Closer Look: Radio Interview with The Center Foundation

Closer Look: Radio Interview with The Center Foundation



This past fall, our very own Stuart Schmidt, Program Manager and Head Athletic Trainer for The Center Foundation was interviewed Jeanice Lee from K-LOVE and Air1 Radio for Closer Look. Closer Look is a weekly program that interviews local community groups making a difference in Central Oregon.  Please listen in to enjoy a captivating conversation about the history of The Center Foundation, our keystone programs including the flagship sports medicine outreach program which provide athletic trainers to eight local high schools throughout Central Oregon.

Unlocking The Center Foundation’s Legacy

Discover the inspiring journey of The Center Foundation, a trailblazer in sports medicine, education, and mental health advocacy. Stuart Schmidt shares intriguing insights into the roots of The Center Foundation and its commitment to elevating athlete well-being.

Concussion Awareness, Prevention, and More:

Stuart provides a comprehensive overview of The Center Foundation’s pioneering work, particularly in concussion awareness and prevention. Learn how The Center Foundation is shaping the dialogue around head injuries in sports and implementing strategies for athlete safety. Explore the Train Your Brain program, designed to teach elementary students the importance of always wearing a helmet to protect their brain.

Spotlight on Sports Medicine Outreach:

A significant highlight of the conversation is  about The Center Foundation’s Sports Medicine Outreach Program. Stuart sheds light on our commitment to local high schools in Central Oregon by providing dedicated athletic trainers. These healthcare professionals play a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of young athletes, emphasizing preventative care and rapid response to injuries.

Why Tune In?

For sports enthusiasts and those passionate about holistic athlete development, this interview is a goldmine. Gain profound insights into The Center Foundation’s multi-faceted approach to athlete care, including the impactful Sports Medicine Outreach Program.

How to Listen:

Ready to explore The Center Foundation’s impactful stories? Click HERE to listen to the radio interview. Embark on a journey through The Center Foundation’s impactful initiatives, from sports medicine to mental health advocacy. As you tune in to the radio interview with Stuart Schmidt, discover the our commitment to shaping the future of athlete well-being.


Youth Injuries and Mental Health 

Youth Injuries and Mental Health

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Jon Skau, Crook County High School Athletic Trainer talks about his perspective for keeping mental health in mind while treating injuries and interacting with youth on a daily basis.

In life there are a few things that absolutely nobody can avoid, like death and taxes. In the world of sports, its injuries. If you play any sport long enough an injury is likely to occur at some point along the way. If you are around competitive sports enough, you may notice that there seems to be  that one person who always seems to be  getting “hurt”.  Magically, that same person always seems to be fine the next game or practice. Sure some people are more prone to injury for different reasons, but something always seemed off with that one player.

Something would happen in a game or practice and that one kid would be sitting on the bench, again. Rumors often spiral around the team about that kid with people talking and asking questions. They are just trying to get out of conditioning drills.  Are they really that lazy? Are they really always getting hurt? Or could it be that something else is going on? The true answer to that question is complicated. To do so it involves digging a bit deeper to find out what is really going on.

Role of an Athletic Trainer

As a high school Athletic Trainer, I am charged with the complete care of each and every student-athlete. I say complete care because that means both the health of their physical body as well as their mental health. It seems cliché to say but the mentality or lens with which we view our day to day life really does impact our lived experience. So what if that mentality is carrying around an unhealed hurt?

This is where the unique positioning of the high school Athletic Trainer provides a valuable opportunity to build rapport and investigate the potential underlying mental health issues. Now this doesn’t mean we have an all access past to ask extremely personal questions just off the cuff. There is certainly a balance when trying to take an appropriate history and investigate any concerns that may arise. This is where knowing the athlete and knowing the community plays a significant role in how you approach a potential mental health concern.

It’s been my experience that often the “always hurt” kid is expressing a pent up mental wound that manifests in a physical nature. I find myself asking, “What is this kid’s home life like?” I don’t know if maybe their parents just went through a nasty divorce. Or maybe they are going through or just went through  a bad break up. Maybe they had a really bad fight with a best friend. The list goes on and on. It is reasonable to assume that a wounded mind may lead to the body being more susceptible to injury, or the perception of injury.

