A team approach to athletic injuries

Medicine

Three years ago Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf began coordinating with athletic trainer Rick Williams to provide free physicals for local high school athletes. From that collaboration a network of sports-related medicine has grown.

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Published: Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 09:22 AM.

To head, heat, heart and history toss in holistic health and what comes into focus is the out-sized services provided scholastic public school athletes in Gulf County.

Head, heat, heart and history are the central tenets of assessing the wellbeing of athletes; holistic health was demonstrated last week at Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School.

Coaches from across the sports seasons gathered for a presentation concerning concussions given by athletic trainer Rick Williams with Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic.

The session dealt with the only the head, but it was a just the latest example of the growth over three years of a health care network that would be the envy of much larger cities and counties.

In a sense, the foundation was first poured three years ago when Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf in Port St. Joe began providing free athletic physicals to all Gulf County athletes, setting up multiple days to provide plenty of opportunities for all athletes to take advantage of the service.

By last school year the hospital was providing the free physicals and an orthopedic surgeon and physician’s assistant at county home football games, on-site care for any serious injury.

And this year, the physicals continue while the hospital is near a deal to bring a full-time orthopedic surgeon to the Medical Office Building on the hospital’s campus with an aim toward providing seven-day care and early morning appointments following athletic contests for scholastic athletes.



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