Lauren Quinn, DPT (‘07) moved to her new home in St. Petersburg, Florida in July 2016 sight unseen. But the unfamiliar surroundings and summer humidity certainly didn’t lessen her enthusiasm at starting work at her dream job: assessing and treating the athletes at the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) as a primary health care provider. 

“I’ve always wanted to work in professional sports,” said Quinn, who originally hails from Yreka, California. “The Lord wrote the dream upon my heart in the sixth grade. Dreams provide an opportunity to partner with God, our small dreams play a part in His big dream, and we are blessed with a deeper understanding of God’s nature in the walking out of it.”

Lauren Quinn speaks into a microphone.

Quinn’s goal began with her undergraduate education at PLNU where she earned a degree in Kinesiology and graduated in 2007 before going on to get her Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at Duke University in 2011. Her educational experience at both of these demographically different institutions provided Quinn with a unique set of skills upon graduation.

“Everyone’s path is going to be different, but I can attest to the fact that every university I’ve attended and every job I’ve held has provided me with specific tools to be successful now,” said Quinn. “If I had been handed my dream job right out of school, I don’t believe I would have been properly equipped.”

Quinn has seen the Lord use different points in her career trajectory as opportunities to develop her humility. Each of which has prepared her heart to handle the current success she has in her role.

“Biblically, David was appointed to be king,” continued Quinn, “And then sent back to the pasture. The pasture is where he developed his character and expanded his skill set in preparation to be king. I advise, don’t be so consumed with the palace that you miss out on the necessary preparation that takes place in the pasture.”

The “pasture preparation” was essential for Quinn’s now successful eight-year career with the WTA at their United States headquarters in the Sunshine State. Her somewhat circuitous route started with her working in an outpatient clinic before moving on to a residency in Oregon. While she felt she was able to use her education in both areas, her desire to work in professional sports never wavered. She took advantage of every opportunity to expand her professional skills with that career in mind.

“That cultivation state is necessary,” said Quinn. “You have to learn ethics, leadership, and take advice before you can figure out what your [personal] approach is.”

“The pasture is where [King David] developed his character and expanded his skill set in preparation to be king. I advise, don’t be so consumed with the palace that you miss out on the necessary preparation that takes place in the pasture.”

Quinn developed her method of treatment during her Oregon residency but would tell you that she really perfected the art of collaborative care after she moved to Florida to start working with the WTA. In her current career, she is always integrating her personal care style with those of her colleagues to provide the best experience for the athletes at the WTA.

When the regular tennis season is in full swing, Quinn’s days are determined by the matches and tournaments she works. They involve frequent international travel and constant collaboration with other healthcare team counterparts. She is also the unofficial snack master of the group, making frequent trips to Trader Joe’s to keep herself and her colleagues well-stocked during long tournament days.

Indeed, working with athletes like Amanda Anisimova, Serena Williams, and Bianca Andresscue during matches that range from 30 minutes to four hours, means a couple of extra chocolate-covered espresso beans are never unwelcome.

Lauren Quinn walks with Serena Williams at the 2020 US Open.

Quinn and her colleagues at the WTA approach caring for their athletes with intention and efficiency. An athlete who comes in for treatment is at the center of a web of care providers that includes hydration specialists, dermatologists, cardiologists, biomechanical specialists, and more. Each injury or issue is examined from many different points of view before a treatment plan is put in place.

“We have a very extensive toolbelt [of specialists] to pull from,” said Quinn. “One injury becomes the starting point for everyone to assess the athlete using their professional strengths to ensure the athlete receives the best treatment plan.”

When she’s not working with her athletes and collaborating with her team, you can find Quinn at one of any number of networking or conference events, sharpening her skills or pouring into the lives of young women of faith. She loves mentoring younger generations of physical therapists and connecting with other believers.

“For a physical therapist, or actually any profession, curiosity is key,” said Quinn. “It’s seeking out new opportunities, continuing education courses, certifications, and volunteering in various settings to develop a more holistic approach to best serve your patient population.”

Beyond the goals she has with her professional community, Quinn has also set a personal goal to strive less and surrender more.

“A lot of my life has been marked by striving and a desire to achieve,” said Quinn. “I’ve always had to be a diligent worker, but looking back, I’ve never had to wrestle or strive for a job that the Lord had for me. He does not withhold good from us.”

Quinn’s next big task will be tackling the upcoming 2024 Olympics in Paris where she will gear up to work with athletes competing at the highest levels. Along with all of the other preparation, she’s also building her shopping list for snacks.

Kendall Patton is a 2016 graduate of PLNU and a former student-athlete. She graduated with a degree in journalism and is a freelance writer for the Viewpoint.