The Ohio Athletic Trainers' Association recently named Lake Health Certified Athletic Trainer Debra Walko as Ohio Athletic Trainer of the Year. Ms. Walko is one of two athletic trainers to receive this year's award in the clinical/professional division. Award recipients are nominated by their peers and then chosen by the Ohio Athletic Trainers' Association, the governing body for all athletic trainers in the state of Ohio.
Ms. Walko was recognized for her vital contributions to the Lake Health Athletic Training Bureau of Worker's Compensation (BWC) Therapy Clinic at the Tyler Blvd. Urgent Care Center in Mentor. The Athletic Training BWC Therapy Clinic is unique in the state of Ohio and shows innovation in the utilization of athletic trainers in workers' compensation rehabilitation. Ms. Walko and fellow Lake Health athletic trainers apply the principles of sports medicine to the evaluation and treatment of injured workers to help these "industrial" athletes return to work as quickly as possible.
Ms. Walko received her bachelor of science degree in Education from the University of Akron and has been a certified athletic trainer for 19 years. Prior to joining Lake Health in 2007 as Kirtland High School's athletic trainer, she was head athletic trainer for Hawken Upper School in Gates Mills, OH. Ms. Walko is a member of the National Athletic Trainers' Association, the Ohio Athletic Trainers' Association and the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers' Association.
Ms. Walko will be honored at the Ohio Athletic Trainers' Association annual meeting in May in Akron, OH.