Over 150 Students Now Are Medically Cleared To Participate In Sports In 2023-24
BOSTON – Wednesday, May 24, 2023 – This past weekend, Mass General Brigham Sports Medicine provided Boston Public School athletes free preseason physicals ahead of the 2023-24 athletics seasons at Madison Park High School in Roxbury. This event marked the third consecutive year, and the sixth time overall, the healthcare system performed the service for Boston Public Schools. Mass General Brigham's athletic trainers and clinical connections provide comprehensive care across all sports seasons for Boston Public Schools, which includes participation from over 2,000 student athletes.
"We are incredibly grateful for the collaboration with Mass General Brigham Sports Medicine, which has allowed us to remove a significant barrier to participation for our student-athletes," said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper. "By providing free preseason physicals, we ensure the safety and well-being of our athletes, enabling them to thrive in their sports. This joint effort exemplifies the power of public-private partnerships by bolstering our commitment to supporting the health and success of our student-athletes in Boston Public Schools."
Getting the required physical examination often is a major hurdle for under-served communities, where it can be challenging to access care, representing a barrier and health risk to participating in sports. The team of over 40 volunteer physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists, medical assistants, and administrators performed 150 exams free of charge to families, ensuring it is safe for the athlete to play and they receive the correct care plan where needed.
"To be able to provide our student-athletes and their families this opportunity for preseason physicals helps us overcome a significant barrier to participation," said Boston Public Schools Senior Director of Athletics Avery Esdaile. "For us, the collaboration with Mass General Brigham Sports Medicine has enabled our athletes to play safely and thrive."
In addition to a pre-participation physical exam which included vision screening, blood pressure screening, and height/weight/body mass index testing, students and families had the opportunity to get a flu or COVID-19 vaccination from Cataldo Ambulance Service. Fresh fruit provided every attendee a $10 gift card to Fresh Truck Food Market to encourage healthy nutrition habits.
"The entire Mass General Brigham Sports Medicine team has been so engaged and excited to participate in these events and put our mission to support the city’s student-athletes into action," said James Zachazewski, PT, DPT, ATC, Supervisor, Boston Public Schools Athletic Training Services at Mass General Brigham Sports Medicine. "Our staff and clinicians providing these vital services for free allows these amazing student-athletes to enjoy their sports, which is what this is all about. It's our pleasure to join with Boston Public Schools and make events like this happen."