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Trainers make county schools safe for sports

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Four Henderson County high schools served by Pardee Sports Medicine trainers received the National Athletic Trainers Association Safe Sports School Award, Pardee UNC Health Care announced today.

East Henderson High School, Hendersonville High School, North Henderson High School and West Henderson High School each earned the award, which recognizes secondary schools that provide safe environments for student-athletes and reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment. Athletic trainers Dwayne Durham, Becky Dotson, Glenn Preslar, and Andrew Patterson provide athletic training services to East Henderson, Hendersonville, North Henderson and West Henderson high schools, respectively.

Pardee began its sports medicine program in 2015 with the integration of well-established Western North Carolina sports medicine programs. The program expanded its services in 2016 with the addition of Southeastern Sports Medicine and Orthopedics (SESMO), a department of Pardee UNC Health Care. The partnership with this group of sports medicine and orthopedic physicians further enhances Pardee’s elite sports medicine program. The goal is to provide high-quality preventive health care to student-athletes and contribute to the health and wellness of our communities. A major emphasis of the program is the utilization of athletic trainers (ATCs) and supporting their role as valuable health professionals. Pardee’s athletic trainers provide coverage at area high school and middle school sports games and practices. Additionally, SESMO orthopedic surgeons are on the field during East Henderson, Hendersonville and North Henderson’s football games.

“We are honored that the high school athletics programs we support through athletic trainer coverage have been recognized by NATA’s Safe Sports School Awards,” said Dwayne Durham, MEd, ATC, LAT, director of Pardee Sports Medicine. “This recognition would not have been possible without continued support from the school principals, athletic directors and athletic trainers who work diligently to ensure our student-athletes are safe and have access to excellent medical care.”

"We are so very proud that each of our high schools has been awarded with the NATA Safe Sports School Award,” said school system associate superintendent John Bryant. “Such recognition is truly a credit to the exceptional care provided by our athletic trainers through the generous support of Pardee Sports Medicine."

“We remain committed to the health and welfare of young athletes in competitive sports,” says NATA President Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC. “This award recognizes the contributions and commitment of schools across the country that are implementing safe sports policies and best practices to ensure athletes can do what they love best and have the appropriate care in place to prevent, manage and treat injuries should they occur.”

To achieve Safe Sports School status, as East Henderson, Hendersonville, North Henderson and West Henderson high schools did, athletic programs must do the following:

Create a positive athletic health care administrative system.
Provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations.
Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities.
Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment.
Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes.
Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions.
Provide or facilitate injury intervention.
Create and rehearse a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan.
Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education.
Be sure athletes and parents are educated of the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities.
Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 44,000 members of the athletic training profession. Visit