School is back in session on the Gulf Coast, and high school and collegiate sports are about to begin another year of competitive play. The sports medicine outreach program at Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine has several ways to keep student-athletes as safe as possible, all year.
Andrews Institute provides athletic trainers (ATs) to all public high schools in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties along with the University of West Florida, Pensacola Christian College and Pensacola Christian Academy. Services for student athletes includes injury-prevention training/education, injury treatment, concussion baseline testing and pre-participation physicals. In addition, Saturday morning injury clinics are offered from late August through mid-November. Coaches and leaders at Andrews Institute partner-schools also have access to receive AED/CPR training and education seminars covering different topics related to sports medicine. And Andrews Institute athletic trainers complete a yearly Management of Sideline Emergencies course that covers topics such as the management of cardiac and general medical emergencies, heat illnesses, fractures and spinal injuries.
“It’s so important that we’re on the sidelines for games and at practices because that’s where an injury is most likely to occur,” said Michael Milligan, M.D., director of external development for sports medicine outreach at Andrews Institute. “But so much of the work we do at sports medicine outreach deals with prevention and education because that’s where we can make an enormous difference in the health and safety of our student athletes.”
Andrews Institute employs around 60 athletic trainers, some of whom are in physician clinics, but many are at schools across the Gulf Coast. “Our athletic trainers are passionate about their work and are great at what they do,” said Kathleen McGraw, who’s served as Andrews Institute sports medicine outreach manager since fall 2018. “That comes from a tremendous dedication to protecting the student-athlete and a willingness to learn and embrace new and innovative ways to do our work.”