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October 7, 2020 - TCO

TCO Foundation: 2019 Annual Report

2019 was a banner year for the Twin Cities Orthopedics Foundation.

Thanks to our dedicated Board, staff, and supporters, who volunteer their time and donate generously, the Foundation was able to support more of its goals than ever before, with minimal overhead expense.

We stayed true to our mission by advancing musculoskeletal health through community service, orthopedic research, education and training, and made a difference in more people’s lives than ever before.

This Annual Report describes the work done last year and serves as an inspiration for the years to come. View the full publication below.

TCO Foundation 2019 Annual Report: Digital Version

TCO Foundation 2019 Annual Report

Highlight: 2019 Medical Mentorship Program

Established by the TCO Foundation in 2016, the Medical Mentorship Program was created to expose interested students to the medical field as well as provide mentorship along their educational and career journeys.

2019 featured a class of six students from a variety of schools in Minneapolis. On average, the students were able to observe 40 hours of medical care, working with numerous TCO healthcare professionals, including nurses, physical therapists and physicians.

At the end of the program, 5 of the 6 students confirmed their interest in medicine and will be working toward their medical-based education,” said Adam Bakker, MD, who leads this program. “We have also been in contact with students from previous years and are thrilled to see the progress they are making.”

The Medical Mentorship Program aims to provide longitudinal mentorship and communication beginning as high school seniors and into college, graduate programs and finally into each student’s desired occupation.

“We’ve all had help getting to our destination in the medical field,” Dr. Bakker said. “It feels good to give back, and help guide the next generation.”

Upon completion of the program, the TCO Foundation is able to provide financial support for each student’s education through a $1,000 college scholarship.

Highlight: Adopt an Athletic Training Program

With just weeks before the start of practice, Robbinsdale Cooper football coach Willie Howard was beginning to worry. After another successful season in 2018, more players than ever were interested in taking the field for the Hawks. The only problem — there weren’t enough helmets and shoulder pads to go around. But Howard wasn’t about to turn players away.

“Football prepares you to be a better human being,” said Howard, a former Minnesota Viking who has transformed the program since taking over in 2010. “I will never cut a player because if you’re not out on that field, it’s hard for me to make sure you’re around the right mentors.”

Facing budgetary constraints, Howard was looking for a Hail Mary, and he found one in the TCO Foundation. To make sure every athlete who wanted to play could, the TCO Foundation donated enough money to purchase 40 helmets and 40 pairs of shoulder pads, all top-of-the-line.

“TCO really came through in the clutch,” Howard said. “By having this top-notch equipment, it not only fulfilled a need, it ensured we keep our players as safe as possible, which is the most important thing. On top of that, it actually inspired even more players to come out and play. It’s kind of like Field of Dreams. If you build it, they will come.”

2019 was supposed to be a “down year” for the Hawks after graduating some of their stars from the year before. However, Howard says TCO’s generosity helped sparked their run to a 4th straight Section Championship game.

“It gave us confidence and motivation,” Howard said. “Our kids were able to see that people believe in us and support us. That’s a big thing for a community like ours. TCO took away some of the barriers we face, and we couldn’t ask for a better partner.”

Highlight: Impact Concussion Testing

Twin Cities Orthopedics is proud to be a sports medicine leader in the community. The TCO Foundation helps support this role by making it possible to ensure student-athletes & youth athletes alike have access to ImPACT concussion testing through generous financial support. This ensures athletes who sustain a concussion injury are able to receive the best possible care.

The TCO Foundation’s contribution makes over 3,000 ImPACT baseline & post-injury concussion tests possible for local high schools and youth sports organizations.

“Support from the TCO Foundation allows the Sport Concussion Program to provide comprehensive care for our patients who have sustained a concussion injury,” said TCO Concussion Program Coordinator Chris Ashton MS, LAT, ATC. “The ImPACT test is such an important tool in the assessment of these injuries, and it ensures safe return to sport activity for a complex injury where there is no x-ray or MRI to do the same.”

Developed at the University of Pittsburgh in the late 1990s and released broadly in 2002, ImPACT is an FDA-cleared concussion assessment aid and stands for “immediate post-concussion assessment and cognitive testing” and is a collection of neurocognitive assessments administered online in a controlled environment. Baseline and post-injury testing are used to help determine if a student-athletes can safely return to play.

Tests include assessment of post-concussion symptoms, verbal and visual memory, visual motor speed, and reaction time and is an important tool for TCO physicians and athletic trainers to treat patients who have sustained a concussion. The TCO Foundation’s financial support makes it possible to complete the baseline tests.

With more than 19 million tests administered since 2002, almost 17,000 health care providers trained in using ImPACT for concussion care, and over 580 peer reviewed research articles on concussion treatment to date, this platform is the most widely used and researched neurocognitive test for concussion from youth to professional sport.


Please donate and help us do more, together, in 2020. We encourage you to visit our updated website at for more information, pictures, and a user-friendly DONATE button if you wish to contribute online.