PIQUA — Edison State Community College and Premier Health Sports Medicine are celebrating their ongoing partnership with renewal of a sports medicine and athletic training contract for Edison State athletics.
“This is the culmination and continuation of the relationship with Premier Health providing athletic training services for our school’s athletes,” said Nate Cole, athletic director at Edison State Community College. The college has more than 100 student athletes.
The agreement brings Premier Health’s sports medicine expertise to the Piqua campus through sports medicine services, including an athletic trainer. The relationship has existed for approximately 15 years. Erin Schmerge has been Edison State’s athletic trainer since 2015.
The agreement covers athletic trainer services for all home events along with training room hours several days per week for prevention, evaluation, and treatment of athletic injuries, said Jennifer Jones, manager at the Upper Valley Medical Center’s Center for Sports Medicine in Tipp City.
Edison State’s athletic events include volleyball, basketball, softball, and baseball. UVMC will work with Edison State’s leadership to expand the athletic trainer coverage as sports are added at the college.
The athletic trainer; UVMC sports medicine physicians Jeff Rayborn, MD, and Mark Zunkiewicz, MD; and the Center for Sports Medicine’s physical therapists work as a team.
“They work very closely together to coordinate the care for any injured athletes to keep them playing safely or to quickly return them back to play while recovering from an injury,” Jones said.
UVMC and Premier Health have one of the largest athletic trainer-schools partnerships in the state as the official sports medicine provider of nearly 40 high schools and colleges. The athletic trainers are licensed in the state and work closely with schools, where they are accessible to students and staff, said Gary Blake, Premier Health vice president, service integration, orthopedics, and sports medicine.
“UVMC and Premier Health partner with schools because it is a great way to live our mission to build healthy communities and extend the excellence of our athletic trainers and other healthcare services. We believe the schools and communities we serve benefit from the expertise of our staff,” Blake said.
Cole said he expects the relationship to continue for years to come.
“Premier Health is a great institution to be in business with,” said Cole. “It is a natural fit for the two groups to work together.”