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Healthy Roster provides patient engagement, care coordination, telemedicine and outreach tools for Sports Medicine, Orthopedics and other medical specialties. We enable patients to communicate with providers, reducing communication gaps, phone tag, and readmissions. Use with Home Health & SNF’s to manage CJR and Cardiac bundled payments.


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Nutrition Tips for Injured Athletes

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Nutrition Tips for Injured Athletes

On Tuesday, February 19, Healthy Roster is partnering with My Sports Dietician / Eat to Win for a live webinar on whether or not young athletes should use supplements like creatine. Register here for a FREE webinar - Supplement Use and Young Athletes: Is Creatine Safe? Since we were already thinking about sports nutrition, we decided to research nutrition tips for injured athletes.

In a perfect world, every injured athlete would have access to an athletic trainer and a sports dietician. Unfortunately, many athletes don’t have access to both resources, so athletic trainers must often be knowledgeable in many areas - including proper nutrition for injured athletes.

While the post-injury rehabilitation process can often feel long and frustrating to an athlete who’s eager to get back on the field, there are a lot of steps you can take to ensure an efficient recovery. One of the most important things to consider is diet. Nutrition, along with proper physical therapy and an appropriate training regimen, is a key element of the recovery process. Here are six tips to consider when developing your post-injury nutrition plan.

Adjust calorie, protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake

All athletes should plan and monitor their energy intake before, during, and after their activity. When injured, however, you should recognize that the change in your exercise regimen, as well as your body’s process of building and repairing muscle, will affect the amount of calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat that you should be consuming. Exact adjustments will obviously depend on the individual athlete and the nature of the injury, so you should consult with a sports nutritionist to develop a personal plan. That said some basic things to keep in mind are:

  • An increase in protein intake will help support tissue recovery and repair, as well as rebuild muscle lost during immobilization.

  • While caloric needs will generally decrease during immobilization, you will need to increase your intake again as you enter the rehabilitation phase to support strength training. Additionally, a small weight gain can help when rebuilding muscle.

  • Carbohydrate intake should be lowered to avoid excessive weight gain.

  • Fats such as omega-3’s are essential for the healing process.

Consume nutrient-dense foods

Certain vitamins and minerals are crucial to the recovery process. Vitamin C and zinc, for instance, assist with wound healing and optimizing immune functions, while vitamin A aids in cell growth and development, and vitamin D and calcium support bone health. Therefore, when developing your nutrition plan, you should include a variety of nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, rice, beans, and whole-grain breads and pasta. These will distribute a high dose of important micronutrients to your organs and tissues as they recover. It’s also important to maintain a healthy intake of fluids to aid in the delivery of these nutrients.

Avoid healing inhibitors

Seeking out healthy foods is essential to recovery. Equally as important is avoiding those foods that can interfere with your healing. While most athletes know to limit their intake of fried or fatty foods, added sugars, and concentrated sweets, these foods can be even more damaging while you’re immobile and your body is repairing and rebuilding muscle. You should also keep your alcohol intake to a minimum. Alcohol is one of the worst things you can consume as an injured athlete: it dehydrates you, interferes with recovery and muscle rebuilding, and negatively affects your hormone behavior and vitamin function. On top of all of that, it makes you crave exactly those types of foods you should be avoiding. So as tempting as a cold beer might seem while an adult athlete is off the field for awhile, try to stick to water throughout your recovery.

Seek psychological support

Athletes are rightfully passionate about their sports. But because they often define their self-identity and measure their self-esteem against their performance, being sidelined for an extended period of time can put them at risk for psychological distress. The Journal of Athletic Training has even developed a scale that “measures the psychological readiness of injured athletes to return to sport participation.” What does this have to do with nutrition? The decrease in confidence and increase in anxiety about returning to the field of play that an athlete experiences can lead to food cravings and a reliance on food for comfort. Obviously, such cravings can seriously hamper one’s physical recovery, so athletes who find themselves feeling down while injured shouldn’t hesitate to seek help from mental health professionals.

Utilize a nutrition app

One of the benefits of being an athlete in today’s digital age is the availability of apps to aid in your training and recovery. (*ahem*, have you by any chance heard of Healthy Roster?) Nutrition apps are particularly popular, and while the sheer abundance of choices might feel overwhelming, we don’t hesitate in recommending Eat 2 Win Nutrition. Not only does the app provide customized meal plans and calorie counters for more than 12,000 restaurants, but it allows its users to join a community of nutrition-minded athletes who support each other through accountability and motivate one another through competition. By allowing its users to build a support network of nutrition monitors, Eat 2 Win has positioned itself as the ideal nutrition-tracking app for athletes, coaches, parents, dieticians, and athletic trainers.

