Our sports medicine program is focused on the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries for all our Middle School, JV, and varsity student-athletes. As health-care professionals, our four full-time, licensed, and nationally certified athletic trainers work directly with physicians and other specialists to optimize medical care. Staff members are available during normal school hours and after school, and are present at all home events and practices.
Our Sports Medicine team believes in the importance of providing quality and comprehensive medical care on-site. This allows us to better prevent and manage injuries, minimize the initial impact of injuries, and decrease the probability of re-injury. Our policies and procedures for injury prevention and management include:
- Venue-specific emergency action plans
- Automatic external defibrillators accessible to each venue
- A concussion management/return to play protocol that includes ImPACT baseline testing
- A heat acclimatization policy
- Hydration and body composition evaluations to determine safe minimal weights
In addition, each student-athlete is required every year to obtain a physical examination, preferably by their primary care physician, clearing them to participate in athletics. Each family is asked to update their personal and emergency contact information, health history, and provide the school with any special medical instructions.
Our protocols dictate that our student-athletes and coaches report injuries as soon as they occur, allowing our athletic trainers to begin evaluating those injuries immediately. After an initial evaluation, trainers work to determine and communicate appropriate treatment, make decisions on playing status, and coordinate possible referrals to physicians or other medical specialists. Evaluations are specific to the injured area and include taking a thorough history of the injury, recording signs and symptoms, and performing specific tests and measures. In the case of a joint injury, these specific tests evaluate strength, range of motion, joint stability, and function. Our concussion evaluation involves the use of the SCAT3, a vestibular oculomotor screen, and a King Devick assessment. All evaluations are documented and a plan for treatment devised based on assessment results.
First aid kits, injury ice, and water are present at all practice and competition venues to allow for immediate and on-site care of student-athletes. Athletic training rooms are also equipped with air splints, vacuum splints, spine boards, crutches, and boots to care for the immediate care of a variety of injuries. Coaches and athletic trainers travel with pertinent medical information for all their athletes in case of emergencies.
Treatment and rehabilitation programs are individualized to specific injuries and specific student-athletes. These programs are carried out under the supervision of the athletic trainers. Athletic trainers monitor each athlete’s progress on a daily basis allowing each athlete to advance as able. Rehabilitation programs focus on obtaining full range of motion, strength, balance, kinesthetic awareness, and functional training specific to the athlete’s sport. The primary goals of all programs are to insure a safe return to play and to minimize the chance of re-injury. Athletes must meet the goals of their rehabilitation program, pass their functional testing and be cleared by the athletic trainer/physician before they return to play.
The 2,600 square foot O’Leary Sports Medicine Center, located on the lower level of the Bruton Smith Athletic Center, allows our staff to administer comprehensive, individualized care for our student-athletes. The space features taping and treatment tables; whirlpools; hydrocollators; ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and iontophoresis, and Game Ready cold compression units; a paraffin bath; and a range of exercise machines for rehabilitation activities. It also includes equipment for producing custom orthotics. A separate “hydration room” at the BSAC entrance houses an ice machine and shelf space for coolers. The Bissell Campus includes another training room designed specifically to serve that campus.
Monica Erb, ATC, LAT
Associate Director of Athletics and Sports Medicine
(704) 943-4588 (office) | E-mail
Stephanie Miller, ATC, LAT
Head Athletic Trainer
(704) 943-4775 (office) | E-mail
Tina Taylor, ATC, LAT
Assistant Athletic Trainer
(704) 517-9726 (cell) | E-mail
Jason Farmer, ATC, LAT
Assistant Athletic Trainer (Middle School)
(704) 943-4862 (office) | E-mail
Dr. Don D'Alessandro
OrthoCarolina Sports Medicine Center