You might wonder why anyone would leave the excitement of the NFL to enter the complex field of health care. For Travis Turner '10, it’s all about seeking new opportunities to learn and grow.
After earning his bachelor's degree in athletic training, Turner went on to earn his master's at West Virginia University, where he was named the 2012 Most Outstanding Athletic Training Graduate.
In 2015, the Houston Texans hired him as a full-time assistant athletic trainer. While the demands of being a trainer for a professional sports team is quite demanding, Turner faced his most challenging role in April 2020 when he became Houston Methodist Hospital’s manager of community patient services and manager of U.S., Latin American, Arabic, and China Services.
“So far, it’s been very eye opening,” Turner said. “Here, I’m exposed to a multi-cultural employee pool every day. English was not the only language spoken in the locker room, but here, 95 percent of the time, people speak a language other than my own. It’s very exciting.”
Houston is the most diverse city in the nation and Houston Methodist’s employees reflect that. The hospital also draws patients from many backgrounds who might not know how to navigate the U.S. health care system, the country, or the language. It’s up to Turner to make sure they all get the help they need. Surprisingly, he finds himself using many of the skills he learned at TLU in his new role
“When I was in the athletic training program, it was hands-on from day one,” Turner said. “As soon as you could prove you could do something, you were allowed to do it with the athletes. It’s a testament to the professors there. And it’s one of the biggest things I’ve taken from TLU, and continue to apply to everything I do.”
Whether it’s as an athletic trainer or a health care manager, he enjoys helping people be healthy and succeed. In this new job, one of his goals is to become more educated about the diverse people he works with every day.
“I’m learning a lot about other cultures and lifestyles from around the world that are going to make me a better person in the long run,” he said. In just a few months, has already picked up some Arabic, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish, saying he's also learned a lot about different faiths and practices.
People often ask if he misses the NFL.
“I loved the competitiveness, the team atmosphere, the camaraderie, and the great memories I made," he said. "But in the end, I'm thrilled my new job is opening my eyes, and my career, to a whole new world of opportunity."