What is the Sports Medicine Program?
With the recent media focus on concussion, sudden cardiac and heat-related deaths in school athletics, there is little question that having a qualified health care professional onsite for young athletes is crucial. That’s why we place certified athletic trainers in local high schools through our Sports Medicine Program. Our athletic trainers provide daily on-site medical care at practices and games, triage accidents and injuries, diagnose and manage concussions, and educate athletes and coaches on injury prevention and sports safety. In short, they do a lot! And, they do all of this at no cost to students or their families. Since 2015, our high school Sports Medicine Program has grown from four schools to eight, and our athletic trainers now care for more than 5,000 student athletes annually. All of this thanks to the generous support of The Center physicians and our donors.
Why We are Here
There is nothing more precious to a parent than the safety of their child. However, parents cannot be at every practice or game to keep an eye on their young athlete. In addition, the majority of high schools in the Northwest, Central Oregon included, do not have the budget to hire and staff their own athletic trainers to care for their athletes. With more budget cutbacks each year, public schools focus their funds on maintaining high quality academic programs and ensuring equal access to education – as they should. But, kids need safe physical activity too. As a matter of fact, studies show many benefits, physical, emotional, social and intellectual, for kids participating in organized sports. And, schools know that keeping sports programs alongside academic programs is critical for children’s overall development. We agree. We want kids to play and we want them to be safe.
That’s where we step in with our high school Sports Medicine Program. Started over two decades ago by concerned physicians at The Center, The Center Foundation is the only nonprofit program in Central Oregon solely dedicated to ensuring that youth are safe, healthy, and protected while participating in sports. In short, we fill the gap by providing the athletic trainers that our schools cannot afford.
How Can YOU Help?
In order to accomplish this, we raise over $500,000 annually to provide sports medicine services to eight high schools in Bend, La Pine, Sisters, Madras, Culver and Crook County. However, we have more work to do. Specifically, our middle school athletes need support, and we have an additional high school coming online in 2021. As our region continues to grow, so does our opportunity to keep kids active and safe. This is where YOU come in. Our kids depend on us; we depend on you to keep us here protecting them. If every parent of a high school athlete in Central Oregon gave just $10 a month for one year (that’s only two visits to Starbucks!) it would go a log way toward reaching our goals.
New this year, we are excited to announce that the Maybelle Clark McDonald Fund has awarded us a matching grant for gifts up to $5,000. Please consider making a gift to The Center Foundation Sports Medicine Program. Donating is easy on our website, and we are truly grateful for every dollar given. Make your gift go further by donating today!
Written by: Shawn Taylor, Program Administrator for The Center Foundation. Learn more about Shawn HERE.
The Value of the Secondary School Athletic Trainer. National Federation of State High School Associations. Published online March 10, 2015. Accessed October 26, 2018. https://www.nfhs.org/articles/the-value-of-the-secondary-school-athletic-trainer/
Youth sport: positive and negative impact on young athletes. Journal of Sports Medicine. Published online May 31, 2013. Accessed October 26, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3871410/
Sports and Child Development. Published online May 4, 2016. Accessed October 26, 2018. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0151729
The Value of Athletic Training Employment in Secondary School Athletics. The Sport Journal. Published Online August 31, 2017. Accessed October 26, 2018. https://thesportjournal.org/article/the-value-of-athletic-training-employment-in-secondary-school-athletics/