SportsHealth is scoring big on many different fields of “play”
An athlete is a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise. But at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation (BSWIR), athletic trainers have redefined the term, expanding it to include all those at risk for physical injury due to the nature and demands of their work.
“Dancers and other performers, police, fire and other municipal employees, and even delivery workers are all ‘athletes’ in terms of their level of physical activity. As such, they can benefit from our innovative athletic training and sports health programs,” said Kendall Goldberg, MLA, LAT, ATC, Director of Athletic Training Services/SportsHealth BSWIR.
BSWIR is now the largest provider of athletic training services in North Texas. The nearly 225 full- and part-time certified athletic trainers on the BSWIR team are skilled in treating a wide range of injuries or illnesses. Those conditions include, but are not limited to, acute and chronic orthopedic injuries (strains, sprains and fractures), concussion, cardiac and diabetic emergencies, exertional sickling (a rare blood condition related to intense exercise), heat stroke and other environmental or weather-related issues, as well as arthritis and other health conditions. Trainers also focus on identifying areas of risk and injury prevention strategies.
BSWIR provides athletic training at more than 200 high schools, colleges, youth/club programs and professional sports organizations, including the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the Dallas Stars High School Hockey League/Dallas Stars pro hockey team. They also work with the City of Fort Worth, the Austin Ballet and FedEx, among other entities.
In working with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, for example, BSWIR athletic trainers are onsite at all rehearsals, performances and home football games to provide evaluation and treatment as needed and help coordinate any subsequent doctor and/or physical therapy visits. Similarly, athletic trainers provide onsite prevention programs, focusing on education and safety for city employees specific to their areas of responsibility.
Clinic on wheels
In the past 10 years, BSWIR has provided coverage at more than 7,500 events, most of which involved first aid, head injury assessment, splinting, taping and activation of emergency action plans to injured participants. Among these events are the annual BMW Dallas Marathon, Dallas Cup International Soccer, MS Bike Ride, Austin Sol Pro Ultimate Frisbee and Athletes Unlimited Pro Volleyball, in addition to the 2021 USA Gymnastics Championships.
To best meet demand, BSWIR has a customized sports medicine trailer that serves as a mobile athletic training room. It features taping tables and treatment couches that open to stretching tables and is fully equipped with first aid and nursing supplies, defibrillators and emergency split bags.
“Through our growing SportsHealth program, we’ve gone beyond the fields, rinks and arenas to help address the needs and ensure the safety of athletes regardless of their level or type of work or play,” said Goldberg.