The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Special Report But for Ohio State Campaign

Innovating to peak performance

‘She knows how dancers think, how they live ... ’ — Dr. Christopher Kaeding

Hope Davis Coen

Trust and empathy come up a lot in conversations with Hope Davis-Coen, an athletic trainer at the Jameson Crane Sports Medicine Institute.

The institute matches the experiences and interests of its physical therapists, athletic trainers and other specialists with those of elite athletes and weekend warriors alike. In many instances, runners care for runners, swimmers care for swimmers and, in the case of Davis-Coen, a dancer cares for dancers.

“She knows how dancers think, how they live and the issues they face,” said Dr. Christopher Kaeding, the Judson D. Wilson Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and executive director of sports medicine for Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center.

The Crane Institute combines the medical, academic and rehabilitation programs tied to sports medicine under one roof.

“We wanted to put all those skill sets together to maximize our clinical care, research and education related to sports medicine,” Kaeding said. “This center is unique in the country.”

One reason: Its specialists often share the activities and concerns of their patients.

Davis-Coen danced from childhood through her college years. Along the way, she battled one injury after another. When she works today in the field of “dance medicine” with professionals at Columbus’ BalletMet or students in the Department of Dance, she can honestly tell her clients she’s been there.

“Her experience makes a difference,” said BalletMet dancer Michael Sayre, “because many of our pains and injuries come from movements and activities that a non-dancer might not understand.”

The relationship between Davis-Coen and Sayre exemplifies the institute’s approach, which is built on trust and empathy.

“I speak the language and know the demands dancers place on their bodies,” Davis-Coen said. “People are very quick to sideline a dancer due to injury. I try to find a way to keep them connected in a healthy way to what makes them happy.”

The institute’s specialists — surgeons, nurses, physical therapists, athletic trainers, nutritionists, sports psychologists and more — are organized into teams that work with specific populations or issues.

Meanwhile, the institute trains tomorrow’s physicians and other specialists with rotations, classes, workshops and surgical skills. Four research and performance labs are equipped with the latest tools to study neuromuscular training and other topics. And a third of the space is devoted to National Institutes of Health and industry-funded research.

“Not only are we able to provide leading-edge clinical care for Heisman Trophy winners and average Joes,” Kaeding said, “but we have the entire spectrum of learners coming through here: students, residents and fellows.”

The institute is named for Jameson “Jim” Crane ’47. More than 30 family members contributed to making the institute a reality.

“Our family is intrinsically tied to Ohio State, and we are thrilled to be able to make this contribution to enhance the great work of sports medicine,” Crane said.