WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has partnered with Wilkes County Schools and Lexington City Schools to provide certified athletic trainers (ATCs) at high schools in both school districts.
As outlined in both agreements, the ATCs will be employed by Wake Forest Baptist, with one assigned to Lexington Senior High School and four others assigned to the four public high schools in Wilkes County that have athletic programs: East Wilkes, North Wilkes, West Wilkes and Wilkes Central.
“Wake Forest Baptist has a long history of caring for people in both Wilkes County and Lexington and helping them to improve their health,” said Kevin P. High, M.D., president of Wake Forest Baptist Health. “We continue to be a leader in the field of sports medicine, pediatric trauma and concussion research, so these partnerships come naturally. They allow us to further extend our mission and expertise to the student athletes and their families who will benefit from these relationships.”
Both school systems recognized Wake Forest Baptist’s expertise in sports medicine treatment and injury prevention education as the perfect fit to provide certified athletic trainer programs.
“We are so excited about what this means for our school system and our student athletes,” said Chris Skabo, director of athletics and healthful living for Wilkes County Schools. “We want people to associate our school system with excellence, and we feel this relationship with Wake Forest Baptist helps us with that mission.”
The ATC at Lexington Senior High School is already in place and working with the student athletes, and Wake Forest Baptist is in the process of hiring the four ATCs for Wilkes County Schools.
“We’ve already seen the impact that Wake Forest Baptist’s certified athletic trainer has made with our student athletes,” said Ronnie Beverly, athletic director at Lexington Senior High School. “They really appreciate the time she spends showing them proper nutrition and conditioning tips as well as taking care of their injuries when they do occur.”
In addition to the five ATCs, Wake Forest Baptist will provide management, support services, and additional personnel to each program including a coordinator, a medical director and team physicians.
Wake Forest Baptist also will develop concussion programs tailored to meet the needs of the high schools, and which will comply with all applicable laws governing treatment of concussions, including the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act.
At a minimum, the concussion programs will provide all high school student athletes with pre-season, baseline testing and additional testing if a concussion is sustained or suspected.
In 2016, Wake Forest Baptist announced a similar partnership with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to provide athletic training services at all 12 high schools in the school system.
The initial agreements with all three school systems run through June 30, 2020.