Presbyterian set to launch year two of athletic trainer program
A year into their partnership with Union County Public Schools, Presbyterian Healthcare wants to expand. Speaking to county commissioners Monday, April 4, Presbyterian Matthews President Roland Bibeau said the health-care provider would add athletic trainers to two more schools for the fall.
“If you look at Union County, I believe we’ve touched a lot of bases,” Bibeau said, adding the group was happy with how the project had turned out so far. “The question we had was, how do we prepare these athletes to go into battle?”
The response came last summer, when Presbyterian unveiled a $14 million partnership with the school system, covering everything from athletic injuries to programs for employees and parents.
In the past, student athletes walked off the field with headaches, but no one checked one or two weeks later to see if they had concussion symptoms. Under the new partnership, athletic trainers inform nurses at each school of the injuries sustained during a game. Nurses then check players during the week, making sure any injuries haven’t worsened and no new symptoms have developed.
The pilot program started this year at Piedmont, Forest Hills and Weddington. Bibeau said two more schools will be added to the mix in June. The plan is to eventually have athletic trainers at all 10 of the high schools.
The health-care system also is adding 21 nurses to the district over the next six years. Waxhaw’s Western Union Elementary also is taking part in a pilot for the health-care provider’s health-needs assessment program, looking at everything from obesity rates to nutrition.
Each school will have its needs studied and eventually Presbyterian will develop applicable programs to promote proper nutrition or more exercise and outdoor activities, if that’s what the specific school requires.
Presbyterian also includes a program known as “Parent University” to the partnership. It’s a course currently offered in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools that helps parents with questions ranging from creating a healthy environment at home to dealing with injuries students sustain.