Erica Knips Orthopedic Institute

When she started college in 2007, Erica Knips simultaneously started her journey as a runner.  In those days, she found running to be a great outlet, as well as a much-needed break from studying. Her first marathon was the Brookings Marathon, where she'll never forget that feeling of accomplishment in crossing the finish line for the very first time. She has since run 25 full marathons, but Brookings still holds the key to her running heart. Erica says the time spent training with others and building relationships has been one of her favorite parts of distance running.

"I felt honored to be asked to be part of this team as I feel like the mission of The 437 Project hits home to most people.  Almost everyone knows someone who has struggled with a mental illness.  I am so happy to be able to help in this journey of connecting those in need with much-needed mental health resources."

By day, Erica works at Orthopedic Institute for Dr. Corey Rothrock and Dr. Timothy Walker.  She meets with patients at their initial surgical appointments, and assists as they navigate the often overwhelming process of arranging their surgeries, tests, therapy, and more appointments.  Seeing patients struggle with daily activities and then watching them progress both mentally and physically over the course of time has been the most rewarding part of her job.

When she's not running or working, Erica can likely be found baking something sweet or stocking up on blueberries, one of her secret tools of running recovery.

Tiffany Heinemann
Jill Stearns