When Dr. Russ Reinbolt — an emergency medicine physician with our CompHealth division and ultra-marathon runner — found himself on his first locum tenens assignment in Chinle, Arizona, he had no idea how great his impact on the Navajo Nation town would be.
While Chinle is a little different from Dr. Reinbolt’s hometown of La Jolla, California, “he absolutely loved it,” says Gavin Littledike, his CompHealth recruiter. “He and the medical director really hit it off, and he even gave Dr. Reinbolt first dibs on shifts.”
But a great working environment wasn’t the only thing that changed the doctor’s view on Chinle.
When he wasn’t working, Dr. Reinbolt would often run through the winding red canyons of the nearby Canyon de Chelly National Monument. During one of those runs, the physician ran into Chinle High School’s cross-country team.
As he struck up a conversation with the team’s coach, he discovered that the high school hosts the annual Canyon de Chelly Ultra (a whopping 55k run) to raise funds for the CHS cross-country team and Native American youth running programs.
In a post on his Ultra Marathon Doc blog, Dr. Reinbolt describes how moved he was to hear how the fundraiser helped one student afford a pair of shoes.
Wanting to make a difference to the high school, Dr. Reinbolt went back to his apartment and donated $1,000 to the team.
But the story doesn’t end there.
Gavin found out about Dr. Reinbolt’s running connection with CHS and shared the story with his CompHealth team. Before long, a plan was hatched to not only support Dr. Reinbolt’s passion for running, but also the high school’s commitment to support its athletes.
In partnership with Dr. Reinbolt, CompHealth sent 100 CHS-branded backpacks to the school’s cross-country team for current and future athletes to use.
“Dr. Reinbolt was so excited when he heard the news,” says Gavin, and so was the cross-country team.
“The team is stoked!” says Shaun Martin, the school’s athletic director. “Every kid was excited and expressed their gratitude. Thank you guys.”