Steamboat Springs High School hires SportsMed to play athletic trainer’s role |

Steamboat Springs High School hires SportsMed to play athletic trainer’s role

Steamboat Pilot & Today

— A big change is coming to the sidelines of Sailors sporting events this year, but Steamboat Springs Athletic Director Luke DeWolfe hopes most athletes and parents will not see any differences.

“The district is very excited about our new partnership with SportsMed to provide athletic trainer services to our student athletes,” Dewolfe said. “The financial implications are huge, and the level of service provided to our student athletes should be even better than before. The athletes will have more resources and a high level of care.”

In the past, the school district has employed an athletic trainer, who worked along the sidelines of every home sporting event, helping students who suffered injuries during games and guiding them through their recovery.

Earlier this year, the school district issued a request for proposal to provide athletic trainer services. The RFP was posted in Steamboat Today in June, and Dewolfe sent a copy of the RFP to providers, including Kinetic Energy, Steamboat Spine and Sport, YVMC SportsMed, the Center for Sports Medicine, Forever Fit, Johnson and Johnson and Align.

The school district evaluated the organizations that responded based on cost, organizational strength and the ability to provide the needed services; SportsMed was ultimately selected.

“Our sports injury and concussion management programs will help to care for student athletes as they train and compete,” Susan Ring, director of SportsMed, said in a news release. “While there will be a dedicated athletic trainer who will work with the students, SportsMed is able to provide an additional benefit to the school district’s in-depth of coverage with three other athletic trainers on staff.”

Ring added that the athletic trainer from SportsMed allow for a more seamless transition of care and improved communication from an on-field injury to therapy and from therapy back to the athlete’s sport.

In the release, Frank May, chief executive officer at YVMC, said he was excited about the new relationship and the hospital’s role in improving the health of the community, which is part of the hospital’s commitment to the Triple Aim framework that drives health care providers to improve the health of individuals and the community and improve the value of healthcare.

“The Steamboat Springs School District is an integral part of the future of our community, and we recognized that athletic training services are something that YVMC could support and have a positive impact on,” May said.

The move will save the school district more than $34,000 this year and an estimated $170,000 through the five-year contract. It also will ensure that athletes who play high school sports will continue to see the same high level of care they have seen in the past.

SportsMed will continue to offer Steamboat Springs School District student athletes a one-time free injury screening for athletic injuries. In addition, SportsMed will continue to offer $15 ImPACT — or Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing; baseline tests are available to all student athletes to establish a cognitive standard, which measures a student athlete’s progress during the recovery and treatment of a concussion.

“The financial implications were a big part of this,” DeWolfe said. “Every dollar matters, and we want to make sure that the athletic department does it’s part. I’m excited about this new relationship, and in the end, I think it’s going to be a win-win for everyone involved.”

DeWolfe said he is confident coaches, players and parents will see the benefits of the partnership, adding there should be no change in the level of care provided to student athletes.

Taking care of the athlete is a top priority at the schools, he said.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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