Logansport Memorial’s Sports Medicine program celebrates National Athletic Training Month; Partner schools receive Safe Sports School Awards

The Sports Medicine program at Logansport Memorial Hospital began in 2018, and has grown since its inception to include five partner schools across Cass and Miami counties –Logansport, Pioneer, Caston, Peru, and North Miami. This month, we want to take some time to recognize and appreciate the certified athletic trainers (ATCs) that are at the heart of our program, working with our student athletes to maintain their health and safety during sports seasons.

Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide emergency care and prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries and medical conditions for people in work, life and play. In the Logansport Memorial Sports Medicine program, our athletic trainers focus solely on the healthand performance of the student athletes in each sports season at each particular school.

Sports injuries can be serious. Brain and spinal cord injuries and conditions such as heat illness can be life threatening if not recognized and properly managed. Athletic trainers are equipped to treat acute injuries like these on the spot because they are on-site for practices and events. They are often a first responder in the event of an emergency, until a physician can assess the situation and provide additionaldirection for appropriate care.

Dr. E. Alex Lebrija, board-certified foot and ankle specialist, is the Medical Director overseeing the Sports Medicine program and our Athletic Trainers.

“Athletic trainers facilitate the treatment of injuries and monitorrecovery so that athletes at our partner schools are not returned to play prematurely,” he comments. “Our entire team of physician specialists, including myself and orthopedic surgeons Dr. Ramachandran and Dr. Varhan, work very well with our athletic trainers to move our athletes along the continuum of care –from injury assessment, to procedures or surgery, and through rehabilitation to recovery.”
Dr. Lebrija went on to say, “One of the many ways that we are diligent in keeping our athletes safe is by following our strict concussion protocol. Each athlete begins the sports season by completing the ImPACT neuro-cognitive baseline test, so that in the event of a concussion, we can evaluate the brain’s health and recovery with an ImPACT post-test. This protocol is FDA-cleared, which is why we adhere to its guidelines in our policy,” he notes. “It has been shown that schools with athletic trainers have lower rates of recurrent injuries among their student athletes. We’re proud to be part of making that happen for the kids and families who count on us, and for the communities we serve as a trusted healthcare provider,” concludes Dr. Lebrija.

Early this year, the five schools who are part of our sports medicine program received further recognition from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) when they received designation as a Safe Sports School. The Safe Sports School Award champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that have met the recommended standards outlined by the NATA to improve safety in sports. The award also reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention, and treatment for student athletes.

“The partner schools in Logansport Memorial’s Sports Medicine program are honored to receive this recognition from the NATA,” comments Rachel Theodore, Vice-President of Workforce Health and Sports Medicine for Logansport Memorial Hospital. “Our athletic trainers remain committed to keeping the student athletes in our programs safe duringteam practices and games so they can accomplish their own goals of great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship, and good health. Our goal is to help each school’s athletic program, athletic director, and coaching staff keep its student athletes safe and healthy. We are proud to do that by providing athletic trainers on-site in each school corporation to deliver the highest standards of safety for the athletes.”

According to information from the NATA, the list of award recipients grows exponentially each year, as schools continue to see the immense value in holding themselves to best practices and policies that ensure a high standard of care for the student athletes under their responsibility.

In order to achieve Safe Sports School status, as Logansport High School, Pioneer Jr.-Sr. High School, Caston Jr.-Sr. High School, Peru High School, and North Miami Jr.-Sr. High School have all done the following and more in their athletic programs:

  • Provided and coordinated pre-participation physical examinations

  • Promoted safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities

  • Planned for selection, fit function, and proper maintenance of athletic equipment

  • Developed injury or illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions

  • Provided or facilitated injury intervention.

For more information about the Safe Sports School Award, please visit www.athletictrainers.org. For questions or more information about our Sports Medicine program, please contact Rachel Theodore, Vice-President of Workforce Health and Sports Medicine by phone at (574) 725-2012, option 4 or by email at rtheodore@logansportmemorial.org.

SOURCE: News release from Logansport Memorial Hospital