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Nearly 1,100 Student-Athletes Participate in North Oaks Sports Medicine Physical Day

Dr. Judson L. Penton, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine with North Oaks Orthopedic Specialty Center, screens Sydney Gregoire at North Oaks Sports Medicine Physical Day on April 21. Sydney is a cheerleader at St. Joseph School in Ponchatoula.
Physical Day Volunteer Amy Riehlmann performs a height check on Tony McCrea, a member of the Southeastern Louisiana University football team. Riehlmann is one of nearly 70 North Oaks Health System employees who volunteered to help with North Oaks Sports Medicine Physical Day on April 21.
[HAMMOND, La.]–Nearly 1,100 student-athletes from 20 Tangipahoa Parish public and private schools and Southeastern Louisiana University received complimentary physical examinations at North Oaks Sports Medicine Physical Day on Saturday, April 21. The volunteer efforts of 24 physicians and nurse practitioners, 68 North Oaks employees, and 33 athletic trainers and athletic training education student volunteers from Southeastern Louisiana University made this community benefit possible.

North Oaks sponsored the 21st annual event to help junior high and high school student-athletes and their families fulfill Louisiana High School Athletic Association requirements.

Independence High School Football Coach Keith Carona comments, “The ability to get all of our physicals done in 1 day makes it easier for the school, students and parents.”

Ponchatoula High School Football Coach Hank Tierney agrees and adds, “It is a great comfort to me as a coach to know that the health of our players is in the hands of such a competent and professional group.”

First-time physician volunteer, Dr. Judson L. Penton, who is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at North Oaks Orthopedic Specialty Center, observes, “In my fellowship training, I was part of other large-scale sports medicine screening events, and this Physical Day was one of the most well-run I’ve experienced. The number of participating athletes and schools speaks volumes about the quality of the North Oaks Sports Medicine program and how well-respected the staff is in the community.”

It’s all about making sure our student-athletes are healthy to compete in the upcoming school year,” explains Jeff Schmitt, Head Athletic Trainer/Supervisor for North Oaks Sports Medicine.

Due to the growth of the program over the past 2 decades, the annual event was relocated this year from Hammond Park Professional Building to the Diagnostic Center and Orthopedic Specialty Center in the new Clinic Building on the North Oaks Medical Center campus.

“The core of the North Oaks Sports Medicine Program is community,” comments Wende Powell and Shonda Kinnison of Ponchatoula. “From the athletic trainers present at school-sponsored games and practices to the highly accessible clinic staff, skilled physicians and dedicated rehab therapists, our children have been treated like family with compassion and professionalism. The entire Sports Medicine Program has exceeded our expectations for patient care and is a tremendous asset to our community.” Powell’s son and daughter attend St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Hammond; Austen plays football and power-lifts, and Payten plays volleyball. Kinnison’s daughter Taylor plays basketball at Ponchatoula High School.

As the official health care provider of Southeastern Athletics, North Oaks also provided physical exams to collegiate athletes at the event. “Physical Day is an incredibly important and beneficial service to Lions Athletics,” affirms Cary Berthelot, Head Athletic Trainer of Southeastern Louisiana University. “Our student-athletes receive first-rate physical evaluations and screenings for potential injuries and other health-related concerns. Plus our athletic training education students get the opportunity to interact with a variety of medical professionals.”

In addition to Physical Day, North Oaks Sports Medicine cares for student-athletes on the playing field and beyond by providing: injury prevention and athletic ability enhancement education; athletic trainers on-site at many schools-sponsored sporting events; a free clinic for athletes at participating schools to assess injuries in a timely manner; as well as treatment and rehabilitation for injuries that occur during school-sponsored events.

Area physicians who volunteered at Physical Day include: Drs. Mark Daunis, David Doan, Michael Drapcho, Bryan Dudoussat, Steve Gaudin, J. Gregory Kinnett, Brian Ladner, Christina Leal, Chris Leumas, Gary Mall, Robert Peltier, Judson Penton, William Plunkett, Howard Raphael, Edmund Spiller, Jean Tran, Ivan Villalta and John Walker Jr. Nurse Practitioners include: Jennifer Burtch, Sandy Capps, Jean Genzale-Bertrand, Erika Oliver, Trenna Richard and Deborah Sellers.

The North Oaks team is looking forward to hosting a Sports Medicine Physical Day for Livingston Parish schools on Saturday, May 5 at the North Oaks-Livingston Parish Medical Complex.

To learn more about North Oaks Sports Medicine, please call (985) 230-5248.