Medical facilities collaborate to keeps Rhinelander student athletes healthy
By Eileen Persike
Fewer than half of the high schools in the country have an athletic trainer on staff. Ministry Health Care and Aspirus have teamed up to make sure Rhinelander is one of the few that does. Each facility has donated $15,000 to help fund the full-time athletic trainer position, currently held by Eric Prom.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jason Lowry has been the medical director and team physician for the athletic program at Rhinelander High School for ten years. He says athletic trainers are moving away from a musculoskeletal-driven approach to student athlete care to one that connects academics and the sports fields.
“What’s driving the change is concussions, which are playing a bigger and bigger role,” Lowry said. “Eric and I helped develop the protocols and procedures that are in play on the sidelines. We’re developing a concussion management program and are involved in return to play decisions. We develop procedures, put them in play and Eric implements them. Then, when something is not jelling I get involved.”
Certified athletic trainers perform a multitude of services including on-site evaluation of injuries, establish protocols for emergency treatment, initiates and supervises exercise and rehabilitation programs, design and institute strength, flexibility, and conditioning programs before and during the sport’s season, provides event coverage, and serve as a liaison for coaches, parents, and physicians.
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