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TJRH partners with new Sports Medicine program at ACHS

By Stacey Biggs
EVP of Marketing, Planning & Development

As part of the organization's continued commitment to community support and economic development, T.J. Regional Health has become the founding sponsor of a new healthcare related academic program at Adair County High School. The Adair County Schools Sports Medicine Program launched this fall with more than 30 students enrolled.

The program was borne out of a Work Ready Skills Grant the school system received in order to expand their career pathways in the health sciences. The purpose of career pathways is to build highly trained workforce to meet the current and future needs of local employers. The grant provided funding for materials and equipment to expand, but not for the Teacher/Athletic Trainer position that was needed to expand their health sciences offerings. That's where T.J. Regional Health was able to assist.

As part of the new partnership, T.J. Regional Health pays half of the salary for a certified athletic trainer who also teaches classes in the Sports Medicine program. T.J. also provides a medical director for the program, sports medicine consultations, and other sponsorships for the school's extracurricular activities.

"When we purchased the hospital in 2016, we made a commitment to be fully engaged in this community, and we are doing that in a variety of ways," said Neil Thornbury, CEO of T.J. Regional Health. "From our perspective, it's important to invest in students now in order to build our future healthcare workforce, and for the students in the program, they get excellent hands-on opportunities to explore their interest in Sports Medicine."

The partnership is a win-win for everyone involved.

According to Certified Athletic Trainer Rebecca Cravens, "Adair County High School is thrilled to be able to offer this fantastic learning opportunity for the students in the community and surrounding areas as a result of our partnership with T.J." The coaches, athletes, and administrators have also really benefitted from the medical support of an Athletic Trainer on site for practices and games, as well as the availability of Dr. William Ross, our team physician. I am excited to be able to educate the students and the community on the world of sports medicine, and provide them with the hands-on learning experience they have not had access to before! We are grateful for the Work Ready Skills Grant, and to T.J. Health Columbia for partnering with us to enhance our student learning experience, and open the door for them to gain experience in preparation for entering the healthcare world!"

While the program was expected to attract about 15 students the first year, more than double that number have enrolled in the two courses currently being offered.

This story was posted on 2020-10-23 08:20:56
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