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LHSAA Announces Regional Healthcare Partnership

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) has announced the creation of an official Regional Healthcare Partnership. The three-year commitment is a cooperative agreement between the LHSAA and four regionalized healthcare groups. Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine, North Oaks Orthopedic Specialty Center, Lake Charles Memorial Sports Medicine and Green Clinic Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery will work in conjunction to serve the student-athletes of the LHSAA at state championship events and high school all-star games across Louisiana.

Each school year, the LHSAA recognizes state champions in 27 sports with events held in every corner of Louisiana. The safety and well-being of the student-athletes are of the highest priority to the LHSAA and its Healthcare Partners.

According to LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson, “We are excited about these regional groups partnering to serve the healthcare needs of the LHSAA. The safety of our student-athletes is a priority and, because we have a working history with all four organizations, we are confident they will exceed our expectations.”

For the past five years, Tulane has been the LHSAA’s official sponsor in regard to healthcare coverage at state championship events.

Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine is proud to continue providing coverage for LHSAA events in the New Orleans area,” said Greg Stewart, MD, Director of the Tulane Sports Concussion Program. “A sports medicine expert standing on the sidelines has the best opportunity to examine and manage an injury almost immediately after it occurs. This expedited attention offers the injured athlete the best possible care when it is needed most,” he said. “Our goal is to keep student athletes safe, prevent injuries and get those athletes with injuries back to 100%.”

This has allowed the LHSAA to cultivate relationships with North Oaks, Lake Charles Memorial and Green Clinic as they all have assisted in some capacity at LHSAA events in their respective geographic areas. The new Regional Healthcare Partnership will see the state split into four regions with each group responsible for the athletic trainer needs at championship events in its proximity.

Tulane will continue to service LHSAA events in the greater New Orleans area. New Orleans currently hosts the state championships in volleyball, football, wrestling, soccer, and 5A baseball.

North Oaks, located in Hammond, will provide the necessary Healthcare and trainer needs for events in the Baton Rouge/Hammond region. North Oaks has long provided trainers to the LHSAA for the Girls’ State Basketball Championships and, more recently, the Southeast Boys’ & Girls’ Basketball Regional in Hammond.

“For more than two decades, the North Oaks Sports Medicine team has partnered with schools in our region to conduct safe and healthy athletic programs. The initiatives of North Oaks Orthopedic Specialty Center along with the expertise of Dr. Judson Penton, a surgeon and sports medicine specialist with our center, have allowed us to expand our program scope and extend our services to partnerships such as this,” affirms James E. Cathey Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of North Oaks Health System. “We appreciate the opportunity to further collaborate with the LHSAA and our fellow regional healthcare partners toward the common goal of safety and well-being for student-athletes competing at the state level.”

Other area events include the gymnastics and outdoor track and field state championships.

Lake Charles Memorial has been providing athletic training care for the student-athletes of southwest Louisiana high schools for multiple decades now. Beginning in 2001, it has also had a presence at all LHSAA events in Lake Charles and Sulphur when the state softball championships were first moved to Frasch Park.

"Lake Charles Memorial Sports Medicine's has been involved in high school athletics for almost 30 years. Our team of board certified orthopedic surgeons and family medicine physicians certified in the subspecialty of sports medicine, as well as our staff of certified athletic trainers, understand the role of preparing and treating high schools athletes," says Dr. Brett Cascio, Medical Director of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. "Beyond bones, joints and muscles, we have developed programs that treat the total athlete like our concussion management program and our Saturday morning sports medicine injury clinic open to all amateur athletes."

LHSAA state championship events to be covered by Lake Charles Memorial include swimming, the southwest basketball regional tournament, softball, and 4A, 3A, B and C baseball.

Green Clinic Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery of Ruston first paired with the LHSAA this past March as the State Basketball Finals were held at the Thomas Assembly Center on the campus of Louisiana Tech.

"We are really looking forward to working with the LHSAA,” said Dr. Richard Ballard, founder of the Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery Department of Green Clinic. “When we joined forces last year for the State Basketball Championships I was pleased to find what a class organization they are. We are excited to team up with them again this year to provide sports medicine care for the state events in north Louisiana."