Dismissing Mental Health Stigmas

Unfortunately, the “always hurt” kid often ends up getting a bad rap. Coaches and teammates tend to dismiss them rather than trying to investigate the root of the problem. What if that “injury” is a sort of cry for help? In an age where social pressure on our youth is increasing exponentially, it begs the question, shouldn’t we investigate? Even if it winds up being nothing, what if it is something? Sure that kid may just be searching for attention, but why? What’s causing that need?

It’s okay to not be okay and our youth need to know that adults are looking out for their mental health too.  When dealing with an “always hurt” kid, it is important to not dismiss their injuries or feelings. As parents, coaches, and healthcare professionals it is important we show the kids that we are listening to them and taking them seriously. Take a second and ask them how they are doing. Don’t feel pressured into asking anything too personal. Use whatever relationship you have with them to let them know two things. You see them and are there if they need it.

Written by: Jon Skau, MAT, LAT, ATC, Crook County High School Athletic Trainer for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Jon HERE.

New National Mental Health Hotline

Call 9-8-8!

Are you or someone you know experiencing a mental health crisis? As of July 16, 2022, you can call 988 for 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors for help while experiencing mental health-related distress. Examples of mental health related distress can include:

  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Mental health or substance use crisis
  • Any other kind of emotional distress

You can call or text 988 for yourself or a loved one in need of crisis support. Congress designated 988 in 2020 as a replacement of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. In Oregon, 988 operated by Lines For Life, a regional non-profit dedicated to preventing substance abuse and suicide.

COVID-19 Effect on Mental Health

The federal government established 988 as part of an effort to address the mental health crisis in America. This problem  has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 alone, the United States had one death by suicide every eleven minutes. This crisis  is especially evident in our youth where suicide is a leading cause of death for people ages 10-34.

Prior to COVID-19 a youth survey found that there was a 40% increase in high school students from 2009 to 2019 who reported experiencing persistent feeling of sadness or hopelessness. A survey of U.S. adolescent athletes taken in May 2020 found that rates of depression was six times higher for females and fourteen times higher for males compared to before the pandemic. In addition, 2021 research has shown significantly higher rates of depressive and anxiety symptoms, insomnia, disordered eating, and suicidal ideation compared to before the pandemic.

Addressing Concerns in Our Community

Due to these concerns, The Center Foundation launched our Mental Health program in the fall of 2021 in an effort to to address the unique mental health concerns experienced by student-athletes in our community. The Center Foundation has a unique platform to help raise awareness of psychological concerns in our community through our Sports Medicine outreach program, providing athletic trainers to local high schools in Central Oregon.

Role of Athletic Trainers

Athletic Trainers are a key part of a multi-disciplinary approach to raising awareness, recognizing concerns, and referring students to licensed mental health care professionals. Whereas Athletic Trainers cannot diagnose, evaluate, treat, or care of mental health issues/illnesses/disorders, they are educated in recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental health issues that may warrant a referral to an appropriate licensed healthcare professional.

Additionally, athletic trainers play a unique role in the healthcare setting. They are one of the few healthcare professionals who work with an athlete while they are healthy, present when an athlete is injured, and also work with them throughout their journey to full recovery. Therefore athletic trainers are in a position to get to know their patients on a unique, personal level and to build trust. Thus athletic trainers are in position to recognize psychological concerns early and/or may be in a situation in which the individual may be more willing open up and share issues they may be having.

Program Goals

Therefore the goals of The Center Foundation’s new mental health program is to raise awareness of these important issues in our community through the following processes:

  • Educate our athletic training staff and local sport coaches in how to recognize, respond, and refer students in crisis.
  • Work with the school districts we serve to develop a mental health emergency action plan.
  • Develop ‘Mental Health Management’ teams at the schools we serve to identify and support students in need.
  • Establish referral networks in the schools and communities we serve.
  • Support efforts to increase access to mental health care for students.
  • Launch an early recognition and screening program.



