Stanford University will be expanding a new program that will provide Palo Alto High School athletic teams with dual game coverage and low-cost sports physicals. By working hand-in-hand with Palo Alto Unified School District athletic trainers and coaches, Stanford aims to provide medical care for Palo Alto and Gunn High School athletic teams through the creation of the Young Athletes Academy.
Last spring, the Children’s Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center launched this community outreach program in an effort to bring easily accessible sports medicine resources to partnered schools and clubs.
The team consists of 10 athletic trainers, a group of physical therapists and physicians who provide the many services offered by the Young Athletes Academy. These include sideline sports medicine care, access to specialty care, pre-participation physical evaluations, injury prevention programs and educational opportunities, according to the Young Athletes Academy website.
According to Courtney Beverine, an athletic trainer with Stanford Children’s Health, this program will be giving students throughout the area a cheaper option for their sports-related medical exams, especially if a student does not have insurance.
“This partnership with local high schools will allow students to be able to use Stanford’s clinic if an injury is in need of more attention than an athletic trainer is able to provide, such as screening or one-on-one with a physician,” Beverine said.
As a result of the recent partnership with PAUSD, on Monday Oct. 10, the Young Athletes Academy provided $10 sports physicals at Gunn High School for Gunn and Palo Alto High School students.
Insurance, or lack of insurance, will not be a problem in receiving services and medical information for student athletes.
“You don’t need any type of insurance to be able to do this. We are hosting this as a sort of community service,” Beverine said. “We’re trying to help out those families that don’t have insurance, or have a limited insurance plan. If someone is paying out of pocket, the price can be $50 or more for a physical. We’re doing it for $10 and the money we raise we send back to the high schools.”
Justine Iongi, the head athletic trainer for Paly is one of the many high school athletic trainers partnered with the program. Every trainer has a direct line with the Stanford athletic trainers, giving them the ability to call Stanford when they are in need of their services at the press of a button.
“This [program] unified us as a team to be better able to catch small things that we might have been unable to catch before,” Iongi said. “We can now send our athletes for more detailed screenings and get them the care they need faster. It’s a quick process that will help a lot of people that either don’t have insurance or just want an affordable resource for sports related injuries and information.”
The Young Athletes Academy is currently partnered with Palo Alto High School, Gunn High School, San Mateo High School, Burlingame High School, Capuchino High School, Aragon High School, the Hillsdale Fighting Knights football team, Ballistic Soccer Club and Rage Soccer Club.
“We will be expanding to more [sports] clubs on the Peninsula side as well,” Beverine said. “Since we are still building we don’t have the manpower yet to cover more clubs as well because they need more attention than the high schools because they don’t have athletic trainers.”
Another big part of the program is their sports medicine lectures and injury prevention programs.
“We’re in the process of coming up with more structured times of the year so we can hold larger amounts of people,” Beverine said. “We also want to provide conferences and educational events for the community, and students in partnered high schools would pay a discounted price to come in.”
In the coming months, the Young Athletes Academy looks to expand, create more educational events, and to make their services occur on an annual basis, according to Beverine.
“For the future, we are looking to grow and partner with more local schools and clubs,” Beverine said. “Our goal is everyone knows who are, and that people know they can come by and see us.”
To find out more about upcoming events and provided services, contact the Youth Athletes Academy at [email protected]