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Kingsford High School and DCHS/Dickinson Rehab Services Collaboration Leads To Receiving National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School Award

Program recognizes high schools that help to keep young athletes safe

Safe Sports
Kingsford High School with the financial assistance from the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers Association continues again this year to be recognized by the National Athletic Trainers' Association as a Safe Sports School. Kingsford is one of two schools in the Upper Peninsula or Northeast Wisconsin and was the first in the UP. The award champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that provide safe environments for student athletes. The award reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment by Certified Athletic Trainers.

By being a Safe Sports School Kingsford High School and the Dickinson County Healthcare system are committed to emphasizing quality and safety beyond the walls of the hospital or the school building to better benefit the community. Marcus Smithson Certified Athletic Trainer at Dickinson Rehab Services and Athletic Trainer at Kingsford High School said, "A facet of the healthcare community we feel needs consistent attention is bridging the gap between our exceptional quality, local healthcare and creating policies and procedures which ensure the health and safety of our area youth. We strive to create a model system as being a leader in both healthcare and education coupled with creating a platform to advocate for the Athletic Training profession not only in the Upper Peninsula and Northeast Wisconsin but the entire region." The program continues to be the premier choice for care with the addition of Dr. Sarah Venditti, Dr. Alexis Whaley and sports Physical Therapist Sarah Stanek to the team. Stanek comments that, "as a PT at DCHS, I really enjoy having the opportunity to work with area athletes in promoting injury prevention and return to play following injury to ensure health and safety. I try to incorporate the most innovative techniques to ensure athletes achieve their full potential."

Safe Sports Photo
Left to Right: Sarah Stanek PT, DPT (Sports Medicine Physical Therapist), Dr. Alexis Whaley, MD (Concussion Management Physician), Dr. Sarah Venditti, MD (Sports Medicine Orthopedic Surgeon), Marcus Smithson MBA, ATC (Sports Med/Orthopedic Coordinator, Certified Athletic Trainer) Lyle Smithson (KHS Principal), Al Unger (KHS Athletic Director), Doug Roberts (KHS Assistant Principal)

The school has a mission to provide a quality educational experience that assists in developing a student's knowledge, skills and attitudes in becoming successful citizens. By the criteria met through this award both the Dickinson County Healthcare System and Kingsford High School look to strive towards that mission as both organizations remain to be the leaders in education and healthcare by ensuring programs are run with the highest and most effective standards. Tim McGuire, Rehabilitation Services Manager at the Dickinson County Healthcare System commented that, "This is an excellent award showing how the hospital can work with community entities to provide quality healthcare in which all parties benefit. We are proud to be involved at Kingsford and are able to offer a service providing the best athletic injury prevention and care. We work closely with the Dickinson Orthopedic Practice, Dickinson Pediatrics, and Dickinson Concussion Management to cover all ends of the injury spectrum. Safety is always a concern of any parent and to know that these athletes are in good hands is comforting". Lyle Smithson, Kingsford High School Principal stated that “we at Kingsford High School are extremely pleased to have this partnership with the Dickinson County Healthcare System and Rehabilitation Services to provide the highest quality proactive education, athletic training and treatment of our student athletes.” Al Unger, Athletic Director at Kingsford High School stated that "we are very thankful to Marcus Smithson and the services provided to Kingsford High School by the Dickinson County Healthcare System, this will have a direct benefit to all of our student athletes." Part of the criteria in which Kingsford has developed in collaboration with the Dickinson County Healthcare System to achieve this distinguished first team recognition includes:

Kingsford High School and Dickinson Rehab Services commitment to athletic training, and student health and safety by receiving the Safe Sports School award will allow both organizations to advocate for increased secondary school safety in our area and set a standard for all to strive towards.

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