Green Clinic will supply athletic trainer needs for all LHSAA events north of Alexandria which include cross country, the north basketball regional, the state basketball finals, tennis, golf, and 2A and 1A state baseball championships.

For more information about the LHSAA and its official Regional Healthcare Partnership, please visit the LHSAA’s website at

About Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine

Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine (TISM) enjoys a reputation for focused attention on injury prevention and management for all major sports, whether amateur or professional. TISM’s goal is to enable every athlete to reach their full potential during competition and, in the event of an injury, return that athlete to 100% capability as effectively as possible. Using the most advanced techniques for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, the Institute provides one-stop, comprehensive sports medicine within a preventative and curative framework backed by the medical and academic resources of Tulane Medical Center and the Department of Orthopaedics in the Tulane School of Medicine. TISM is a part of Tulane Medical Center. For more information visit

About North Oaks Orthopedic Specialty Center

North Oaks Orthopedic Specialty Center is an entity of North Oaks Health System’s Physician Group with locations in Hammond and Livingston. It is the only multispecialty practice of its kind on the Northshore and in Livingston Parish, with a team of six physicians each specializing in a different aspect of orthopedics. In partnership with the North Oaks Sports Medicine program, North Oaks Orthopedic Specialty Center is a trusted health care resource for student-athletes on the playing field and beyond in Southeast Louisiana.

About Lake Charles Memorial Sports Medicine

Lake Charles Memorial Health System is celebrating 60 years of service to our community and for 30 of those years, Lake Charles Memorial Sports Medicine has served local high schools and the university. When it comes to student athletes, Lake Charles Memorial go beyond the physical, treating not only orthopedic injuries, but the body, mind and spirit. The mission of our Sports Medicine Program focuses on the TOTAL well-being of our young athletes. As such, in the past five years, Lake Charles Memorial has expanded our service capabilities with the recruitment of renowned sports medicine specialists, along with the finest emergency medicine, cardiology, family/sports medicine and internal medicine physicians. The physicians, athletic trainers and therapists are employed by Memorial and are provided free or at nominal cost to our local school systems.

Memorial Sports Medicine's Medical Director Dr. Brett Cascio is an orthopedic surgeon with a subspecialty in sports medicine. Trained at Duke University and Johns Hopkins, with a fellowship at the prestigious Steadman Hawkins Clinic, athletes travel from all over the state and beyond to seek his expertise. As a faculty member in the LSU Department of Orthopaedics, Dr. Cascio was recruited to take over Memorial Sports Program in 2009. His credentials include being a hip consultant for Baltimore Orioles and Tulane University. He has assisted in the care of multiple professional and college teams, including the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, New Orleans Jesters, Johns Hopkins, and McNeese State. Currently, he serves as team physician for LA Swashbucklers. He is trained in the latest minimally invasive arthroscopic surgical techniques for hips, knees and shoulders, specializing in ACL reconstruction, rotator cuff tears and shoulder and hip labrum repair.

About Green Clinic Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery

Green Clinic Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery has been in the Ruston community for over 20 years. They have grown to now reach 4 parishes in north central Louisiana. Teamed with two board certified orthopedic surgeons, a certified nurse Practitioner, a Certified Athletic trainer, multiple General Practitioners and Specialist, they seek to provide Care for the Total athlete.

Dr. Richard Ballard is the founder of the Green Clinic Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery. He graduated from Farmerville High School as Valedictorian of 1975, attended Northeast Louisiana University (now ULM) Summa Cum Laude 1978 to Louisiana State University Medical School class of 1982. He completed his residency at the University of Mississippi in 1987 and now has his own private practice at Green Clinic in Ruston, La. He has been the Team Doctor for Grambling State University since 1989 and has organized pre-participation physicals for athletes in north central Louisiana for over 20 years. As a student trainer through high school and college, Dr. Ballard has a passion for sports medicine involving high school and college athletes. He was inducted into the Louisiana Athletic Trainers Association (LATA) Hall of Fame in 2000, and currently sits on the Medical Advisory Board of the LATA.

About the LHSAA

The LHSAA is a private entity that provides and regulates interscholastic athletic programs that promote fair and equitable competition among its member schools that is in the best interest of the student-athlete.