Avoid quick-fix recoveries

We get it — being on the sidelines is the worst. You understandably want to suit back up as quickly as possible, but one of the hardest things to accept is the fact that most recoveries take time. There aren’t any magical, quick-fix options, so you should be wary of any products that market themselves as such. For example, oral proteolytic enzymes are often advertised as a speedy recovery solution. While they have been linked to decreased inflammation and other health benefits, there is no indication they accelerate healing past the rate of standard treatment. So if you do get injured, your best course of action is to accept that your recovery will be a gradual process, consult with an athletic trainer and nutritionist, and follow their recommended plans to ready yourself for gameplay. You’ll be back on the field (or court, or ice, or mat) in no time!

Want to limit your chance of injury in the first place? Stay safe this winter by checking out our cold-weather guide to injury prevention!

5 Things You Should Know About Ice Hockey Injuries

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Ice Hockey Injuries

5 Things You Should Know

As the month of February kicks off, ice hockey teams across all levels are entering the latter halves of their season, many of them gearing up for a high-energy playoff run. Given the sport’s incredibly fast pace and frequent body contact, the increased intensity during this time of year can put players at a higher risk for getting hurt. With this in mind, we’re taking a look at some of the most important concepts to understand regarding hockey’s common injuries.

Read through these to ensure that once the puck drops, you’re well prepared for whatever the hockey gods throw your way.

  1. Game Versus Practice

    Even though games account for only 23 percent of all collegiate athlete exposures (AE) — defined as a single player participating in a single game or practice, 65 percent of all hockey injuries occur during game time. Another way to look at this is that injuries occur roughly six times as often in games as in practice.

    To understand why this is, one must consider the violent nature of the sport when played at full intensity. Top hockey athletes can skate at speeds of up to 30 mph and shoot the puck upwards of 100 mph. While penalties prohibit players from certain physical behaviors (e.g. directing contact with their elbows, hitting players from behind), using one’s body to check another player, either at open ice or into the boards, is generally legal — and these sorts of collisions account for more than 50 percent of all injuries. Finally, compared to other contact sports such as football or wrestling, hockey sees few stoppages in play. With all of this in mind, it’s easy to understand why players are much more likely to be injured amid the speed and aggression of game play than at a controlled practice.

  2. Variation

    While there are common injuries that routinely occur across all leagues and levels, some variation can be seen as well. For instance, goalies report lower injury rates (2.7 per 1000 AE) than forwards and defensemen (five per 1000 AE), and among the latter, studies show that forwards have a 2.1 times increased risk of concussion. There are considerable differences between genders as well, with men seeing higher rates of injury across all level of play. (It’s important to remember that, even at the professional level, women are not allowed to body check while men are) However, concussions account for a higher percentage of injuries in women’s hockey (17 percent versus eight percent), while men see a higher rate of upper-body injuries. Finally, there has also been some reported variation across styles of play. While European hockey is heavily focused on maintaining possession, Americans favor a “dump-and-chase” style, in which the attacking team shoots the puck into the offensive zone and skates after it at full speed — a style which can put players at a higher risk for dangerous collisions. It’s important that players understand the way in which their style, position, and gender affect their disposition to certain injuries.

  3. Concussions

    Given hockey’s high level of contact, it’s no surprise that concussions represent the most common injury across all levels, accounting for 18.6 percent of all injuries, as well as the second-most amount of time lost from practice or games. At the collegiate level, concussions are more common in women’s hockey, representing 22 percent of game injuries and 13 percent of practice injuries.

    Lacerations also contribute to the high occurrence of injuries to the head and face. However, leagues have taken considerable measures to decrease this, from penalizing contact to the head to requiring players up to the collegiate level to wear full face masks. Regardless, with the amount of concussions and other head injuries, it’s essential for athletic trainers, players, and coaches to understand how to recognize and treat these conditions.

  4. Body Checking

    As we mentioned before, it’s hockey’s uniquely fast play and high rate of body collisions that contribute to many of its injuries. For instance, the acromioclavicular (AC) joint sprain, which accounts for 59 percent of all shoulder injuries, occurs more often once male players reach the age in which they’re allowed to body check. Especially when hit into the boards (legally), players who are checked often have their AC joint placed in a position to absorb a lot of force.

