Living life to the XtremePosted: June 29, 2011
Robb Blackaby, PT, ’98, D.P.T, ’04, is always on the move. From being one of the first graduates of ASHS’ Physical Therapy program to serving as co-founder of a sports medicine business, he is always on the go and living life to the fullest.
As an independent contractor for Vans’ and ESPN’s X Games events, Dr. Blackaby’s resume included more than 50 national and international events from 1999-2010.
Atop his personal accomplishment list are events such as the 2002 Winter Olympics, Tony Hawk’s skateboard tour, Vans’ skateboarding and snowboarding competitions, X Games events, and trips to Canada, Italy, Japan, and Brazil to work with the U.S. pro and junior snowboarding team and Megaramp skateboard competitions.
Somewhere in between all of those events he also made time to travel as a physical therapist for PGA golfers in 2004.
In 2010, Dr. Blackaby’s life would take a fast turn as Tim Reed, vice president of X Games, asked if he had interest in coordinating medical services for X Games events.
“As one could imagine, I was excited but also knew what a great undertaking this would be,” he says. “It had been a goal of mine and my colleague, Clay Selby, PA-C, ATC, PA, ’08, to eventually start our own traveling sports medicine business.”
He and Selby reached their goal as they formed Medicine in Motion LLC (MIM) and accepted the offer to coordinate all facets of medical services for the Summer 2010 X Games.
MIM consists of Dr. Blackaby, who brings his physical and manual therapy skills to the table, and Selby, who works as a physician assistant. Both are certified athletic trainers, which they say is the backbone of their operation.
Dr. Blackaby and Selby have collaborated together for more than 10 years, all the while coordinating medical services for prestigious events.
“Our company goal and mission is to provide the highest level of care to the athletes by utilizing professionals from different backgrounds,” Dr. Blackaby says. “We believe we make a well rounded team because we share certain disciplines, yet also bring our own individual skill sets to the table.”
He made sure to use MIM staff at the 2010 Summer X Games. Approximately 30 staff members attended, representing certified athletic trainers, physical therapists, allopathic doctors, osteopathic doctors, physician assistants, and registered nurses. Three of MIM’s 30 staff members were also ATSU graduates, including Becca Rodriguez, D.O., ’06, Corey Hug, PT, ’99, and Matt Kee, PT, ’05.
Dr. Blackaby credits MIM’s success to his staff and their various professional backgrounds and plans to use the group’s extensive and diverse abilities to take his growing business to the next level.
“We are working primarily at action sports events – skateboarding, snowboarding, motocross, etc.,” he says. “We are looking forward to expanding our services to cover other sports and activities that typically don’t provide sports medicine coverage. We feel the future possibilities are endless!”
Dr. Blackaby’s to-do list is endless as well. MIM is tentatively scheduled to coordinate medical services for all X Games events, including the Summer and Winter X Games, and international events in Brazil, France, and China.
When he is not jet-setting, he and wife, Corrie, can be found at The Desert Institute of Physical Therapy Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., where they are owners. Or, he may be enjoying time with his children: 3-year-old Ciera, and baby Ethan. Or he may be teaching karate, skateboarding, golfing, surfing, snowboarding, or playing with his cat Ninja.
No matter what he might be doing at any given moment, one thing’s for certain – he’s living life to the extreme.
ASHS’ influence In 1995, Dr. Blackaby discovered that a new physical therapy program was opening in Arizona. The program’s reputable teaching staff, as well as the school’s use of advanced technology, impressed him and brought him to the newly opened Arizona School of Health Sciences. Two of its instructors helped chart his course.
Inspired by Sue Hillman, M.S., M.A., Human Anatomy director, during his undergraduate years, Dr. Blackaby says Hillman’s passion for athletic training influenced him to pursue sports medicine. Her emphasis on anatomy and biomechanics also helped him understand the injury process and corrective treatments.
Cheri Hodges, PT, D.P.T, OCS, FAAOMT, assistant professor, Physical Therapy, also helped pave Dr. Blackaby’s career path. As an orthopaedic evaluation and treatment instructor, Dr. Hodges was the reason he decided to pursue the manual therapy tract and become a certified functional manual therapist in 2005.