Date Published: 4/27/2011

RSF Sports Medicine provides trainers to 7 Charleston high schools

Charleston County School District officials announced Roper St. Francis Healthcare certified athletic trainers will head to high schools to help prevent sports injuries.

Charleston, SC – (April 27, 2011) Just in time for scorching summer "two-a-day" football practices, Charleston County School District (CCSD) officials announced today that Roper St. Francis Healthcare certified athletic trainers will head to seven CCSD high schools with the aim of preventing and treating athlete injuries and illnesses.


"Summertime heat in the Lowcountry is one risk factor that must be considered by high school athletes, their parents and coaches. In fact two teen athletes in the state actually died of heat illness in the past four years," said Robert Schoderbek, Jr., M.D., Medical Director, Roper St. Francis Sports Medicine. "But there are many other factors to consider and now certified athletic trainers will be present not only to evaluate and treat injuries, but to try to prevent sports related health issues by identifying problems in advance."


Issues Getting National Attention

According to the American Medical Association, heat illness is a leading cause of death among U.S. high school athletes. Sudden cardiac arrest is also one of the numerous medical issues gaining national attention for high school athletes. U.S. news reports show that in March of this year alone, three high school students died of sudden cardiac arrest. And in the area of concussion, one-third of all pediatric brain injuries are now being associated with sports, predominately in the 15 – 19 year old age category, as tracked by the Centers for Disease Control.


"Until now, we did not have sufficient athletic healthcare at all of the high schools. We reached out to Roper St. Francis Healthcare for help, and beginning mid-summer Roper St. Francis Sports Medicine will be fully incorporating athletic trainers into the schools’ sports programs," said Nancy J. McGinley, Ph.D., Superintendent, CCSD. "We are grateful to Roper St. Francis for sponsoring this daily athletic healthcare program that we believe will contribute greatly to the well-being of hundreds of high school athletes."


"We are excited about this partnership and the resources it brings to our athletes and schools—especially as student needs increase, and funding for public education decreases. Roper St. Francis Sports Medicine has a deep bench of physicians with 21 board certified orthopedic surgeons and 6 sports medicine surgeons who are fellowship trained," McGinley added. "With a team like that behind the athletic trainers, our students will be in great hands."


Why Teen Athletes Are at Greater Risk for Injury

Some 92,000 South Carolina high school students participate in sports, according to the SC High School League. While sports help keep teens healthy and engaged in learning, health care professionals say there are risks involved."The bodies of teens are still developing and the unhardened areas of their growing bones, the growth plates, are more vulnerable," said William Carroll, M.D., orthopedic surgeon, Charleston Bone and Joint. "Most commonly the injuries we see involve growth plate fractures, knee injuries and ligament sprains. But there are those uncommon occurrences when even more serious medical issues are detected."


In order to protect young athletes, some states have laws requiring high schools to have athletic trainers on staff. Several states, including Florida and New Jersey, are currently considering similar laws. In South Carolina, athletic trainers are not required.


The CCSD high schools with assigned athletic trainers will include:


The partnership will kick off with a RSF Sports Medicine sports health fair open to pre-registered Charleston County public and private high schools. Athletic trainers and sports medicine physicians will be joined by general practice physicians, nurses and physical therapists to provide evaluations and education. The health fair will be this Saturday, April 30, 2011, at R. B. Stall High School, located at 3635 Ashley Phosphate Road in North Charleston. Students may see what time period their school is attending by calling (843) 789-1501 or by contacting


For more information about RSF Sports Medicine please go to The link for more information about CCSD is