Big Sky Sports Medicine conference is June 14-15

St. James Healthcare’s Montana Sports Medicine Program will host the 14th Annual Big Sky Sports Medicine conference June 14-15 at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.

This year’s conference topic is “Comprehensive Review of the Knee,” and includes programming on the evaluation, management, prevention, and rehabilitation of the knee.

Dr. Nick DiGiovine, conference chairperson, is a nationally recognized expert in the field of sports medicine.  DiGiovine serves locally as both the medical director of the Montana Sports Medicine Program and team physician for Montana Tech of the University of Montana.  He also serves as a team consultant for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he is a former Steelers team physician.

DiGiovine said that the conference provides high-quality, medical education for health care providers in the region.

“Medicine changes so rapidly that continuing medical education for all healthcare providers is essential,” DiGiovine said.

One of the features of this regional conference, which makes it unique, is that it offers high-quality education at a more convenient, inexpensive venue.

“Most local health care professionals would have to travel outside of the state at considerable expense and time to get comparable continuing education,” he said.

The conference will feature prominent sports medicine experts from across Montana and the nation.

“We’re glad to welcome back Dr. Rusty Linton, who has been with us at all of our conferences,” DiGiovine said.  Linton is an Orthopedic Surgeon at the Columbus Orthopedic Clinic in Columbus, Miss. and the Team Orthopedic Surgeon for Mississippi State University.

“Dr. Linton was recently recognized as the 2012 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Team Physician of the Year,” DiGiovine said.

Also returning, is Ariko Iso, MA, ATC, head certified athletic trainer for football at Oregon State University.

“She was the first female athletic trainer in the NFL and with the Pittsburgh Steelers,” DiGiovine said.  “We’re also glad to welcome first time speaker, Dr. Peter Indelicato, an internationally famous orthopedic sports medicine physician who has previously served as head team physician for the University of Florida Gators and the Miami Dolphins.”

Special educational opportunities at the conference include live surgical demonstrations of state-of-the-art knee surgery conducted on cadaver knees..

“These cadavers provide a unique opportunity for the participants to learn about anatomy and witness actual surgical demonstrations. The cadavers are generously provided by Pacific Medical, one of our long-time conference sponsors,” DiGiovine said.

The regional conference offers 10.5 hours of continuing education units (CEUs) and typically brings in more than 100 medical professionals from across the Northwest and Canada, said Holly Ferguson, director of the Montana Sports Medicine Program said.

Attendance at the conference is limited to 150 on a first-come basis. The registration deadline is June 7.

Ferguson said that limiting the number of participants allows attendees greater access to presenters and a higher quality educational experience than larger, national conference venues.

“That personal interaction is a major plus for this conference,” Ferguson said.

For more information or to register for the conference, call (406) 723-2540 or (406) 490-5605, or email

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