LUMBERTON — Southeastern Health’s athletic training program is warming up for the new school athletic year.
The new high school athletic year already is underway. Practices began Monday, before classes began.
Southeastern Health provides national board certified and state licensed athletic trainers at each of the six public high schools in Robeson County.
“Along with the kids, parents and coaches getting prepared, our athletic trainers are as well,” said athletic training Coordinator Sashah Davis. “With football starting bright and early on Monday, the trainers will be there to set up the fields and prep the athletes before practice starts.”
Athletic trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled healthcare providers who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative care, emergency services, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. The trainers are part of Southeastern Health’s Sports Medicine Program and work under the supervision of Dr. Eric Breitbart, of Southeastern Orthopedics, and Dr. Natasha Acosta-Diaz, of Southeastern Neurological Center.
“Athletic trainers are the eyes and ears for doctors, and Southeastern Health’s athletic trainers have direct access to hospital resources to get the most appropriate care for Robeson County’s student athletes,” Davis said.
This year, there are many returning faces on the athletic training staff. Lead athletic training Supervisor Matt Ferrell will again be at Lumberton High School, though it is his first year as the lead supervisor. The previous supervisor, Sashah Davis, is now the program’s clinical coordinator. Ferrell, who has a master’s degree in athletic training from Michigan State University, has been with Southeastern Health since 2011. He has more than 20 years of experience in the field.
Heather Cook is staying at Fairmont High School. Cook, a 20-year veteran of the United States Air Force, has been with Southeastern Health since 2014. She received her bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Methodist University.
Naomi Chang has moved from South Robeson High School to St. Pauls High School. Chang started with Southeastern Health in 2016. She received her master’s degree in exercise science and health promotions from California University of Pennsylvania.
The staff’s newest trainers are Myranda Hammonds, who will be at Purnell Swett High School, and Christopher Chapman, who will be at Red Springs High School. Both took over duties at those school midway through this past year. Both are 2017 graduates of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where each received a bachelor’s degrees in athletic training.