Middle School Safety

April 16, 2018

Many high schools partner with hospitals to provide athletic training coverage for their sports teams, but the North Kansas City (Mo.) School District (NKCSD) has taken their arrangement one step further. Starting last fall, NKCSD expanded its existing contract with Mosaic Life Care to bring athletic trainers to its middle schools.

The idea arose when the school district decided to add football to its middle school programs for 2017-18. Fred Bouchard, Executive Director of Support Services and Athletics for NKCSD, approached Tony Phillips, Director of Sports Medicine at Mosaic Life Care, about the need for athletic training coverage for these young athletes.

“At first the school board suggested having athletic trainers cover just the football games,” says Phillips. “But I explained that it would be better to have athletic trainers fully engaged with the program.”

Mosaic now provides two athletic trainers, each costing NKCSD $15,000, who rotate between four middle schools. With the campuses in close proximity, an athletic trainer can quickly reach an injured athlete. It also helps that many of the middle school competitions are held at the four high school campuses, each of which has a Mosaic athletic trainer on hand.

Not only is this keeping young students safer, it lays the groundwork for their athletic futures. “When the middle school athletes get to high school, they will already know what the athletic trainer is there for, which will keep a lot of injuries from slipping though the cracks,” says Phillips. “In the past, we’ve spent a lot of time educating the freshmen and sophomores on how to use the athletic trainers. Now the transition will be much smoother.”

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