21st Century Rehab will be on the sidelines of Greene County school sporting events for the third consecutive year. In early summer, they were awarded the sports medicine coverage contract. It’s a hefty time commitment, with well over 100 hours of staff time and over 75 events in which our Greene County athletes are involved. Clint Lutterman, one of the 21st Century Rehab partners noted, “21st believes in being involved in the communities where we serve.” He also said, “Providing sports medicine coverage allows us to be in the school systems, and fills a very important need in our communities.”
The contract includes a certified athletic trainer/physical therapist in attendance at most athletic events. Included are all home and away freshman, JV and varsity football games; and home varsity games for volleyball, boys and girls basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball, track and soccer. Additionally, it covers one home cross-country meet; home middle school football and wrestling meets; and home middle school girls and boys track meets.
21st Century Rehab also offers a concussion prevention program. Pre-participation concussion baseline screenings were done on all fall athletes. “A generous donation makes it possible for us to continue providing these preventative services in cooperation with the Greene County Youth Athletic Association (GCYAA),” said Deb Morton, 21st Century Rehab director. This program is also offered to youth football program participants. In 2017, 65 baseline tests were done for GCYAA athletes. The ImPact concussion program used was purchased by GCYAA . It is a program for adult and pediatric baseline and post-injury testing.
As they have done in the past, 21st Century Rehab provides free first visits for any sports-related injury for any Greene County student athlete. Staff also spend time in the training room on Mondays and Wednesdays to provide injury assessments as needed. It’s not unusual to see one at Saturday morning football stretching/yoga session or to have someone “pop in” at a practice, when requested, to check on an injury.
“We are proud to be involved in the local community by supporting the health and well-being of our student athletes,” Morton said. She and Ashley Beekman will be the primary coverage providers. Both are certified, licensed athletic trainers (ATC/L). Morton is also a master physical therapy (MPT) and Beekman is a physical therapist assistant (PTA).
Both are committed to area athletes in more ways than one. Their spouses and/or kids participate in Greene County school athletics.
Beekman’s husband, Zach, is a special education teacher in the school district and is the new high school wrestling coach. He also assists with the football program.
Morton’s husband, Chad, also a special education teacher, was the head girls basketball coach for 14 seasons from 2001 until 2014. Going into the 2018-2019 season, Chad is assistant high school football coach and head boys track coach. He also plans to help out with the boys basketball team. The Mortons have two boys, Carter, now a junior, and Jackson, a freshman, who participate in football, basketball, track and baseball. Both boys wrestled and played soccer when they were younger. At football games, Deb is both mom and trainer. “I am a mom first and come Friday night, I am a nervous wreck, but I keep that contained so I can provide the very best care to our athletes as an athletic trainer and physical therapist because, honestly, I start thinking of them all as my own,” said Morton.
Recently, Greene County Medical Center and 21st Century Rehab partnered to purchase two taping tables for the Greene County Rams training rooms. The 36-inch-high tables are designed to prevent unnecessary bending by the trainer, keeping both athlete and trainer safe.
21st Century Rehab has partnered with the medical center since February 2013. The partnership was forged to strengthen services and facilitate expansion into other rehabilitation services. At the time, CEO Carl Behne, noted that, “offering more patient hours and enhanced services with this partnership will mean better service to our public. It’s a win-win situation.”
It has done that and much more. It’s developed into a win for community athletes, too.
In addition to Morton and Beekman, 21st Century Rehab has four additional physical and occupational therapists on staff. And in partnership with the medical center, one speech therapist also visits campus.
21st Century Rehab being a major player in area sports, as well as playing a major role in the rehabilitation of patients and residents at the medical center, is a strong testimony to the role good health care partnerships can have in rural communities like Greene County.
Photo caption: CEO Carl Behne, with Greene County Schools Activities Director, Mitch Moore and 21st Century staff Ashley Beekman and Deb Morton with 1 of 2 new taping tables, shown on its side.