  1. Centers for Disease Control. (2020). Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data Summary & Trends Report 2009-2019.
  2. McGuine TA, Biese KM, Petrovska L, et al. Mental Health, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life of US Adolescent Athletes During COVID-19-Related School Closures and Sport Cancellations: A study of 13000 Athletes. Journal of Athletic Training. 2021;56(1):11-19.
  3. Lines for life. Lines For Life. (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2022, from
  4. 988 key messages. SAMHSA. (2022, July 15). Retrieved July 19, 2022, from


Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS Program Manager/Head Athletic Trainer for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.

Train Your Brain 2022

11 Years of Helmet Safety Education in Central Oregon

The Center Foundation is proud to announce the eleventh year of its annual Train Your Brain program.  This injury prevention program educates more than 2,000 elementary school students in Central Oregon about brain injury prevention and the importance of helmet safety. Train Your Brain is made possible by the support of The Center Foundation’s community partners at First Interstate Bank, Summit Health and BendBroadband.

first interstate bankbendbroadband




Risks of Brain Injury When Not Wearing a Helmet

“According  Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 9 out of 10 bicyclists who die in crashes are not wearing helmets” said Stuart Schmidt, Program Manager of The Center Foundation. “Train Your Brain began eleven years ago to help prevent injuries here in  Central Oregon  by educating and engaging students in a fun program that they have come to look forward to. We are so grateful to the school districts for recognizing the importance of this safety initiative. A special thanks goes to our partners at First Interstate Bank, Summit Health and BendBroadband. Without their support, we could not reach our goal of providing a free helmet to every local third grader who needs one.”

Free Helmets

Each year, The Center Foundation gives away over 1,000 free helmets to local elementary students through the Train Your Brain initiative. This year, the program is excitedly returning to an in-person presentation for the first time since 2019! The presentation consists of an exciting interactive assembly that provides information on injury prevention, helmet safety, fitting and care; and features a suspenseful melon drop demonstration. Following the presentation, representatives from The Center Foundation and volunteers from our partners will properly fit free multi-sport helmets for every student who needs one.

“Bend-La Pine Schools is very fortunate to once again have The Center Foundation sponsor the Train Your Brain program,” said Skip Offenhauser, Executive Director of Elementary Programs for Bend-La Pine Schools. “As an avid cyclist myself, I am well aware of the hazards we all face while on our bikes. Wearing a helmet is a simple, but effective habit we need to teach all of our students. We want to thank The Center Foundation for providing these lessons and providing students with free helmets with the help of First Interstate Bank, Summit Health and BendBroadband. We couldn’t ask for better community partners that care about the safety of our kids!”

2022 Schedule

Train Your Brain 2022 kicks off April 27th to ensure students are prepared to enjoy summer activities in a safe manner. From April 27th – June 10th , staff from The Center Foundation will visit 35 elementary schools across Central Oregon.

To learn more about Train Your Brain, and to check out when we will be visiting your school head over to


What is an Ankle Sprain? What to Expect from your Athletic Trainer

What is an Ankle Sprain? What to Expect from your Athletic Trainer

You’ve heard it before. “I rolled my ankle.” But what does that mean? A ‘rolled ankle’ otherwise known as an ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries experienced while playing sports. When your child’s school  ‘rolls’ or sprains their ankle, here is what to expect from the athletic trainer at your school taking care of your child’s injury.

Anatomy of an Ankle Sprain

The two most commonly injured ligaments injured in a lateral ankle sprain, the most common type of ankle injury, are the anterior talofibular (ATF) ligament and the calcaneofibular (CF) ligament. The ATF ligament  connects the fibula to the talus bone, and the CF ligament, connects the calcaneus, or heel, to the fibula. Both ligaments are  on the outside or lateral aspect of the ankle. The ATF and CF ligaments are most commonly injured when the foot is forcefully and excessively turned inward, past its normal healthy range of motion.

