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North Oaks Offers Physicals to Livingston Parish Student-Athletes

  • Category: In The News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Nanette White
The North Oaks Health System team kicked off the Seventh Annual Sports Medicine Physical Day by offering 323 student-athletes from 12 Livingston Parish junior and high schools free physical examinations.

sports medicine physical day - doctors assisting patients

Fifteen doctors and five nurse practitioners, along with 58 athletic trainers and employees, volunteered for the event May 20 at North Oaks-Livingston Parish Medical Complex. Pictured above, athletic trainer Jeremy Kulbeth gives Westside Junior High School’s Jesse Lopez an orthopedic check. Lopez is on the cross-country and track and field teams.

Springfield High School (SHS) athletic director and head football coach Ryan Serpas, who accompanies his students to Physical Day each year, called the event “a great service to offer to our students. I’m really thankful to North Oaks for setting this up.”

Serpas and about 30 SHS student-athletes arrived at 7:15 a.m. at the Livingston Parish Medical Complex, received their physicals and were back on the bus headed for home by 7:50 a.m.

“They (the North Oaks volunteers) were ready for us as soon as we pulled up,” he commented. “It’s so organized and efficient.”

April Debetaz, a busy mother of three Walker High School student-athletes, agreed with Serpas, noting that she appreciates the free services offered promptly and efficiently on a Saturday morning.

“I’ve been coming for seven years, and each year it gets easier,” Debetaz observed. “We love it because we’re in and out.”

She added that she and her children arrived at 8:20 a.m. and were finished by 8:45 a.m. Her daughter, Katelyn, is a senior basketball player. Her sons, Mason and Caleb, are sophomores. Mason runs track and Caleb is a baseball player.

doctor examining patient

Also at the Livingston Physical Day, about 50 parents and coaches received stroke risk assessments from Dr. Joseph Heneghan of North Oaks Primary Care Clinic-Walker while Drs. Rebecca Soine and Frank Henchy of North Oaks Dermatology Associates provided more than 30 free skin cancer screenings. Pictured above, Jessica Crayton of Albany gets a skin cancer screening from Dr. Frank Henchy while her daughter, Alyssa, an Albany High School cheerleader, receives a physical examination.

Other doctors who volunteered during the two-hour event include: Drs. Brandi Basso, Gayle Beyl, Tony Dennis, Charles Ducombs, Jherie Ducombs, Bryan Dudoussat, Carl Gauthier, Stephen Graham, Julie Larson and Howard Raphael. Nurse Practitioners Polly Burrall, Michelle Civello, Lexie Dominguez, April McIntyre and Leslie Wood also participated.

In 1991, North Oaks began sponsoring Physical Day in Tangipahoa Parish with the goal of helping students fulfill Louisiana High School Athletic Association requirements for participation in school athletic programs. Last month, 938 student-athletes and more than 100 volunteers took part in the 26th Annual Physical Day at North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond.

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. North Oaks Rehabilitation Services Director Mac Barrient notes that students enrolled in the program who are injured at school-sponsored athletic events are eligible to receive preferential treatment and rehabilitation at North Oaks facilities.nurse checking patient's blood pressure

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 with access to an orthopaedist, and a free athletic training clinic also is offered.

During her basketball career, Katelyn Debetaz has suffered from knee and Achilles’ heel injuries. The North Oaks Sports Medicine team has been instrumental in her recovery, helping with rehabilitation, as well as supporting her during practice and games, her mother remarked.

“If I can’t be there, it’s a comfort to know the North Oaks trainer is there,” Debetaz explained.

For more information on North Oaks Sports Medicine and program enrollment criteria, call (985) 230-5248.