home team is ready to hit the field in perfect condition.
“I do it because I believe in women’s sports and providing quality care for female athletes,” said Martin, orthopedic surgeon at BWH and a member of the New England Storm’s medical and training staff. The New England Storm is one of ten teams that comprise the Women’s Professional Football League (WPFL).
It takes passion and dedication from both the players and staff to make the WPFL a feasible enterprise. Most teams in the league rely heavily upon the service of selfless individuals. “We are all volunteers,” said Martin, adding, “even the athletes pay for their own uniforms.”
Why do they get involved and sacrifice long hours and little recognition? Martin comments, “The league’s slogan says it all—‘It’s our turn to play.’” And while the Storm does not get the same publicity or media coverage as the Patriots, Martin is doing her part to ensure that they can at least get the proper medical attention.
Martin’s job as the Storm’s orthopedic surgeon is to provide medical care for 50 athletes from around the region. However, this
is no ordinary team. Members of the Storm work full time jobs, support families and find time to stay physically fit, all while practicing more than 12 hours a week and competing from July through October.
On game day, Martin’s role entails evaluating players before they take to the field and making certain the team’s emergency medical plan is in place. During the week, she attends to injured players here at BWH.
She has seen fractured fingers, wrists, shoulders and her share of the regular bumps and bruises. But, what has kept Martin busy this season is contending with the team’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) problems. “I expected about one to two ACL injuries this year, not ten.” With 20 percent of the team out for the season due to ACL injuries, the Storm will be challenged to defend their 2000 conference championship title.
To combat the Storm’s high injury rate, Martin is already working to develop a preventative plan for the 2002 season. She is collaborating with team owner, Missi Korpacz, and others to implement a conditioning program that will address the team’s acl woes. The program will focus on strengthening muscle groups associated with jumping, landing and pivoting motions.
Researching muscular-skeletal issues and learning more about general fitness and injury prevention for women is a major goal of Martin’s. While Martin enjoys her position on the team, she also hopes the experience will benefit her interest in better serving female athletes.
While her demanding schedule keeps her constantly on the go, Martin has no lack of energy and enthusiasm for her work. This is reflected in her commitment to the team and many hours of volunteer service, not to mention the occasional “Go Storm!” cheer you might hear along the Pike.