North Oaks Sports Medicine provides free physicals for Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes student-athletes.
This year, more than 1,300 area student-athletes from 42 junior high and
high schools participated. This represents a combined total savings of
nearly $100,000 for local residents like the Jones family of Hammond.
“North Oaks Sports Medicine Physical Day benefitted my family by
allowing us to get my daughter a quality physical given by a great staff
at no cost to me,” notes Joell Jones of Hammond. Jones’ daughter
Megan attends Holy Ghost Catholic School, where she plays volleyball and
will be entering seventh grade in the fall.
North Oaks has sponsored the Tangipahoa Parish Physical Day for 27 years
and the Livingston Parish Physical Day for eight years to assist families
and schools in fulfilling Louisiana High School Athletic Association requirements
for participation in athletic programs.
This community service was made possible in Hammond and Livingston through
the volunteer efforts of 32 physicians and nurse practitioners coupled
with 165 employees, athletic trainers and athletic training students from
Southeastern Louisiana University.
“To be able to have physicals performed for all of our student-athletes
in one location on one day is of tremendous benefit to our program,”
asserts Hank Tierney, Ponchatoula High School’s head football coach.
“The quality and thoroughness of the physicals are top-notch. In
fact, we had seven student-athletes who did not pass this year and were
referred to their personal physicians for follow up. Obviously, we want
our student-athletes to pass their physicals, but we would rather identify
issues on the front-end so that they can work with their personal physicians
to resolve the issue rather than have it lead to further injury or tragedy
on the playing field.”
Ryan Serpas, who is athletic director and head football coach for Springfield
High School, also touted the safety and prevention aspects of the screenings.
“We’ve had a couple of student-athletes flagged for heart issues
in past years. So it’s a comfort to me knowing that I’m not
putting a student-athlete, who may have underlying conditions, in a stressful
situation.” The school has participated in Physical Day for 13 years.
Stacy Darouse, Albany High’s girls basketball coach, concurs on the
benefits of Physical Day, adding that it also presents a prime opportunity
for team bonding.
“The Lady Hornets arrived together and went to breakfast as a team
The free physical screenings offered annually in both Tangipahoa and Livingston
parishes are just one benefit of enrollment in the North Oaks Sports Medicine Program.
Other program features include: injury prevention and athletic ability
enhancement education for athletes and coaches; and athletic trainer coverage
at many school-sponsored sporting events and practices. Saturday morning
clinics are held during football season offering free injury evaluation
and physician referral.
For more information on North Oaks Sports Medicine and program enrollment
criteria, call (985) 230-5248.
Orthopaedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist Jeff Witty, MD, of North
Oaks Orthopaedic Specialty Center examines Grahm Casse, a 17-year-old
soccer player and cross country runner at Hammond High Magnet School.
Ashley Watson, a Certified Nursing Assistant at North Oaks Medical Center,
takes 13-year-old Drew Milton of Saint Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School through the paces of
his eye exam.
Dr. Stephen Graham performs a heart and lung check on Hammond High Magnet
School football and track athlete Kevin Primus, 18.
“We really appreciate North Oaks providing physical exams for our
athletes at Hammond High Magnet School,” shares Hammond High’s
Head Football Coach Steve Jones. "It is a big relief as a coach to
have our athletes receive a thorough exam each year.”
Camryn Woods, a 17-year-old point guard for the Albany High School Lady
Hornets, gets a blood pressure check from North Oaks Patient Access Associate
Dr. Gayle Beyl of North Oaks Primary Care in Livingston performs a heart
and lung check on Amira Raddler, 12. Raddler is a point guard for Doyle
Junior High School’s Lady Tigers.
Ryan Serpas takes advantage of the blood pressure check screening station
provided by Dr. Joseph Heneghan of North Oaks Primary Care in Walker during
Sports Medicine Physical Day in Livingston. Serpas is the athletic director
and head football coach for Springfield High School.
Dr. Juan Martinez of North Oaks Primary Care in Hammond prepares to evaluate
Physical Day first-timer Nicholas Graves, 14. A pitcher for the Walker
High School Wildcats baseball team, Graves was able to fit his physical
in before making his way to Southeastern Louisiana University with his
family to attend commencement exercises May 12.