Sports Medicine Program Receives National Recognition

Damien High School is the recipient of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School award for its Sports Medicine Program. The award champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that provide safe environments for student athletes. The award reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment.

“Damien High School is honored to receive this 1st Team recognition from NATA, and we remain committed to keeping our student athletes safe during physical education classes, team practices and games so they can accomplish their own goals of great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship and good health. Our goal is to lead our athletics program to the highest safety standards for our players,” said Jessica Truax, Director of Sports Medicine.

In 2007, Truax arrived at Damien and, in 2009, established the Sports Medicine Program. In 2013, Damien joined the National Honors Society of Sports Medicine (NHSSM). In 2015 and 2016, Damien’s Sports Medicine Program placed in the top 10 in the State of California at the annual NHSSM competition. In 2016, Damien’s John Gomez placed third in the nation in the National Sports Medicine Competition (small schools division).

“We remain committed to the health and welfare of young athletes in competitive sports,” says NATA President Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC. “This award recognizes the contributions and commitment of schools across the country that are implementing safe sports policies and best practices to ensure athletes can do what they love best and have the appropriate care in place to prevent, manage and treat injuries should they occur.”

In order to achieve Safe Sport School status, as Damien did, athletic programs must do the following: create a positive athletic health care administrative system, provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations, develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions, provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education, and be sure athletes and parents are educated of the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities.