Embracing the role of the unsung hero, St. John’s athletic training staff works behind the scenes to keep athletes at peak levels of fitness.
Assistant Athletics Director for sports medicine Ron Linfonte oversees athletic training services at St. John’s University. Linfonte is an innovator in the field of sports medicine and his tenure at St. John’s continues with over 31 years of experience. “We try our best to keep proper levels of medical coverage as well as making sure the staff is continually keeping up with the best and current medical practice,” Linfonte said.
The sports medicine team is committed to providing essential care athletes need. They administer evaluations, treatments and rehabilitation for each individual student-athlete. All sports are taken into consideration and unique programs are designed to ensure player health.
“We open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m., this provides non-stop assistance and keeps players ready to go. We provide physical therapy after grueling practices and games,” Linfonte said.
Taffner Field House and Carnesecca Arena are home to state-of-the-art treatment facilities. It is here that athletic trainers educate student-athletes with respect to injury-prevention, nutrition and psychological support in dealing with injuries.
The medical staff carries many responsibilities. They ensure the health and care of 17 NCAA Division I sports here on campus. “We try our best to prevent injury and apply therapeutic treatment for all of our athletes,” Linfonte stated.
Overall, the primary goal of the St. John’s sports medicine department is to return the athletes to their status before injury in the safest and most timely manner. This goal is achieved by a team of experts. The entire staff is certified by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and totals 50 combined years of athletic training experience.
Athletic training also partners with the Hospital for Special Surgery, located in New York City. It is here that major surgeries are performed by established physicians such as Osrik King, MD and Answorth Allen, MD.
“Arthroscopic surgery has brought athletes back quicker from injuries but athletes are not as durable as they used to be,” Linfonte added.
Also available through St. John’s sports medicine is an additional host of medical consultants, which aid athletes in cardiac, podiatric and chiropractic care. With every passing year, the medical staff continues to progress and innovate player health.
“We like to keep it loose, friendly and upbeat. All the athletes love my new staff and we take pride that they rely on us for 24/7 medical care,” Linfonte said.