Memorial Hospital Kicks Off New Sports Medicine Program

July 27, 2015

Martinsville, VA (July 24, 2015) – Memorial Hospital of Martinsville & Henry County (MHMHC) has launched its new sports medicine program, which is partnering with local schools across the area, to encourage prevention and provide treatment for sports injuries. As part of the new initiative, athletes from local schools have visited MHMHC’s Balance Center for baseline concussion testing.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that between 1.6 million and 3.8 million concussions occur each year, and 5-10% of athletes will experience a concussion in any given sports season, with football being the most common sport for concussion risk in males.

For these reasons, MHMHC’s new sports medicine program and the local school systems are partnering together with the new concussion management initiative. Not only will the partnership promote education of the signs and symptoms of concussions and other serious sports injuries, but it will also provide baseline assessments for athletes. 

According to Kyana Smith, Head Athletic Trainer for Memorial Hospital, the purpose of baseline assessment testing is to obtain quantitative and objective results for each athlete’s vestibular, visual and somatosensory systems. The state-of-the-art Neurocom system conducts three major tests on local athletes: Head Shake Sensory Organization Test, Dynamic Visual Acuity Test and Gaze Stabilizations Test.  In the event of a concussion, these results can measure the severity of the concussion and determine the start of return-to-play protocol. 

Currently, three local schools are participating in the program: Bassett High School, Magna Vista High School and Martinsville High School. Football players were evaluated for assessment data on Saturday, July 11 (Bassett Bengals), Saturday, July 18th (defending state champions Magna Vista Warriors), and Monday, July 20th (Martinsville Bulldogs). 

Smith and Chip Miller, Director of Rehabilitation Services for Memorial Hospital, are developing the program along with input from local physicians, school officials, coaches, and EMTs. 

“The launch of the new sports medicine program here in Martinsville and Henry County is an important milestone for healthcare in our community,” according to Dr. Howard Brown, orthopedic surgeon at the Bone and Joint Center, who is involved with the program. “There is tremendous athletic talent here in the area, and we want to ensure those athletes’ minds and bodies are taken care of with proper medical care and prevention.”

Coaches’ training is scheduled with the Henry County Public Schools (HCPS) on July 28th to discuss concussion management initiatives, hydration and nutrition, as well as heat-related illnesses. On August 3rd, emergency drills will be conducted with local EMS crews at Ridgeway District Volunteer Rescue Squad to ensure consistent treatment techniques among all medical personnel. 

About Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County 

Memorial Hospital has been at the heart of the Martinsville and Henry County Community and the surrounding area providing exceptional healthcare and services to the region with a full range of services including 24/7 Emergency Care, Inpatient/Outpatient Surgical Services, Advanced Cancer Treatment, Wound/Hyperbaric Care, Women and Children Services, Diagnostics, Cardiology, Rehabilitation, Sleep Disorder, and Pain Management. More than 120 physicians are on the medical staff. The hospital employs more than 850 people and has more than 100 volunteers. For more information, visit www.martinsvillehospital.com.