Athletico: Volunteering for a Better Quality of Life

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TOP ‘TEER was established in 2012, and with input from dozens of local nonprofits, we have been able to recognize local businesses and offices who have volunteered to make the community a better place. Some of the nonprofits inclue ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, Clearbrook, and HandsOn Suburban Chicago.

Athletico Physical Therapy, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, has built its business by providing more than 40 specialty rehabilitation, outreach and fitness services.

“We look for opportunities that fall within our mission of using sports, physical activity and health care in providing to those in need,” explained Payten Gerjerts, Manager of Athletic Training Services at Athletico.

TOP ’TEER decided to honor Athletico Physical Therapy as a leader in employee volunteering for 2013 because of its success in helping community groups make their community and the world a healthier and better place.Athletico

Gerjerts described the Athletico EVP’s initiatives:

  • Global Medical Brigades: “We support employees going to Honduras to participate in a health care brigade for those in need.”
  • Girls in the Game: “We provide volunteers with their ‘Game Days,’ which is an opportunity to teach young girls about sports and how they can participate in middle and high school.”
  • Chicago Hornets Sled Hockey: “We raise funds and volunteer in a charity sled hockey game.”
  • Share Your Soles: “We do an annual shoe drive at each of our clinics and corporate offices. Each of our 70-plus clinics participates in collecting shoes.”
  • Operation Walk: “We support a volunteer or two to go to Nepal and provide physical therapy services to those who receive hip replacements.”
  • Annual Volunteer Day: “We have used this day to beautify inner-city schools in Chicago and volunteer at local food pantries.”
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters: “We have served as volunteer mentors to youth in need, and we talk with them about the importance of exercise, staying active and healthy. In addition, we raised over $150,000 via our signature fundraising event, Bowl For Kids’ Sake.”

There are several ways that an employee volunteering program can help your business, said Carol Czaplicki, Athletico’s Director of Marketing. They include:

  • Showcase Your Strength: “We have a lot of great educational content that allows people to learn how to prevent injuries. Through our partnership/relationships with community organizations, we can get the word out on how to prevent injuries and remind people that Athletico is a resource for orthopedic injuries and wellness. The relationships we have with charitable and community organizations allows us to showcase our expertise.”
  • Extend Your Influence: “Partnering with community leaders has allowed us to be a trusted resource for them and as influencers within their respective communities; they feel confident in referring their constituents to Athletico.”
  • Grassroots Effort: “Our company started grassroots and continues in that manner to build our brand.  We want everyone to know that we are here for them in case of injuries. We also want people to know about physical therapy as a whole and the benefits of it because it is still somewhat of an unknown industry.”

“The rehabilitation profession is one built on helping individuals achieve a better quality of life,” Czaplicki said, “so it makes sense to facilitate ways for our staff to extend their time and talents to the communities where we live and work.”

TopTeer_Logo_2013_FAbout TOP ’TEER
TOP ’TEER is an annual designation that celebrates Chicago’s small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and offices that have made the greatest local volunteering impact in their communities. These companies have developed structured and sustainable employee volunteer programs that encourage employees to be the best volun’teers they can be. Teer1 established the TOP ’TEER distinction to applaud and endorse these programs and to discover and champion the best of their best practices. For more information, visit

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