Injury Evaluation

Injury to either (or both) of these ligaments often results in pain and swelling around the injured area. After the injury occurs, the athletic trainer will evaluate the injury to assess the severity of the injury.  The Ottawa Ankle Rules are a group of tests designed to rule out a potential broken bone in the ankle and/or foot. The athletic trainer will perform these tests as well as others  to assess the stability of the major ligaments in the ankle. The athletic trainer will also assess for the possibility of other injuries in addition to testing the strength and available motion in the ankle.  After evaluating your child’s ankle the athletic trainer may recommend your child get x-rays  to further rule out the possibility of a broken bone.

Reproduced from Accuracy of Ottawa Ankle Rules to Exclude Fractures of The Ankle and Mid-Foot: A Systematic Review, Bachmann et al., 326, 1-7, 2003 with permission from BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.

Treatment and Care

Regardless of the severity of the injury, the initial treatment will be similar. Initial treatment will follow the RICE protocol. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Rest allows the ankle to heal without re-aggravation. The ice will help reduce the amount of pain your child is experiencing. The compression and elevation will help reduce and minimize the amount of swelling.

If your child is unable to bear weight the athletic trainer will provide them with crutches and/or a walking boot. During normal walking, the ankle ligaments allow motion in the foot/ankle while also providing stability to the foot and ankle.  Staying off the injury allows the ligaments to heal without the repeated stresses placed on them during normal daily activities.

If your athletic trainer recommends further care, contact your PCP or local orthopedic physician. If the injury is severe your athletic trainer may recommend a referral to the nearest urgent care clinic or ER.  Many times an ankle injury is not an emergency situation and does not need to seen in the ER. Follow the advise of your athletic trainer. They will recommend the best course of action for your child’s injury and help guide you through the recovery process.

Original article written by Michael Estes, MS, ATC, athletic trainer for The Center Foundation and Crook County High School in Prineville, OR. 

Mindfulness and Meditation for Athletes

Mindfulness and Meditation: Strategies to Reduce Stress and Injury in Athletes

Most, if not all athletes experience some sort of stress or anxiety before games that may decrease their ability perform at their best. Learning how to channel this stress and/or anxiety can help with focus, sport performance, and injury reduction.  In addition most athletes also have stressors in their personal lives such as school and work. Stress can be described as an unpleasant emotional state or condition characterized by feelings of tension, apprehension, and worry (2). Mindfulness and meditation is a strategy that can be used to deal with this stress and anxiety.

 What is mindfulness and meditation?

Mindfulness is described as the awareness that arises from purposely paying attention in the present moment nonjudgmentally. (4). Mindfulness also indicates the acceptance and awareness of your attention, senses, feelings, and ongoing experiences without judging or trying to control them. This allows the individual  to embrace their thoughts and feelings instead of avoiding or ignoring them. (1)

As opposed to mindfulness, meditation is defined as  “a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.” (5) Mindfulness is one but an important component of meditation. Another important component of meditation includes concentration. (6)

Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation

Several studies report that psychological factors, especially stress, are related to sports injuries. Practicing stress management techniques have also been found to improve sport performance. (3) Chronic stress and the inability to adapt to stress over time can lead towards the inability to adapt to training, underperformance, overtraining syndrome, and ultimately athlete burnout. (4)

A study by Davis JO examined the effect that a progressive relaxation program had on injury rates on two collegiate sport teams.  They found that there was a 52% reduction in injuries for swimmers and a 33% reduction in serious injuries for football players after following the progressive relaxation program. (3) Furrer et al  conducted a 12-week mindfulness training program, they found that mindfulness had a positive impact on the athlete’s awareness, recovery, focus, performance, and also resulted in a reduction in burnout. (4)

Different Types of Meditation


Imagery meditation is a type of Transcendental Meditation technique. It is a very simple, natural and effortless way of letting your mind settle down into an extremely calm and wise state of rest. While in this state the patient can picture a positive experience of training. This type of  meditation has been shown to have high self-reported outcomes (1).


