HAMMOND — The North Oaks Sports Medicine team uses the downtime caused by the coronavirus global pandemic to re-evaluate and redesign service delivery to each of its partner schools under the tutelage of doctors Katy Morris and Jeffery Witty, who are board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists, a press release said.
Already staffed by nationally certified collegiate, high school and junior high athletic trainers, as well as sports-focused physical therapists and nutritionists, the program recently welcomed Clinical Supervisor Rebecca Troulliet, who is a board-certified physical therapy sports clinical specialist, and Sports Performance Specialist Taylor Dunn to the team.
With the redesign completed, student-athletes, their coaches and parents affiliated with each partner school now benefit from a more comprehensive program, the release said. North Oaks Sports Medicine’s specialists utilize science-driven exercise and nutrition programs to enhance athletic performance and prevent injuries and are able to deploy advanced technology in the areas of diagnostic imaging, concussion management, orthopedics, emergency and trauma care, as well as surgical and rehabilitative services when injuries occur.
North Oaks Sports Medicine also retired the annual Physical Day model that it used for 29 years in favor individual screening events at each partner school.
“The end result is a more personalized level of care for our student-athletes,” Troulliet said.
“With the health and safety of more than 1,000 student-athletes being our No. 1 priority, we knew our traditional one-day screening model would not work in the midst of the pandemic,” Troulliet said. “So, for the first time in our history, we performed physicals for each partner school’s student-athletes on their home turf. All necessary precautions and distancing measures were taken to create a safe environment for them.”
North Oaks Sports Medicine provides free annual physicals to student-athletes in fulfillment of Louisiana High School Athletic Association requirements for participation in school sports programs.
North Oaks Sports Medicine enacted a plan to visit partner schools within a two-week period to ensure new physicals would be completed and on file before LHSAA’s Oct. 1 extension of 2019-2020 physicals lapsed.
A team of 15 to 20 health care professionals traveled to each school to perform the physicals, including orthopedic and primary care providers, nationally certified athletic trainers, physical therapists and other medical specialists. Up to 50 physicals per hour can be completed using this model, Troulliet said.
Jason St. Pierre, principal of Walker High School, praised the onsite format.
“It’s certainly more convenient for our student-athletes and coaches to have the physicals performed here at the school, and it creates a great opportunity for networking among North Oaks health care professionals, our administration and coaches, student-athletes and their parents,” St. Pierre said. “It shows that North Oaks Sports Medicine is committed to our community and the success and safety of our athletic program.”
At Walker High School, health care professionals were able to perform the physicals in the school’s new gym, which features dedicated clinic space for North Oaks Sports Medicine to care for both male and female student-athletes.