    Because of this, body checking has received much of the focus with regard to injury prevention in recent years, particularly in youth hockey. For instance, in 2011, USA Hockey increased the level of play at which body checking was allowed from Pee Wee (11-12 years old) to Bantam (13-14). Despite arguments that kids should learn to check “properly” at a young age, the rules change was followed by a 20 percent decrease in overall injury, with 23 percent drop in fractures and a 41 percent decrease in internal organ damage.

  5. Unique Injuries

    Ice hockey’s setting and style puts its players at a predisposition for certain injuries not as common in other sports. For example, the unique athletic movement involved in skating places demands on the pelvis and hip that can be difficult to manage if the player has suffered a past injury to their adductor or has inadequate adduction strength. As such players transition from one leg to the other during a stride, the loss of pelvic control can lead to a groin strain — one of the most frequently occurring ice hockey injuries. Also distinctive to the sport is the syndesmosis injury, or “high ankle sprain.” Hockey skates are stiff enough to support one’s ankle, but the combination of one’s elevation off the ice (due to the skate blade) and the high speeds and quick directional changes while skating can leave the lower leg just above the ankle at risk for rotational injury.

Athletic Trainer Twitter Roundup: January 2019

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Athletic Trainers are healthcare professionals with many talents - including being incredibly Twitter savvy. We compiled some of the best athletic training tweets from this January for your retweeting pleasure.

AT Twitter kicked off 2019 with some wise New Years Resolutions…

…and celebrated the connections athletic trainers make with their athletes.

We learned the ABCs of athletic training…

…and used gifs to describe #ATLife.

ATs took to Twitter to remind us all about the value of the profession…

…along with showing off their eye for aesthetically pleasing (and on brand) desk arrangements:

@Lego_ATC continued to be one of the greatest corners of the internet:

Athletic trainers took the latest memes and Twitter trends and made them their own.

Probably most importantly, a great group of athletic trainers from around the country gathered in Texas in January for the annual NATA Joint Committee Meeting to collaborate and brainstorm about the future of the athletic training profession. If you missed it, don’t worry! The ATs in attendance took to Twitter to inform and motivate the rest of us on how to “own your impact” as an athletic trainer:

What are your favorite Athletic Training Tweets? Let us know in the comments below and tag us @healthyroster on Twitter!

All Star Athletic Trainer: Dave Rauch

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All Star Athletic Trainer

Dave Rauch, MS, AT: University Hospitals Sports Medicine, Valley Forge High School

Dave Rauch has been an athletic trainer longer than his current student-athletes at Valley Forge High School in Parma Heights, Ohio have been alive. For the past 22 years, Dave has treated, comforted and educated student-athletes, along with promoting the athletic training profession across Ohio and the nation. Dave works with University Hospitals Sports Medicine in Cleveland and received his BS in Athletic Training from Wilmington College of Ohio and his MS in Sports Administration at Austin Peay State University.

Currently serving as the Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Vice President for Inter-Association Affairs, Dave is active in the athletic training world. In 2016, Dave was awarded the NATA Service Award and he has also received the Valley Forge PTA’s Helping Hands award for his care of the Valley Forge High School athletes.

Dave is a man who cares deeply about his profession and even more so for the athletes he takes care of. We’re very fortunate to have Dave as a user of our platform because not only is he diligent with his work, but passionate as well. That’s something we could all strive for regardless of profession.
— Dan Fronczak, Healthy Roster President

As a Healthy Roster provider user, Dave stands out for his ability to document everything. In fact, Dave was the most engaged Healthy Roster provider nationwide in December 2018! Dan Fronczak, President of Healthy Roster, had this to say about Dave:

“Dave is a man who cares deeply about his profession and even more so for the athletes he takes care of. We're very fortunate to have Dave as a user of our platform because not only is he diligent with his work, but passionate as well. That's something we could all strive for regardless of profession.”

To hear from Dave himself about his experiences in the athletic training field, check out his responses below:

Why did you become an Athletic Trainer? I have always enjoyed sports and helping others.  What Athletic Training is is the perfect opportunity. Yes, it is a challenge at times, but it is rewarding seeing athletes and patients return to play or activities they love to do. I could never play sports so I chose a career to help others.  I am happy to say I've been an AT 22 years.

Without sharing any PHI of course, what is your most memorable moment as an Athletic Trainer?  In general, seeing an athlete/patient through the entire process of an injury - dealing with the injury by directing them to the proper physician then working with them on rehab (physically, emotionally, and personally.)  Also, building relationships with the athlete and their family. Sometimes these carry over into adulthood. Having athletes that I cared for years ago reaching out to catch up. Also, having former athletes and student aides go into the profession.    

