Sep 21, 2020
Illinois Hospital Ends AT Program for Schools

Decatur (IL) Public Schools will have to find other athletic trainers to treat their student-athletes when high school sports returns.

According to a report from WCIA.com, DPS officials stated last week that Decatur Memorial Hospital is ending their athletic trainer program. The hospital defines the decision as a reallocation of their athletic trainers. And since there are no fall sports currently practicing or competing at Decatur Public Schools, it does not affect the current season.

illinois
Photo: Sgt. Katie Eggers

Michael Leathers, a communications professional with Decatur Memorial Hospital issued the following statement.

“Decatur Memorial Hospital had provided athletic training services for 12 high schools for several years, offering this service at no or minimal cost. When DMH became part of the Memorial Health System, our intention was to continue this program, even though it was outside the scope of services offered in other MHS communities.

“Unfortunately, the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic since March have been severe. Like other health systems in Illinois and around the nation, MHS has been forced to examine its programs and make difficult decisions. We very reluctantly concluded that we can no longer support the athletic training program as a community benefit.”

In addition to providing athletic trainers to Decatur Public Schools, DMH also works with a number of other local high schools in the area. Hospital officials told WCIA.com that they will work with these schools to help them find other resources.

Over the weekend, parents and players protested outside a state building in Chicago, pleading with Governor J.B. Pritzker to lift his ban on some fall sports, according to a report from NBC-5 Chicago. Another rally was also held in Springfield.

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That state decided in August that fall sports like football, boys soccer, and girls volleyball were pushed to the 2021 season. The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) approved golf, girls tennis, boys and girls cross-country, and girls swimming and diving for the fall 2021 athletic season.

To read the full story WCIA.com on DMH ending their athletic training program with local high schools, click here




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