Spine & Rehab Specialists September 2019


6358 EDGEMERE BLVD. EL PASO, TEXAS 79925 915-562-8525

1779 N. ZARAGOZA ST., SUITE A EL PASO, TEXAS 79936 915-855-6466

It’s not uncommon in family-owned businesses for one spouse, say the doctor, to work happily at their dream job while the other spouse doesn’t share the same passion for the field. At our clinic, that couldn’t be further from the truth. My wife, Bonnie, who runs the administrative side of our business, enjoys her work just as much as I do mine — and after 16 years of working together, I'd have a hard time managing Spine & Rehab Specialists without her. Bonnie and I met back in 1990 at the El Paso Orthopedic Surgery Group, the first clinic I worked at in El Paso. She had already been an athletic trainer there for four years, specializing in shoulders, knees, and ankles and doing essentially the same work as a PT. We had a really fun group of coworkers who regularly met up for a happy hour, and they introduced us. Soon, we realized we had a lot in common and became friends. MEET BONNIE! MY WONDERFUL WIFE AND BUSINESS PARTNER I ended up leaving town, but I always had Bonnie in the back of my mind, and, when I returned to El Paso in 1995, we start dating. By the time Spine & Rehab Specialists opened in 1997, things were getting serious, and in 2001 we got married. Two years later, Bonnie left El Paso Orthopedic Surgery Group and came to work for me, citing the same complaints I’d had: She was expected to see

between 35–40 patients a day and couldn’t give them the care they deserved. She’d also gone back to school to earn her master’s in health services management and human resource development and wanted a chance to test her new skills. Spine & Rehab Specialists was the perfect place for her to spread her wings. Bonnie’s athletic training career has a great backstory, and I’d like to let her tell it. When I asked her to share the reason behind her passion with you, here’s what she said. “My father was a sports fanatic, and, when I was growing up, he would work on Saturday, and my sister and I would stay home by ourselves. He would call us at 10 a.m. and tell us, ‘Turn the TV on and watch this game!’ We were 8 and 10 years old, and it was his way of getting us engaged. He would call us back for the score, so we knew we had to watch the game, and he knew we were safe inside. I grew up knowing the Oklahoma fight song even though I was from Texas!” That love of sports, a sharp mind, and a well-timed health class led Bonnie to a position as a high school student athletic trainer. She loved working with athletes, particularly football players. However, when it came time for college, she found most of the prestigious schools didn’t have football programs that would accommodate female trainers. “I couldn’t go to Notre Dame, and I couldn’t go to Alabama because the programs were divided,” Bonnie explains. “So, I went to New Mexico State. Now things are so different, but I think my generation of trainers paved

the way. We women 35 years ago worked so hard to make sure we did just as good a job as the men, and we were able to do it.” After pursuing athletic training for nearly 20 years, Bonnie now handles billing, hiring, and everything else related to HR at Spine & Rehab Specialists. She also teaches Intro to Athletic Training classes and assists in the DPT Modality Lab at the University of Texas, El Paso, a job that has helped her hand-pick our dedicated staff. “Most everyone who works in our clinic has been my student at one point or another,” she says. “If I didn’t get them in class as an undergrad, I got to know them in the modality lab.” When we’re not in the office, Bonnie loves to shop (a task I try to avoid as much as possible), and we spend as much time as possible traveling the world together. I’m hoping for many more years of work and play to come!

– Harry Koster

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