Chris Hirth is a full time Physical Therapist at Campus Health.
Chris has worked for Campus Health and UNC Athletics since 1996. Chris received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. He came to UNC to obtain his Master of Science degree in Human Movement, and had practical experience as an athletic trainer with Campus Health and UNC Athletics during his graduate program. After a few years of private practice Dr. Dan Hooker, Associate Director of Sports Medicine, called to ask him if he would be interested in working with Campus Health permanently.
Chris loves the educational environment at UNC. “Everyone at UNC – students, staff, and coaches alike – want to learn and improve.” In Chris’ clinic, the Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers have a dual focus: preventing injuries before they occur and treating injuries in the most effective way possible once they happen. To that end, Chris and his colleagues study injuries and injury prevention; they then use that knowledge to teach future professionals best practices. Though Chris treats everything from sprained wrists to neck pain, he notes that he’s done the most research on lower extremity injuries and prevention. He teaches the intricacies of feet, ankles, knees and hips to undergraduates and graduate assistant Athletic Trainers. He’s also one of the go-to staff for fabricating foot orthotics.
Chris takes the same quality care of his patients at Campus Health as he does of his athletes. “I learn from every one of my patients,” he said, “and every year brings a new group of people which keeps my job fresh, enjoyable, and fun.”
Chris enjoys the optimism and enthusiasm of college students. “This is an active and positive population of folks who want to get better,” he said, “Especially at UNC – we have the best athletes, coaches, and students.”
Chris noted two of his colleagues that help keep his work life positive. Chris expressed gratitude for Dr. Dan Hooker, his mentor and direct supervisor. “He’s given me tons of career opportunities. I am deeply indebted to him.” Chris also noted the high quality of work and organization by Jane Honeycutt, the administrative staff for the Physical Therapy and Athletic Training clinic. “She keeps things running smoothly despite the many schedules and people coming in and out of our workplace.”
Just a regular guy
When asked to note something interesting about himself, Chis said, “I’m just a regular guy.” Thankfully, Jane disclosed that Chris loves being with his family, biking the countryside and watching NCIS. “She’s got me pegged,” he laughed. Jane also mentioned that in Chris’ first year as Head Athletic Trainer for UNC Men’s Basketball, he supported the team in winning the National Championship. Just a regular guy indeed.
Come see for yourself
Chris works in the mornings in the Physical Therapy and Athletic Training department of Campus Health, located on the ground floor of Campus Health just past the Pharmacy.