Happiest Place on Earth One of the Healthiest Places to Work
Athletic Trainers and Physical Therapists from St. Joseph Hospital Team Up with Disney Cast Members to Improve Fitness Conditioning and Health
ORANGE, Calif. (October 27, 2009) – It not only takes a special personality but exceptional physical endurance to be an entertainment Cast Member at the Disneyland Resort, and thanks to an athletic trainer program, through a partnership with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, the “Happiest Place on Earth” is one of the healthiest places to work.
Performers in the Resort’s entertainment division are not the only Cast Members (all Resort employees are referred to as Cast Members) who enjoy the benefits of the athletic trainer program. The program gives all of the Resort’s 20,000 Cast Members access to athletic trainers who develop preventative injury programs that are implemented through-out the Resort. The program found its roots with the entertainment division nearly 15 years ago, and is one of a number of integrated efforts that have helped to decrease entertainment injuries by one-half over the past 10 years.
St. Joseph Hospital rehabilitation therapists work on site evaluating and treating Cast Members with acute work related injuries. In addition, job site assessments may be performed to evaluate Cast Members and their work areas to review body mechanics and provide tips on how they can perform their work duties safely.
St. Joseph Hospital athletic trainers are found in numerous locations around the Resort, providing on site interventions in which Cast Members learn how to prevent injuries through proper ergonomics and physical conditioning.
Cast Member Sarah Kobayashi, a performer in “Disney’s Aladdin- A Musical Spectacular” at Disney’s California Adventure Park, is constantly encouraging other dancers to prevent injuries by exercising.
“Most companies that have on-site certified athletic trainers limit their services to performers only and the great thing about Disneyland is that everyone from stage technicians to consumers are able to get one-on-one care,” says Kobayashi. Plus, all Cast Members — from food service, to custodial and to entertainment – have access to the Resort’s athletic trainers.
There are currently 22 athletic trainers at the Disneyland Resort, 15 on the entertainment team, six on the operations team, and an athletic training coordinator who, along with the Resort’s safety team, oversees the program with support from physical and occupational therapists.
“It takes an entire team of athletic trainers to take care of all of the Cast Members at the Resort,” says Janay Coleman, a parade dancer. “They help us avoid injuries. There’s always someone nearby to make sure I’m okay and they’re even there to assist us with nutrition guidance.”