[KHTS] – Henry Mayo Hospital hosted a four-hour-long conference Saturday morning that focused on concussions, their treatment, and the future of diagnosing them.
Over 100 people turned out for the event, including a slew of Valencia High School students.
Joe Monteleone, a teacher who runs the sports medicine program at Valencia, encouraged students to attend the conference where five presentations from doctors and experts encouraged a better awareness of concussions.
More than 40 students attended the event.
Valencia High School student Kevin Busfield, or “Bus” as his friends at the conference referred to him, has high hopes of being an athletic trainer or a physical therapist.
Valencia’s sports medicine program is a series of elective courses, explained Busfield.
“There is group A, and they take notes on the body, group B, and they are more hands on, and then the advanced group are the students that you’ll actually see on the side lines at games,” Busfield said.
The Hart School District is working on duplicating Valencia’s program at different schools, said Sarah Ehrsam, an athletic trainer and adjunct professor of kinesiology.
Fabrizio Apodaca, a recent M.A. graduate and athletic trainer at three local high schools, has a hand in that plan and was also in attendance at the conference.
As an athletic trainer, he is not only at games to monitor students well being but also in the classroom and available for students as a mentor, Apodaca said.
Valencia students Ann Lyman and Milan Linzy also attended the conference and shared their dreams of being athletic trainers, saying the information they learn through the program is preparing them for college.
The information at the conference wasn’t only helpful for potential athletic trainers.
“I might instead become a doctor or a surgeon,” Linzy said.
Valencia has had the program for about 12 years, and as of yet, it is the only school in the Valley to offer a sports medicine program, according to Busfield.
“Saugus and Golden Valley have some startup programs too,” Busfield said.
The high school sports medicine program prepares the students for their future career in the sports world, Ehrsam said.
“These early classes make the students more aware of what’s really involved in being an athletic trainer,” Ehrsam said. “It prepares them for all of the medical knowledge needed and the hours involved in this profession.”