Hillcrest High School Receives National Recognition for Sports Safety

Published online: Sep 29, 2021 Articles, East Idaho Health
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BLACKFOOT – One of Bingham Healthcare's certified athletic trainers, Jessi Cole, was recently instrumental in helping Hillcrest High School in Ammon receive the Safe Sports School award from the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA). The award recognizes secondary schools around the United States that champion safety and take crucial steps to keep young athletes free from injuries. 

With the support of Jessi, a certified athletic trainer with Bingham Healthcare’s Orthopedic Institute & Sports Medicine team, Hillcrest High School is now the third high school in Eastern Idaho to receive this designation. (A few years ago, Ririe and Bonneville High Schools received this designation with the support of Bingham.) This award gives Hillcrest High School the national and local community recognition it deserves for creating a safer environment for their student athletes. The award also reinforces the importance of providing baseline concussions and the best level of care, injury prevention, and treatment.

“With the acceptance of the Safe Sports School award, Hillcrest High School is yet another regional high school setting a positive example that other schools and sports leagues in the area can follow,” said Cole. “I’m proud that Hillcrest High School is being recognized as a leader in sports safety because they are concerned with its student athletes and their care.” 

“Hillcrest High School is honored to receive this 1st Team* recognition from NATA,” said Wendy Johnson, athletic director at Hillcrest High School. “We remain committed to keeping our student athletes safe during physical education classes, team practices, and games so they can accomplish their own goals of academic achievement, great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship, and good health. Our goal is to maintain our athletics program at the highest safety standards for our players, and we’re grateful for Jessi and the support of Bingham for helping us to achieve these standards.”

Nationally certified and Idaho-licensed athletic trainers with Bingham proudly provide complete sports medicine coverage, including free injury assessments, for student athletes at 14 Eastern Idaho high schools. These services include support with taping, bracing, and the use of other protective equipment. They consult with student athletes and parents regarding questions about personal health, nutrition, and fitness. The trainers also work with the school to develop an emergency action plan that ensures timely and coordinated response to a serious injury during a game or practice. 

The team at Bingham Healthcare’s Orthopedic & Sports Medicine also assists schools in following all state and national guidelines to allow for the student athlete’s safe return to the sport following an injury. Additionally, they provide athletic training services to each school during the school year. Coaches have the opportunity to receive First Aid and CPR training along with other coaching education on injury prevention and care. Student athletes’ in grades 9 through 12 can also receive a free pre-participation physical exam.

“This award recognizes the commitment of Hillcrest High School to implement safe sports policies and best practices to ensure their athletes can do what they love best and have the appropriate care in place to prevent, manage, and treat injuries should they occur,” said Jake Erickson, CEO at Bingham Healthcare. “But, this award also reaffirms the stand that Bingham Healthcare’s Orthopedic & Sports Medicine team is taking—going the extra mile to guarantee the safety of the student athletes throughout eastern Idaho. Plus, they’re making it a priority to encourage all of the schools that we work with to aspire to this level of safety for their student athletes.”

*1st Team is awarded to schools that act on all of the recommended and required elements. In order for Hillcrest High School to achieve the 1st Team Safe Sports School designation, their athletic program had to follow a rigorous program and create policies that are outlined on NATAs website here.

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