Self-Talk meditation is how one speaks of them self or to them self’s. This technique can play a high roll in performance, desire, and self-image. Mental skills such as self-talk, exposure, cognitive change, and acceptance have been classified as mechanisms of change in mindfulness meditation (1).


Relaxation is the most common type of meditation in stress-reducing programs or personal development.  One way to practice relaxation meditation is to sit calmly with your eyes closed and concentrate on repeating a word or sound (1).

How to Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation training go hand in hand. It only takes about 5-10 minutes a day. Numerous studies have shown improvements with focus, performance, recovery, and overall health for individuals who practice mindfulness and meditation.

Incorporating mindfulness meditation into your daily life can be as easy as downloading  an app to your phone. Smiling Mind, HeadSpace, Calm, and Mylife Meditation are examples of some the many available apps to help begin a daily mindfulness and meditation practice. It may be challenging to find time to incorporate a daily practice into your routine, though this is when mindfulness meditation may be the most helpful. Start small by picking a time that you can consistently devote 3-5 minutes to practice mindfulness. For student athletes it could be also helpful to use it when traveling to or from a game to help calm, focus, and re-center athlete. Using a mindfulness meditation before game for per-competition stress or after a game when they could be feeling frustrated and anxious.



  1. Performance enhancement through meditation in athletes: Insights from a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Tae Yoon Kima, Jung Hyun Kim, Ph.D.
  2. The Effect of Mindfulness Meditation on HPA-Axis in Pre-Competition Stress in Sports Performance of Elite Shooters. Dr. Shaji John, Dr. S. K Verma, Dr. G. L Khanna
  3. Sports Injuries and Stress Management: An Opportunity for Research. James O. Davis. Human Kinetics Journals.
  4. How Mindfulness Training may mediate Stress, Performance and Burnout. Furrer, Dr. F. Moen, and. Dr. K. Firing. The Sport Journal.
  5. The Meeting of Meditative Disciplines and Western Pyschology: A Mutually Enriching Dialogue. Walsh, R. Shapiro, S.L. American Pyschologist
  6. 5 Differences Between Mindfulness and Meditation. Schultz, J. Pyschology Today.

Written by: Tasji Urhausen MATRN, ATC madras high school athletic trainer for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Tasji HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.

Burn Injuries – Turkey Frying Goes Wrong!

Burn Injuries – Know what to do when turkey frying goes wrong!

If you’ve never tried a deep-fried turkey, you don’t know what you are missing out on! In addition to being absolutely delicious, it only takes a fraction of the time to cook as an oven roasted turkey. However, the benefits do come with risk.

According to the National Fire Protection Association when turkey frying goes wrong it causes an average of 5 deaths, 60 injuries, and more than $15 million in property damage each year. So, unless you’ve invited your local Athletic Trainer over for Thanksgiving Dinner, make sure you read below to learn more about the different types of burns and proper first aid to treat burn injuries in the event your turkey frying experiment goes wrong.

For an example of what not to do: Watch this video!

Types of Burns

Classified as first, second, and third degree, appropriate burn treatment will vary depending on the severity and size of the injury.

first degree burn


A first-degree burn is the least severe. Specifically, it occurs when the outer layer of is damaged from touching or picking up a hot object. The skin becomes red at first, and then it eventually dries and peels. Pain from a first-degree burn typically lasts 48-72 hours before subsiding. Another common example of a first-degree burn is a sunburn.


second degree burn


Second-degree burns happen in the same way as a first-degree burn, but they are more severe. With a second-degree burn, damage occurs to the outer layer of skin, as well as parts of the inner layer of skin. Signs of a second-degree burn include blistering, white blotchy patches on the skin, possibly a deep red color, and the area may look wet and shiny. In addition, there could be swelling, and the area will be painful to the touch.

third degree burn


Third-degree burns are the most serious and require urgent medical attention. As with second-degree burns, third-degree burns damage both the inner and outer layers of the skin. Visually, the area may look dry and leathery, or the skin may appear charred, black, yellow, white or brown. Interestingly, a third-degree burn is not always painful at the time of injury. This is because of damage to the nerve endings in the area.


