May 5—Dr. Devin Eernisse of HealthSource Athens is headed to the 2022 World Games in Birmingham after being selected as one of 50 sports chiropractors to attend to thousands of top athletes from over the globe.
The World Games will feature 3,600 athletes from over 30 countries in July.
The News Courier interviews Dr. Eernisse about her sports background, what she is looking forward to about the games, her profession and more.
Q: What exactly will you be doing for the World Games?
A: With the World Games, it is very similar to the Olympics. Kind of the cousin to the Olympics. Athletes from all over the world coming to compete — I think it’s around 30 or so different sports — is set up similar to the Olympics: Around a 2-week thing where we will treat athletes from all over the world.
(I will be) with specific sports, I just don’t exactly yet. I will be working with athletes from every different country, too. So, it won’t be just the United States. It will be more between games, between practices working on the athletes making sure they’re loose, making sure they’re well-adjusted to compete.
Q: What was the application/registration process?
A: In order to be considered, I had to hold my international certificate in sports chiropractic, but before that I had to get my Masters degree in sports science and rehab to even be able to consider (The World Games). So, with that certification, I was able to apply with the Federation of International Sports Chiropractic group that is treating the athletes.
It was a big application process, got selected and then now, it is the training.
Q: What are you looking forward to about the World Games?
A: I have always been a huge fan of sports. Growing up I played softball, volleyball; I come from a very big sports background family.
I received chiropractic care growing up, which is what kept me going. So seeing the benefits of treating athletes, getting adjusted, getting those muscles to loosen up, just really helping the athletes; now, I’m giving back to help them be able to perform at their best.
Q: Talk about your sports background. Where are you from, where did you go to school, etc.?
A: I am originally from Minnesota. I went to school undergrad at the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire, and then I went to Logan University in Saint Louis, got my Masters in sports science and rehab and then my Doctorate in chiropractic there, came down here for an internship initially 5 and a half years ago, and I’m still here.
My brother played baseball at Concordia, both my parents grew up playing softball, I have family that used to play in the NFL; one of my extended family — my dad’s cousin — used to work for NCAA Division II. My brother actually works for Major League Soccer right now.
Q: Are you hoping for any particular sport at the World Games?
A: I would love, if I had to choose, softball or swimming or anything team related, because that’s my background.
But, I would love anything. I am looking forward just to learn from other chiropractors from around the world and also seeing these different conditions and make a difference in these athletes’ lives.
Q: What do you like about your job?
A: I have been here (HealthSource Athens) for 5 and a half years. I love the rehab aspect of chiropractic. We treat patients of all ages: Infants — I think the youngest I have treated is 2 weeks old — and oldest is mid-90s.
I love seeing all the different patient population, but I do have a passion for athletes. Seeing a lot of the local high school athletes coming in and hearing about their stories and successes and getting people to do what they want, do what they love, whether it is just being able to walk, run a 5K or work without pain, so it is just those little things in life.
Q: What’s the next step?
A: So, there’s three meetings I have to (attend), I have to arrive early, learn where all the venues are, if an emergency happens learn the best way to get the athlete to where they need to be, learn the locations.
In addition to providing premier care for athletes and Athens-Limestone residents, Dr. Eernisse and other members of the HealthSource team reach out to the community.
For example, for Teacher Appreciation Week, local teachers were given “stress breaks” where they would receive stress-relieving massages from respective staff members of HealthSource.
They raise money for Relay for Life, are involved with the Fiddler’s Convention, raise money for the high schools and connect with coaches around the area.
Information regarding Dr. Eernisse’s trip to the World Games, along with information on the World Games themselves will be provided in The News Courier as they become available.
The World Games will begin on July 7 with the opening ceremony and will end on July 17, with multiple sports being included for the first time.