Ensuring the well-being of student-athletes

UCHealth nurse practitioner volunteers skills to Estes Park High School
Feb. 17, 2016

Curtis Weibel can be seen on the sidelines of almost every Estes Park High School game. He is a devoted parent of a high school athlete, but that’s not why he’s been there for more than two decades. He’s there to ensure the well-being of his community’s student athletes.

Estes Park High School Perry Black Training Center
Curtis Weibel, certified family nurse practitioner at UCHealth’s Timberline Medical, af the Perry Black Training Center. Photo by Joel Blocker, for UCHealth.

For 24 years, Weibel has been the school district’s athletic trainer, providing free services at games and sometimes up to 10 hours a week in the school’s training center.

“His willingness to give time to our athletic program, students, athletes and coaches is incredible,” said Jeff Collins, the school district’s athletic director.

As a certified family nurse practitioner, Weibel cares for about 1,600 patients at UCHealth’s Primary Care Clinic – Estes Park. That’s his full-time job, but as a former high school coach, he has a passion for helping youth.

Curtis Weibel, a certified family nurse practitioner at UCHealth’s Timberline Medical, has been the Estes Park High School athletic trainer free of charge for 24 years. Photo by Joel Blocker, for UCHealth.

“I want these students to excel and be healthy,” he said.

To aid the mission, Weibel created and now staffs the Perry Black Training Center at the high school. While the school district provides the space, a community-wide fundraising effort collected between $60,000 and $80,000 to equip the room with rubber flooring, mirrors, weights and machines — making it a Division II-caliber sports facility.

“When I hire coaches, I make sure they get in and see that weight room,” Collins said. “It’s a big recruiting tool for us and an incredible space for our kids. Based on my experience in schools this size and enrollment, this training room is as good as it comes.”

And Weibel turned the former closet-sized weight room into a treatment room fully equipped with three taping tables, electrical stimulation ultrasound, cryotherapy treatment capabilities and a college-grade scale capable of measuring fat percentage.

“I can’t speak enough on how extremely thankful we are to have Curt,” Collins said. “The other evening, a student-athlete rolled his ankle, and instead of having to wait until the next day, the coach texted Curt and he came over and saw him right away.”

taping athlete
UCHealth nurse practitioner Curtis Weibel provides Estes Park High School with free trainer services because he cares about the well-being of his community’s young athletes. Photo by Joel Blocker, for UCHealth.

Weibel has found other ways to offer up his skills to the school as well.

About three years ago, he created an evening outreach sports medicine class. This year, the program became part of the district’s curriculum and one of the most popular classes for high school students.

The class was created for high-achieving students interested in premedicine, he said.

In the first few days, students learn and are certified in CPR and first aid. They then go on to be introduced to areas such as acupuncture, chiropractic and concussion detection. Local medical professions are involved, and the students take field trips, including a visit to the cadaver lab at a Longmont funeral home.

“I do this because I enjoy working with high school athletes,” Weibel said. “And I want them to be healthy so they can perform at an optimal level.”

About the author

Kati Blocker has always been driven to learn and explore the world around her. And every day, as a writer for UCHealth, Kati meets inspiring people, learns about life-saving technology, and gets to know the amazing people who are saving lives each day. Even better, she gets to share their stories with the world.

As a journalism major at the University of Wyoming, Kati wrote for her college newspaper. She also studied abroad in Swansea, Wales, while simultaneously writing for a Colorado metaphysical newspaper.

After college, Kati was a reporter for the Montrose Daily Press and the Telluride Watch, covering education and health care in rural Colorado, as well as city news and business.

When she's not writing, Kati is creating her own stories with her husband Joel and their two young children.