CMC-Union provides training, medical materials
Almost two years ago, a five year old boy broke his arm during a t-ball game held by Porter Ridge Athletic Association. People were scrambling around, trying to find medical supplies, but short of a small emergency medical kit, there wasn’t much around.
“The boy was crying, his mother was crying, but nobody had any ice packs or supplies,” Porter Ridge Ways and Means Director, Scott McGillivray, who also coaches t-ball, said. “The next week he returned in a cast. It bothered me because I feel we could do better.”
So McGillivray went to Carolinas Medical Center-Union, asking what help, if any, the hospital could provide. What initially started as a request for ice packs turned, two years later, into a full blown partnership, with medical supplies donated and training classes for coaches and staff.
“Initially, CMC-Union was approached by (Porter Ridge) to provide for their athletes,” CMC-Union Communications Manager Kelly Gullo said. “That request turned into a conversation regarding (Porter Ridge’s) health and safety education needs and how CMC-Union could best meet those needs.”
CMC-Union gave each head coach at Porter Ridge a first aid kit, along with CPR training and further health education training. Additionally, the hospital gave the organization an automated external defibrillator, will host a free health fair for the families of players and also provide free physicals for all the kids. Included in the health education training are classes on how to recognize the symptoms of a concussion, how and when do players need to stay hydrated and different topics throughout the year.
“There was never a hesitation on CMC-Union’s part,” McGillivray said. “They made up 75 custom made first aid kits. Now we’re taking on different training classes.
Danny Fesmire, Porter Ridge Athletic Association president, agreed. “There is nothing more important than making sure our youth stay safe and healthy,” he said in a prepared statement. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with CMC-Union and look forward to the education and resources they will be able to provide our organization.”
CMC-Union officials pointed to statistics saying that of the estimated 38 million children in the United States that take part in a sport, 3.5 million are treated for sports injuries. The most common of those include sprains, muscle strains, bone or growth plate injuries, repetitive motion injuries and heat-related illnesses. Through partnerships such as the one with Porter Ridge, hospital officials said they hope to cut down on the number of times Union County athletes pay CMC-Union a visit.
“We are very excited to partner with PRAA in an effort to keep our Union County youth athletes safe,” Michael Lutes, president of CMC-Union, said in a prepared statement. “Backed by the vast resources of Carolinas HealthCare System, CMC-Union will provide education and guidance that will help to minimize injuries and better prepare coaches for responding to emergent situations should they arise.”
Training started Wednesday, Jan. 25 for Porter Ridge coaches. In addition, CMC-Union has also entered into a partnership with the Waxhaw Athletic Association, to provide the same supplies and training. Coaches in the Waxhaw association start training Feb. 1.
“We are delighted with this partnership between CMC-Union and our association,” Rick Giarla, president of WAA, said. “Having CMC-Union as our healthcare partner will be a tremendous resource for our coaches, parents and youth.”