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Athletes, artists shine at annual Anatomy of Sports

By Paul Bello, National Museum of Health and Medicine

SILVER SPRING, Md. - Art and sport blended together recently as the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) held its fourth annual Anatomy of Sports program Aug. 22, 2015. The program pairs medical illustrators with athletes in an effort to educate the public on the inner workings of the human body.

As in previous years, attendees were intrigued by the level of activity taking place on the front lawn of the museum. New to the program this year was U.S. Army Sgt. Ryan McIntosh, a wounded warrior and member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program. McIntosh lost his right leg below the knee as a result of an IED blast in Afghanistan in 2010.

Not long after completing rehabilitation at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, McIntosh started competing in track and field events, including javelin. He took home an Invictus Games bronze medal in 2014 in the men's 100m for lower limb dysfunction or amputation race. He remains active in the Army's basketball program for wounded warriors and at one time even played on its softball team.

He encouraged kids to be positive and to set goals for themselves, whether athletically or academically. Most importantly, he said the word "limitation" is just that, a word.

"Not having my right leg means I just need to try a little harder at things. That's all," McIntosh told a group of kids gathered next to the illustration tent for runners. "I don't see anything different as before. Anything you can do, I still try and do."

Kellyn Hoffman, who goes by the name of "Jean Rot'n Bury" when pairing with her fellow DC Roller Girls, was another new face at this year's program. She joined a handful of her teammates, who were attending as a group for the first time.

"We're involved in a full-contact sport, so wearing a helmet, knee and elbow pads is crucial," Hoffman said. "We're excited to be here. Explaining how we use our leg and core muscles, as well as the overall importance of physical safety, to kids will help them prevent injuries when they play sports."

Alexandra Baker, a medical illustrator who traveled from Asheville, North Carolina to take part in the program, collaborated with newcomer, Tech Sgt. Davita Vega, an avid volleyball player and 10-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Both came away impressed by the level of enthusiasm shown by visitors.

"This has been so much fun. Working like this has also been a great experience," Baker said while putting the finishing touches on Vega's shoulder and arm muscles. "Both parents and children have had great questions. I think everyone has gotten something out of today."

While there were plenty of new faces at this year's program, there were many familiar ones, as well. Calvin Baxter, who once played high school football and now works as a physical therapist at a clinic in Greenbelt, Maryland, volunteered for the second year-in-a-row as an athlete. Given his profession, he enjoyed sharing his knowledge with a young audience.

"I treat all kinds of injuries. It's very important to take care of your muscles, make sure your balance is good and to get screened if you feel that something is different," Baxter said. "It's also important that your body gets adequate rest. People who play sports or work out without a break, they're the ones who run the risk of increased injuries."

Mary-Margaret Marshall returned for a second year, this time serving as the program's athlete cyclist. She was joined by her husband, Eric, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. He returned as a runner. Marshall had good advice to those looking to take off on two wheels.

"I've found that it's important to stretch before going out for a bike ride. I try to do 20-30 minutes of just my arms and legs," Marshall said. "Younger kids probably don't realize how many muscles are engaged when you're biking. Stretching will make it less likely you hurt yourself."

In addition to guest athletes and medical illustrators, staff from the Human Performance Resource Center, the educational arm of the Department of Defense's Consortium for Health and Military Performance, were on hand to provide tips on nutrition and exercise. Paul Riordan, senior physical activity specialist, recommends lean sources of protein and complex carbs before a good workout.

"Oatmeal with brown sugar and walnuts and something as simple as peanut butter and jelly are just two things people can do," Riordan said. "Following a workout, it's best to choose easily digestible foods and beverages that provide electrolytes and fluids."

Students from the University of Maryland's Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation also assisted with answering questions and explaining the importance of certain muscles in the body. Their professor, Dr. Vincent Conroy, believes a presentation like Anatomy of Sports has tremendous educational value.

"It's important for them to see what the body looks like on the inside. That will only help them better understand the extent of someone's injury," Conroy said. "This kind of interaction is phenomenal. The athletes and illustrators here today offer a lot of knowledge and expertise to a group like this."

Public programs like Anatomy of Sports connect the mission of the Department of Defense museum with the public. The NMHM was founded as the Army Medical Museum in 1862 and moved to its current location in Silver Spring, Maryland in 2012. NMHM is an element of the Defense Health Agency. For more information on upcoming events, please call 301-319-3303 or visit www.medicalmuseum.mil.

 

Caption: Liz Lockett, collections manager at the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM), paints the skeletal structure of Serafina, an 18-year-old warmblood mare owned by Cashell Jaquish, during NMHM's annual Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Medical illustrator Mary Monsma uses pastels to create the leg muscles of Eric Marshall, U.S. Marine Corps, during the National Museum of Health and Medicine's annual Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Illustrator Alexandra Baker highlights the arm muscles of U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Davita Vega during the National Museum of Health and Medicine's annual Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015 in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Medical illustrator Alexandra Baker outlines the shoulder muscles of U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Davita Vega during the National Museum of Health and Medicine's annual Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: U.S. Army Sgt. Ryan McIntosh, U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, speaks to parents and children during the National Museum of Health and Medicine's annual Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Elizabeth Weissbrod, an illustrator with the Val G. Hemming Simulation Center of the Uniformed Services University, illustrates the leg muscles of U.S. Army Sgt. Ryan McIntosh, U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, during this year's Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Illustrator Taina Litwak highlights the back, neck, shoulder and arm muscles of Michael Shaughness, of the Naval Medical Research Center, during the National Museum of Health and Medicine's annual Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Jennifer Gibas, medical illustrator, highlights the upper body muscles of Calvin Baxter, physical therapist and former high school athlete, during the National Museum of Health and Medicine's annual Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Marie Dauenheimer, a medical illustrator, poses for a picture with a member of the DC Roller Girls during this year's Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Guests at this year's Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, observed anatomy in motion as equestrian Cashell Jaquish rode her horse Serafina. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Participants at this year's Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, gather for a group photo at the conclusion of the event. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Dr. Vincent Conroy, (fourth from left) assistant professor of physical therapy for the University of Maryland, is joined by several of his students during this year's Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Illustrator Mesa Schumacher defining the leg muscles of a D.C. Rollergirl during this year's Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Illustrator Devon Stuart lays in the leg muscles of a D.C. Rollergirl during this year's Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Guests at this year's Anatomy of Sports, held Aug. 22, 2015, at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, had an opportunity to meet artists and subject matter experts, like Paul Riordan, a Senior Physical Activity Scientist, of the Consortium for Health and Military Performance, a Defense Center of Excellence. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)
Caption: Judith Stoffer, medical illustrator with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, illustrates the leg muscles of Mary-Margaret Marshall, one of several athletes at this year's Anatomy of Sports program, held Aug. 22, 2015, at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland. (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart/Released)