What advice would you give others, either in the profession or considering becoming an Athletic Trainer? Understand Athletic Training is demanding but rewarding at the same time.  Get involved with your state association and build a strong network. Be honest and seek help when stuck. Talk and listen to the seasoned AT's. Find the venue you enjoy working in and go for it. Athletic Trainers need to show our value, so document everything.

“Athletic Trainers are Healthcare Providers...AT’s are at the front line of caring for the athlete.”
— Dave Rauch, MS, AT

What do you feel people outside of your profession should know about Athletic Trainers? Athletic Trainers are Healthcare Providers.  AT's work in collaboration with a physician. We do more than hand out water and tape ankles.  Athletic Training is moving to a Master Entry Level program. All AT's have passed a National Board of Certification exam. 49/50 states have licensure, registration, or certification. AT's are at the front line of caring for the athlete.  

What is the key to being successful in Athletic Training? Know your limits, but challenge yourself. Step out of your comfort zone.  Be involved in the profession. Remember it is more than "just a job" - it is a lifelong profession.

Thanks, Dave, for all you do!

Tips for Staying Safe and Active in the Winter

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Staying Safe and Active in the Winter

The cold season might have gotten off to a slow start, but given the chilly temperatures and intense snowfall that tore across the Midwest and the Northeast this past weekend, it’s safe to say — winter is here. But that doesn’t mean that you have to put a freeze on your training as well. Even though the days are shorter and the weather is nastier, you can still enjoy an active exercise regimen throughout the winter; you just have to take a few extra precautions to help reduce your risk of injury. Here are a few tips for staying safe until the spring!

Layer Up

Being outside in cold weather puts your body at risk for both hypothermia (a decrease in core temperature) and frostbite (freezing of body tissue). Thus, it’s imperative that you make proper clothing choices before you head out the door. Layering is key when it comes to winter attire, as it allows you to stay comfortable as your body heat rises. Rather than burrowing inside a bulky winter jacket, you should dress in a few layers of lightweight, synthetic material (always avoid cotton, as it will stay cold and damp as you sweat) Then, if you find yourself getting overheated during your workout, you can always shed a layer or two. Additionally, be sure to wear a hat, gloves, and warm socks to protect your extremities, and always pack an extra set of dry clothes.  

Warm Up Properly

To be sure, a proper warm-up should always be an essential part of your workout. Even if you play a winter sport (such as basketball or wrestling) that takes place in a temperature-controlled gymnasium, you can reduce your risk of high-incidence injuries with an active dynamic warm-up. But warming up is even more important when you face a chillier environment. Why? When the temperature drops, your body has to work harder to perform the same tasks, and this can cause your joints and muscles grow stiff. Not only can this make you more sore, but the lack of elasticity can put you at a greater risk for injury. Therefore, you should always start out with at least 10 minutes of stretching and exercises to loosen your muscles and increase your body’s temperature. Click here for more info on designing your dynamic warm-up.


You get thirsty when it’s hot out, so you should be fine leaving your water bottle at home in the winter, right? Think again! In fact, studies have shown an increased risk for dehydration in cold weather. Not only do our bodies work and sweat harder under the extra clothing, but we also lose more water to respiratory fluid loss than we would in warm weather. Additionally, our body adapts to the cold air by sending less blood to the extremities (hence, why our fingers and toes get so chilly) in an attempt to maintain core temperature. That warm blood in our core region can then lead to increased urine production which, in turn, contributes to dehydration. All of this is to say that it’s just as important to stay hydrated in the winter, even if you don’t feel as thirsty. So bring extra fluids and, if possible, cover your mouth and nose to decrease respiratory fluid loss.

Take Precautions

One of the most effective ways to prevent a winter athletic injury is to be prepared. In addition to what we’ve already covered (proper attire, warming up, hydration), this means understanding the particular dangers involved with your activity and knowing how to reduce those risks. Our friends at Children’s Hospital Colorado have compiled a helpful preparation guide for those looking to have some winter fun, so be sure to check it out before you go lace up the ice skates or pull the toboggan out of the shed. Finally, always be sure you understand the warning signs for serious exposure conditions. Though a trip to the ER for hypothermia might kill the high of your workout, it’s certainly better than letting it go untreated.

Now that you’re properly prepared, there’s nothing standing in between you and a wonderful winter workout!