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New program increases student athlete safety

ATHLETE SAFETY PKG.jpg

PULLMAN, WA- In sports contact is inevitable, sometimes it's what comes after the hit that can be the most detrimental. But during this 2018 season, Pullman Regional Hospital partnered with Pullman, Colton, Garfield Palouse and Potlatch high schools to provide athletic trainers for all sports teams.

"Since the program started over ten thousand treatments have happened across all four schools,” said Reuben Mayes chief development at Pullman Regional Hospital.

They've seen great success.

"We’ve documented that the orthopedic surgeons have really sped up the process of seeing these student athletes by about tenfold," said Mayes.

Athletic directors tell KLEW News the program has led to more diagnoses, sped up response time and helped better identify injuries. Also, trainers aren't just at the games.

"Seventy percent of injuries occur at practices that's where the athletic trainer steps in and can help those injured athletes out," said Pullman Athletic Director Chris Franklin.

Most schools cannot afford full time trainers on their own which is why Pullman Regional saw the need and stepped in.

"The high school pays a fraction of the cost and the rest has been donated through operation and philanthropies so we are ongoing fundraising about eight hundred thousand dollars," said Mayes.

For the sponsors, it's a way to give back to the community and even the playing field amongst the schools.

"There's over seven hundred and fifty student athletes across all sports and a lot of time there are small injuries that a lot of time kids ignore or parents don't have the access to call into and this program provides the access they've been missing," said sponsor Dave Christy.

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