Playing it Safe

During the summer of 2010, FHN healthcare providers performed 899 sports physicals for student athletes across northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin and donated almost $18,000 back to area schools as a result. These sports physicals, offered through 19 special clinic days at FHN locations and schools in the area, were an affordable way for families to take care of a school requirement and give back to their school at the same time.

Illinois and Wisconsin require that all student athletes have a physical examination before participating in a school-sponsored sport. These quick, sports-oriented checkups are not the same as and do not meet the requirements for school physicals for students entering 9th grade or new students from out of state.

FHN physician Greg Harmston MD, right, presents West Carroll Boys' Athletic Director Paul Tobin with a check for the proceeds of the 2010 sports physical clinics in Mount Carroll.

The sports physical includes a general health history, usually filled out on a special form before the appointment by a parent or guardian, and a quick general exam. During a sports physical, a healthcare provider will measure each athlete's height and weight, blood pressure and pulse and perform a vision check. The provider will also check the athlete's heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat and evaluate his or her posture, flexibility, strength and joint health.

If student athletes have had a health condition like asthma or an injury in the past, the provider discusses any special precautions that may need to be taken to protect their health. The sports physical is also a good time for athletes and their parents to ask any questions they might have about training, nutrition or good health in general.

Giving Back

Last summer, FHN offered $20 sports physicals for student athletes at a series of special clinic days held throughout the area. After all the clinics were completed, each FHN location donated the full proceeds of its clinic(s) to the local school. This year, FHN was able to give back a total of $17,880 to 11 area schools:

Aquin – $1,020
Pearl City / Eastland – $2,240
Forreston – $1,720
Lena / Winslow – $1,380
West Carroll – $1,940
Pecatonica – $1,760
Warren – $700
Orangeville – $520
Stockton – $2,380
Freeport – $3,120
Chadwick / Milledgeville – $1,100

FHN Sports Physical Clinics are a tradition we're proud to carry on each year. Look for next year's Sports Physical Clinic schedule late next spring!

Dinna Barker, FHN Family Healthcare Center – Burchard Hills operations leader, presents Greg Gunderyon with a check for the proceeds of the 2010 sports physical clinics in Freeport. Gunderyon is president of the Pretzel Fan Club.