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Mary Rutan steps up for local prep athletes

 WL-Salem, Bellefontaine partner with hospital to staff athletic trainers

Having a full-time athletic trainer was once considered a luxury. It has now evolved to being a necessity for many high schools and their sports programs.

addyPassaro Tray

LEFT: New Bellefontaine High School athletic trainer Addy Passaro looks at the knee of Chieftain player Cam Henry during a practice session last week. ABOVE: Tray Sanderson stretches a West Liberty-Salem football player at a practice. Both Passaro and Sanderson were hired through a partnership with Mary Rutan Hospital and the Mary Rutan Foundation. (MARY RUTAN PHOTOS | TAMMY ALLISON)

Mary Rutan Hospital is helping ensure that two local schools have athletic trainers in place.

Bellefontaine and West Liberty-Salem are partnering this year with the local hospital to provide sports medicine care for their athletes.

This is the first time MRH has offered athletic training services. It is a result of what it felt was a community need. The hospital hopes to offer the service to all area high schools by next fall.  

“With the increase of student athletic participation, the importance of proper on-site health care has never been greater,” stated a hospital press release. “Immediate care can reduce the onset of injuries including concussion, heat illness and many other conditions.

“Reduced operating budgets and limited resources at rural and small school districts nationwide make it difficult for schools to fund athletic training service for their sports programs. Because local school administration and the hospital have a clear understanding of the importance of trainer services being available for the safety of Logan County’s student athletes, they have come together to implement the program through a 50/50 cost sharing of salary and benefits for each trainer.”

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