March is National Athletic Training Month. Northern Arizona Healthcare’s EntireCare Rehab & Sports Medicine understands the importance of providing sports medicine services to high school athletes in the Verde Valley by placing athletic trainers in local high schools. Jazmine Roland, ATC/L, is the athletic trainer at Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood; and Andrea Bagnall, ATC/L, is the athletic trainer at Red Rock High School in Sedona.
Student athletes are vulnerable to a variety of medical issues, such as concussions, muscle strains, broken bones and fatigue-related injuries. To mitigate the risk, Roland consults with student athletes during practices and games. She provides preventive care, teaches strengthening and flexibility techniques and offers advice on proper athletic wear.
After these consultations, which may include an analysis of previous injury, special testing and evaluation, Roland may recommend follow-up with the students’ primary care provider or a consultation with an orthopedic provider, such as Brian Duggan, M.D., orthopedic surgeon with Verde Valley Medical Clinic − Orthopedics.
For Roland, helping student athletes is a matter of personal and professional investment: she graduated from MUHS in 2010 before receiving her bachelor’s degree in athletic training.
“The moment I immersed myself in the Mingus sports medicine class during high school was the moment I knew I wanted to do this for life,” Roland said. “I loved the idea of still being a part of athletics, while being involved in the excitement of what medicine brings to the world. My goal was to give back to the same great community and school that shaped me into what I am today, for the present and future athletic generations to come.”
EntireCare director and physical therapist Jon Cook says the program is made possible through a committed collaboration between EntireCare, participating high schools and NAH as a whole.
“NAH is committed to bringing our services to the community, and this program is a way to go outside the hospital’s walls and help improve the health of our local athletes, right where they are,” Cook said.