Last year, we were approached from a major hospital system that has and is growing its affiliation with Virginia Tech. The doctor was a former Navy doctor and had also been an athletic trainer with the Boston Celtics.
He wanted to see if there was a way to help support our cadets as they engaged in a myriad of physical activities. The idea was to be helpful on the front end to prevent injuries and help cadets develop physically..and on the back end, help them recover quickly and properly if injuries occurred.
That turned into the hospital actually placing a full-time athletic trainer, at no charge, on-site for the Corps. We established an MOU and coordinated it with the university legal and medical departments. The trainer can and does provide all options for any necessary follow-on services…not just to the hospital that is providing her services.
We established a space for her to have a desk and therapy table, along with supplies (which she provides). The results have been terrific!
The cadet utilization is very high and they love being able to access her services. She provides weekly status reports to our Deputies and ROTCs as to what, if any restrictions, that a cadet may have during rehab.
The hospital recently made available (for $1) a portable whirlpool which we installed in one of our residence halls, near the Athletic Trainer’s office that she can utilize, as necessary, for therapy.
While you may not have the same opportunity for a completely free, full-time, service like this…there might be some opportunities for periodic, pro-bono work that a hospital or clinic might we willing to offer.
If you have the funds to support your own, there are definitely benefits to having this type of care and service available…maybe even something to differentiate your school from others!