By Dedra Cordle
For nearly two decades, the South-Western City Schools District and OhioHealth Corporation have been involved in a partnership which brings athletic training services to each of its high schools.
One of the greatest benefits of this partnership, explained treasurer Hugh Garside, is that having this service helps keep the district up-to-date with the most modern injury assessment protocols and injury prevention measures.
“It is imperative that we try to make sure that all of our student athletes are safe,” Garside said.
This is a partnership that has served the district well, he added, and it appears the district intends to stay involved in this collaboration.
At its March 12 meeting, the board of education unanimously approved a five-year extension of the athletic training services program with OhioHealth. The latest agreement, which will go into effect this summer, calls for an increase in the services provided to the district.
According to Garside, there is currently 1.5 full-time equivalent athletic trainers at Central Crossing and Franklin Heights, while there is 0.5 full-time equivalent athletic trainers at Grove City and Westland High Schools. The new agreement increases that number to two primary licensed athletic trainers at Central Crossing and Franklin Heights and one primary athletic trainer at Grove City and Westland. Additional trainers can be added per request of district, or on an as needed basis.
The agreement states that the athletic trainers will assist with coverage of large sporting events hosted by the school, and will also be tasked with making “return to play” decisions in conjunction consistent with the athletic trainers scope of practice.
The athletic trainers will also play a large role in advising school officials and coaches on topics relevant to health, safety, conditioning and strengthening as well as providing CRP/AED training and/or recertification for all school coaching staff members.
The agreement also states that OhioHealth will assist the school’s designated team physician with pre-participation physicals on all student-athletics, and provide OHSAA Wrestling Weight Certification.
The agreement will take effect July 1, 2018 and run through June 30, 2023. Garside said the district will pay $80,000 per year to participate in the athletic training services program. He added that the previous contracts in years 2014/15 and 2017/18 saw the district paying $110,000 per year and the new, longer term contract will save the district money over the course of the five years.