Sadie Timms: University of Northern Colorado Cancer Rehabilitation Institute (UNCCRI)

Edited by Baillee Furst, Simpson College Career Development Social Media Coordinator


What was she up to?

Sadie Timms (Dec ’17) worked as a Cancer Exercise Specialist medically screening clients, completing  psychological and physiological (exercise) assessments, creating exercise prescriptions, and implementing the exercise prescription in an exercise intervention. Timms also served as one of two intern supervisors. Her job was to close the clinic as well as check all of the assessments and reassessments over the summer. Over the course of the summer she had the opportunity to teach professionals in the medical field (PT’s and OT’s) about our job and how to do it as well as assist in training the incoming intern team. At the end of her internship she had the opportunity to take an assessment skills test, which she passed. Timm is now a Clinical Cancer Exercise Specialist Level 2.


How did she find out about the internship?

In her search for an internship, Timms talked to professors (at Simpson and ISU), contacted students and professionals in the field of exercise science, and used google. She had another student tell her to google what she was interested in doing.

Timms said, “I had already completed a cardiac rehab internship, but knew I am also passionate about cancer. I googled oncology rehabilitation internships and found a PT clinic based out of Denver named oncology rehab. Their clinic however uses protocols from UNCCRI and cited them on their website. I saw they offered internships every semester, called to make sure there were spots still available (thankfully there were – although only 2), and applied that day.”

What strengths did Sadie demonstrate during her experience?

“I believe I used my leadership skills, showed initiative, and worked really hard during my time at UNCCRI. These skills are what helped me to be an intern supervisor, they helped me gain the trust and respect of my superiors, and they helped me pass my certification exam.”


For this internship she showed up a week early to gain skills that she was unable to learn during the spring semester, since she is an out of state student.


“We were required to get 500 hours and by the end I had 700 hours. Whenever anyone needed help be it a fellow specialist or my boss I made it a priority to help them or do a great job at whatever they asked me to do. I knew going into the test I was at a disadvantage because the majority of our specialist team had taken a class over the information and I had not. I studied hard, made note cards, asked questions, and talked through the information to make sure I knew it and was prepared.”


Why does Sadie feel the internship was important?

Timms believes this internship was important because cancer rehab is only at its beginning and has so much more growing to do and more people to help in the future, and she is at the forefront of this.


“When I tell people what I did most have never heard of anything like it and I hope to be a part of changing this in the future and helping grow both the field of cancer rehabilitation and exercise rehabilitation in general for special populations. These services and exercise physiologists aren’t even covered by insurance like cardiac rehab and pulmonary rehab. Why is exercise for cancer, diabetes, elderly, and other populations who may need extra help and consideration any different?”


What are her next steps?

Right now, she is finishing her music degree at Simpson and running her last season of cross country. She is also hoping to work this fall using the skills she learned over the summer in a gym or clinic setting. She has also started the process of applying for graduate schools to study clinical exercise physiology with emphasis on special populations; all with the goal of opening her own clinic in the future or becoming a clinical coordinator at another. She hopes in the next 5-10 or even 15 years these services will be recognized by the government and healthcare system as valuable and to be covered by insurance.