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Tangipahoa Parish Student-Athletes Score Free Physicals

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  • Written By: Melanie Zaffuto

North Oaks Sports Medicine’s Twenty-sixth Annual Physical Day provided free physical examinations to 938 student-athletes from 27 Tangipahoa parish schools on April 29. The Seventh Annual Physical Day for Livingston Parish student-athletes will take place Saturday, May 20 at the North Oaks-Livingston Parish Medical Complex.

physical therapy

North Oaks sponsors both annual events to help junior high and high school students and their families fulfill Louisiana High School Athletic Association requirements for participation in athletic programs.

Incoming Hammond High Magnet School head football coach Steve Jones accompanied his team to Physical Day on the North Oaks Medical Center campus.

“(Physical Day) is great,” Jones observes. “It saves us a lot of headache having all of our student-athlete’s physicals done at one location.”

Eric Wells of Hammond, whose son Ethan Wells is a kicker for the Tornadoes, agrees.

“It’s great to be able to get a free physical for my son. North Oaks Sports Medicine has an excellent staff and does a great job of looking the players over.”

Parent and Hammond High Magnet School teacher Guillermo Tiffer adds, “I definitely love the fact that our hospital backs up our schools. As a parent, being here and meeting other parents is a good opportunity too.”

This year, the volunteer effort was made possible by 22 physicians and nurse practitioners, coupled with nearly 100 employees and certified athletic trainers from North Oaks, and athletic training students Southeastern Louisiana University.

Area physicians who volunteered to make North Oaks Sports Medicine Physical Day possible are: Drs. Greg Allen, Dong Cho, Tony Dennis, Jherie Ducombs, Mark Haile, Richard Grisoli, Brian Ladner, Julie Larson, Dottie Lewis, Alyssa Lyon, Nancy Mellin, Katy Morris (pictured with Dane Schmitt, a soccer player at St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School), Stacy Newman, Jacques Peltier, Sidney St. Amant, Robert Smith and Socrates Zapata; as well as Nurse Practitioners Lexie Dominguez, Lane Newman, Melissa Varnado and Mike Whittington.

Schools participating in North Oaks Sports Medicine Physical Day this year include: Amite High School, Amite Westside Middle School, Champ Cooper Elementary School, Greenville Park Leadership Academy, Hammond High Magnet School, Hammond Eastside Magnet School, Hammond Westside Montessori, Holy Ghost Catholic School, Independence High School, Independence Middle School, Independence Leadership Academy, Jewel Sumner High School, Jewel Sumner Middle School, Kentwood High School, Loranger High School, Loranger Middle School, Mater Dolorosa Catholic School, Natalbany Middle School, Nesom Middle School, O.W. Dillon Leadership Academy, Ponchatoula High School, Ponchatoula Junior High School, St. Joseph Catholic School, St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School, Southeastern Louisiana University Laboratory School, Trafton Academy, and Woodland Park Magnet School.

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.

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.

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