Jan 29, 2015
Cutting Coverage?

Just 18 months in, a program that provided the Forsyth County (N.C.) School District with certified athletic trainers for its high schools may be ending. A contract with two medical centers that provided 12 area schools with ATCs expired on June 1, and has not yet been renewed.
The 12 athletic trainers were employed by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Forsyth Medical Center, with six coming from each hospital. Each athletic trainer was placed at one of the high schools to work full-time at practices, games, and tournaments. In exchange, the schools provided advertising for the hospitals at sporting events.

North Carolina mandates high schools to have a first responder or certified athletic trainer on-site for athletic events, and full-time coverage is encouraged. However, the Forsyth County School District would be strained to employ full-time athletic trainers without outside help. District spokesperson Theo Helm told the Winston Salem Journal that the district’s funding options are limited and that it is not yet considering other sources of support to keep the athletic trainers until the hospitals’ contract decision is finalized.

“I am stunned that at this point in time, when our state has increased legal guidelines for athletes with concussions, and athlete deaths make headlines all over the country, that we would be facing this situation,” Katy Martin, Athletic Trainer at Carver High School, told the Winston Salem Journal. “I am concerned that it is happening now, right before football season, and also without enough time to provide more money for medical supplies and first responders in a school’s budget for the fiscal year. You can’t have a practice without at least having a first responder there.”

The program cost approximately $1 million for equipment, supplies, and the athletic trainers’ salaries. However, the contract between the school district and hospitals was set on an annual basis in order to continually evaluate its effectiveness and needs.

We recently talked to Forsyth County School District Athletic Director Greg Gentry about this program for our sister publication, Athletic Management. You can read the article here.

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