Treat minor burns by cooling the area under running water, or applying a cold, wet compress to the area. If possible, remove anything from the injured area that could restrict circulation such as rings, watches, belts, or tight clothing.  Apply a lotion such as aloe vera gel or other skin moisturizer. This will provide some pain relief and help reduce drying and peeling. Cover the area with a sterile bandage and wrap the area loosely with a clean bandage.

If blisters are present, do not pop them. Popping blisters creates an opening in the skin that can become a source of infection. If a blister does pop, gently clean the area with soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin, and cover with a bandage to keep it clean. Taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen can help ease the pain and swelling. Always follow the directions on the bottle for appropriate dosing.


burn first aid

If you can see that the level of damage is deep, covers an area greater than 3 inches, or covers the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or a major joint, than you need to call 911 and seek immediate medical care. All third-degree burns as well as some second-degree burns, require immediate medical attention.

While waiting for emergency care to arrive, take steps to protect yourself, the patient, and others from further injury. First, ensure the injured person is in a safe area. Next, check the ABC’s – Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. If there is no pulse and the individual is not breathing, send someone to call 911, start CPR and continue until medical help arrives.

AIRWAY – If the person is unconscious, open the airway by putting one hand on the forehead and the other on the patients chin, then tilt the head back while lifting up the chin.

BREATHING – Look to see if the chest is rising and falling with each breath.

CIRCULATION – Check for a pulse on the neck or wrist.

Once you have confirmed that the injured person is conscious and breathing, make sure to remove any items that restrict the injured area such as jewelry or belts. Cover the burned area with a cool, moist bandage or clean cloth, but do not immerse large burns in water. Elevate the injured area, keep the patient warm, and watch for signs of shock until help arrives.

Finally, when planning your deep fried turkey feast, it is a good idea to have a small, well-stocked first aid kit and a fire extinguisher available, and make sure at least one person in your household is CPR trained. If you are not comfortable providing care, or you are not sure what the right course of action is, call 911 or go to your local urgent care or emergency room.

Be safe, give thanks and enjoy your turkey!

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.



Deep Fryer Fires


Role of a High School Athletic Trainer

Sisters High School Athletic Trainer Alex Walker on what it means to be a high school athletic trainer. 

What does it mean to have an Athletic Trainer (AT) at your school?

An Athletic Trainer (AT) is an allied healthcare professional who cares for athletes during every practice and game.  Athletic Trainers treat and manageemergent, acute, and chronic injuries and medical conditions through examination, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Additionally, injury prevention is a key aspect of the work we do. Part of preventing injuries, is working to ensure the conditions that athletes play and practice in are safe. For instance, Athletic Trainers monitor the weather and field conditions in order to ensure that a safe playing environment exists.

Having an AT at your school means you have a highly educated medical professional who does more than tapes ankles and gives out ice bags. The athletic trainer knows the athletes inside and out is there to take care of them if they are injured.

What makes an AT different from other medical professionals?

Athletic Trainers are at the school every day. We are a familiar face for every athlete and are the only medical professional to follow the athlete from the initial point of injury until he/she returns safely to the field, court, or track.

Athletic Trainers help decide whether follow care from a doctor is necessary or not. We guide the athlete through the rehabilitation process following injury and educate the athletes about the recovery process.

What happens when a school does not have an AT?

When a school does not have an Athletic Trainer, they are asking someone other than a trained medical professional to make medical decisions and respond to emergencies on the field. Often times a coach or parent may try to provide the services of an Athletic Trainer. While coaches have first aid and CPR training, they are not healthcare professionals.  In addition, they are being taken away from their primary role and may act with a clouded mind of wanting a specific outcome of a game.

Having an AT at your high school means that you have one designated person on the sidelines whose only job is to ensure the health and safety of the athletes.

Athletic trainers are a vital part of the high school healthcare team. We are there to take care of athletes on and off the field. Our goal is to support the athlete and make sure that their health and wellbeing are top priority. We are medical professionals that want to see every athlete thrive on and off the field.

