Athletic Training in Pittsburgh Public Schools
GoalsThe goal of Athletic Training services is to provide quality, state-of-the-art methods for the prevention of injuries, outstanding care, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries, and to provide educational opportunities to the student-athletes of the Pittsburgh Public Schools and is accomplished through the collective efforts of the Certified Athletic Trainer, and associated medical specialists.
Team Physicians: UPMC Sports Medical Staff 1-855-93-SPORT (77678)
Dr. Eric Anish MD
Mike Koyack LAT, ATC
MS, LAT, ATC, NASM-CESWestinghouse Academy
Brandon Mazza LAT, ATC
Jessica Falvo MS, LAT ATC
LAT, ATC, USO
Safe Sports Schools
The Six High Schools within PPS are now among more than 40 high schools in Pennsylvania to receive the National Athletic Trainers Association Safe Sports School Award. This 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 athletic trainers. The Sports Medicine Team, who are contracted through UPMC Sports Medicine, work to provide quality, state-of-the-art methods for the prevention of injuries, outstanding care, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries.
Pittsburgh Public Schools/UPMC Athletic Training Program
The Athletic Trainers are responsible for the return of the athlete to their sport through a progressive, innovative and functional rehabilitation program which is under the guidance of a team physician. Whenever possible we will strive to integrate education about athletic injuries so that our athletes can be motivated to lead healthier lifestyles. We are committed to using any technology available and affordable in the delivery of these services. We will remain committed to the continuous upgrading of the equipment used in the delivery of sports medicine services so our athletes will be assured of the most modern care available.
This philosophy places a high value of health and wellness, thus enabling injured student athletes to return to sport as soon as is medically safe. These services will be provided to maintain the highest standards of quality consistent with the National Athletic Trainers' Association's Code of Professional Practice and credentialing statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the intention of this medical team to support the Pittsburgh Public Schools with the human resources necessary to accomplish the stated goals of this program.
Should an athlete require additional medical care, the athletic trainer will assist the family in coordinating the proper care. This may be accomplished through contact with the family's Primary Care Physician. If necessary the athlete may be referred to UPMC Sports Medicine and its affiliates, or to an outside source for further evaluation and/or treatment.
In order to provide PPS Student Athletes the best possible care and prevention of multiple concussions and second impact syndrome, team members of all sports are required to complete ImPACT™ Baseline testing.
These baseline scores will be saved in an on-line database. If an athlete sustains a concussion, after evaluation and consultation with a licensed physician, these scores may be utilized to determine treatment.
A student athlete with a suspected concussion will be evaluated by an Athletic Trainer at the time of injury. The Athletic Trainer will decide, based on present symptoms, if the student athlete needs immediate referral to the ER. If no immediate referral is necessary the student athlete will be sent home with care instructions to be given to and followed by the parents. The athlete will follow up with an athletic trainer by phone or in the athletic training room.
It is preferred that all athletes with a suspected concussion follow this protocol which involves the UPMC Concussion Program. However, if an athlete is under the care of their family physician, the athletic trainer will follow the guidelines of the treating physician
Following clearance by the physician, final return to play will be determined by the functional testing module of the concussion protocol. Clearance requires a return to play, in writing, by an appropriate medical professional. An appropriate medical professional is defined as: (1) a licensed physician who is “trained in the evaluation and management of concussions” or a trained certified health professional designated by the physician; or (2) a licensed psychologist neuropsychologically trained or who has postdoctoral training in neuropsychology. Ultimately final clearance will be made by the PPS athletic trainer and supervising physician.
Reporting of Injuries
All injuries that occur during athletic practice or competition should be reported to the Head Coach of that sport and then to the staff Athletic Trainer. This needs to be done as soon as possible so that we may determine the extent of the injury, make appointments to secure timely and appropriate evaluations and help return the athlete to pre-injury status in a timely fashion without compromising the safety of the student athlete. The athletic trainer will make the final determination of the playing status of injured athletes. If the injury occurs before a season starts, please secure a medical release from a licensed physician before tryouts/participation begins and turn it into the Athletic Trainer.
It is necessary for all students who are trying out for an athletic team to have a cleared physical before the first day of the tryouts/practice. PIAA rules state that athletic physicals need to be completed on or after June 1st to be eligible for the scholastic athletic season. Physicals are valid for one school year and expire on May 31. There is a required PIAA CIPPE form that needs to be completed and signed by parent[s]/guardian[s] and examining physician.
Rehabilitation and Treatments
The athletic training room at Pittsburgh Public Schools has rehabilitative equipment and therapeutic modalities that can be used to properly rehabilitate most injuries. Some of the available equipment includes ultrasound, electrical stimulation, whirlpool, Swiss ball, polymeric balls, BAPS board, Theraband, stationary bike, free weights, aquatic therapy in the swimming pool, Aqua vest, Dyna-disc, manual resistive exercises, dynamic stabilization techniques, McConnell taping, Orthoplast Pad Fabrication, protective wrapping and taping techniques.
NO taping procedures are done without a proper evaluation and going through the necessary associated rehabilitation program. If under the care of a physician the athlete must obtain a script for therapy that specifies the treatments to be completed by the athletic trainer.
Athletic Training Room Hours
Athletic Training room hours will vary from site-to-site, and from season-to-season. The athletic trainer at each school location will make the teams aware of the hours as the schedule permit.
Return to Practice/Play
If your son/daughter suffers an injury during a high school sponsored practice/game that requires evaluation by a licensed physician, it is necessary to obtain a signed written note to clarify the diagnosis, the status on return to practice/play, and any treatment that the physician wants the Certified Athletic Trainers to follow. This is necessary for any visits to a licensed physician, including dentists, family physicians, dermatologists, etc. It is best to follow the rule to always obtain a signed written release whenever you see a physician. An example of this would be if your son/daughter has been withheld from participation for any reason, they must secure a written release from a licensed physician (MD or DO) before they can return to participation.
Useful information for Parents and Coaches
Click titles to visit websites
PBS Documentary - High School Football: This documentary features athletic trainers discussing athletic injuries in a very positive manner and is a fascinating and troubling look at high school football.