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KershawHealth to supply athletic training for KCSD

Posted: June 8, 2017 4:49 p.m.
Updated: June 9, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Following an executive session at the end of a lengthy meeting Tuesday night, the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees voted unanimously to authorize Kershaw County School District (KCSD) Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan to develop a formal agreement with KershawHealth to provide district-wide athletic training services.

As part of a series of emails Wednesday, Morgan said he will seek the board’s approval for the final version of the contract once it is negotiated.

“I would characterize the agreement as enhancing our services beyond the trainers funded by the district for each high school,” Morgan said in an email. “Currently, Lugoff-Elgin High School (L-EHS) is served by the Moore (Orthopedic) Clinic, and Camden and North Central are served by KershawHealth. Under the new structure, KershawHealth, our local health care system, will take the lead in terms of serving the entire district.”

Morgan and KershawHealth Growth and Outreach Liaison Kevin Rhodes confirmed Moore will continue to work with L-EHS as part of the athletic training program.

According to a press release issued by KershawHealth on Thursday, the hospital will offer the athletic training services in collaboration with Camden Bone & Joint (CB&J) and Palmetto Health, with which the Moore clinic is affiliated.

According to the press release’s summary of the proposed program, KershawHealth will offer:

• Board certified orthopedic surgeons or sports medicine physicians for all home varsity football games provided by CB&J.

• School staff, including athletic trainers, will have off-site access to physicians via cell phone for other varsity sports, junior varsity or away events, tournaments, games and practices. Students will have priority in-office access during business hours, plus after-hours access via urgent care or emergency department as needed. Board certified orthopedic surgeons or sports medicine physicians will be available on call 24/7.

• KershawHealth and Palmetto Health will collaboratively provide two full-time certified athletic trainers year-round. This coverage will focus on the district’s three high schools, though additional time to assist with middle school and wrestling is anticipated.

• Local pre-participation physical examinations for middle and high school athletes will be offered in conjunction with school nurses, athletic trainers and area physicians.

• Saturday “Black and Blue” clinics will be offered locally during the football season. Concussion clinics are planned throughout the year. These clinics will be staffed and facilitated by board certified physicians.

• KershawHealth will contribute to each school athletic booster club for miscellaneous student supplies and equipment.

“We have been working with the school board, principals, athletic directors, coaches and athletic trainers to understand how we can best serve our student athletes,” KershawHealth CEO Terry Gunn said in the press release. “We believe this collaborative approach brings the very best of local, high quality healthcare services from KershawHealth and Camden Bone & Joint, backed by the comprehensive tertiary services of Palmetto Health.”

Palmetto Health Athletic Trainer Manager Jason Wimberly said his organization is happy to add its expertise.

“In order for athletes to reach their full potential, we have to provide access to necessary resources like onsite athletic trainers. This plan will assist athletes in injury prevention and help them safely return to play,” Wimberly said.

CB&J Principal Partner Dr. Andrew Piasecki said, “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to be on the sidelines supporting our student athletes and their families in all three high schools. Since moving here 10-plus years ago, I’ve always envisioned CB&J expanding our services across the county. As president of the S.C. Orthopedic Association, I also have an extensive network of surgeons and related professionals across the state when needed. I believe that our partnership will make Kershaw County a model for athletic services very soon, and I can’t wait to see that vision become reality.”

In the press release, Morgan expressed his appreciation and excitement for the collaborative approach this agreement provides.

“This is a great example of local entities working together in good-faith to enhance services for our student athletes,” said Morgan following Tuesday’s school board meeting. He added, “It’s a real win-win for our community.”

Also following the executive session:

• Trustees split, 7-2, on placing “Employee A” at Lugoff-Elgin High School, with trustees Matt Irick and Mark Sury voting against the placement. While the district often makes a practice of not naming the employees involved in such decisions, in this case, district officials took the unusual step of declining to identify the employee’s job category following a request by the Chronicle-Independent on Wednesday. Through KCSD Director of Communications Mary Anne Byrd, Morgan said he did not feel comfortable doing so “due to concerns that it will break confidentiality.”

• Trustees voted 8-0-1, with Trustee Dr. James P. Smith abstaining, to accept the administration’s recommendations on other undisclosed employee matters.

• Trustees unanimously voted to allow two non-district students to attend KSCD schools upon the condition of paying tuition.

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