Learn more about the education and licensing requirements to be an athletic trainer HERE.

Learn more about the importance of athletic trainers at the high school level HERE.

Written by: Alex Walker, ATC athletic trainer for The Center Foundation and Sisters High School in Sisters, OR. Learn more about Alex HERE.

The Center Foundation places dedicated athletic trainers in local high schools to provide sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. Learn more about our work HERE.



The Center Foundation Announces Sandy Visnack As New Executive Director


We are pleased to announce Sandy Visnack as the new Executive Director of The Center Foundation. Visnack brings over two decades of nonprofit management and fundraising experience, working in leadership roles as Executive Director, Development Director and Communications Director for nonprofit organizations serving youth and families in Oregon and Colorado. With her deep commitment to Central Oregon youth and demonstrated leadership, Visnack will help The Center Foundation move forward in its mission to keep kids healthy and safe in Central Oregon.


“The work of The Center Foundation is so important to our community and it is an honor to join this organization,” said Visnack. “I look forward to building upon the strong foundation that has been developed and hope to leverage new opportunities in the upcoming months.”


Visnack holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Vermont and a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Colorado. Previous positions held include Director of Communication at NeighborImpact and Executive Director at Bend Endurance Academy. When not cheering on her daughter at mountain biking and cyclocross races, Sandy enjoys mountain biking, skiing and volunteering.


Visnack will succeed Sonja Donohue, who has retired after serving as Executive Director since 2015.


“We are grateful for Sonja’s leadership, stewardship of its programs, and development of a robust and diverse donor base over the past six years,” said Patsy Melville, The Center Foundation Board President. “Her legacy ensures that our local youth athletes will benefit from The Center Foundation’s programs for many years to come.”



Fall Sports are Back!

The 2021-22 school year is underway and fall sports are back! We are excited to kick off a new year and continue to provide athletic trainers to local high schools to keep kids safe. This fall, look for us in your high school athletic training room where we will be on a daily basis providing onsite injury prevention and treatment services for YOUR student athlete.

Caldera Campaign

We are thrilled to announce that our program includes the newest school in Bend, Caldera High School, home of the Wolfpack! This fall, Emily Celner joins our team as the athletic trainer at Caldera. Please stop by the Caldera athletic training room and say “hi” to Emily. Most importantly, THANK YOU to all who contributed to our Caldera Campaign. Your support makes it possible to extend our services to more youth in Central Oregon.

Meet The Team 2021-22

In addition to the new position at Caldera High,  we would like to introduce a few other new member of our team. Danielle Keyes is the new athletic trainer at Summit High School. Tasji Urhausen is joining our team as the athletic trainer at Madras High School. Finally, Austin Michalski is the new athletic trainer at La Pine High School. You can learn more about our entire athletic training team HERE.

Fall Sports are Back with Emily Celner at Caldera HSFall Sports are Back with Danielle Keyes at Summit HSFall Sports are Back with Tasji Urhausen at Madras HSFall Sports are Back with Austin Michalski at La Pine HS


COVID-19 Update

18 months ago, who would have imagined that we would still be in the thralls of a global pandemic today? COVID-19 is just as much a part of daily conversations, protocols and processes now as it was then. Now, more than ever, the role of athletic trainers in schools is crucial to ensuring that youth participating in sports are receiving the services they need to stay healthy. In fact, the ability to safely attend school for education, social connection, and sports participation is critical to the mental and physical health of our youth. The Center Foundation is committed to promoting the health and safety of youth in Central Oregon, even through the pandemic. And, we will continue to do so for the 2021-22 school year and beyond.

In addition, we ensure that students infected by COVID-19 receive proper medical care and screening before returning to sports. As healthcare professionals, our athletic trainers continually advocate for and ensure that safety measures and protocols are followed to keep your young athlete healthy and safe.

Fall Sports are Back

In the meantime, we are excited for the return of fall sports, including football, volleyball, soccer and cross-country. We look forward to seeing you at the field, pitch, court, or finish line cheering on our local youth!

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.