Children’s Hospital Partners With Berkeley High School To Reduce Sports Injuries

By Rio Bauce Special to the Planet
Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:22:00 AM

Bruce Valentine of Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland wants to cut down on sports-related injuries at high school sports games. 

He has formed a partnership between Children’s Hospital and Berkeley High School (BHS), creating a pilot program this past spring designed to provide more resources to high school athletes.  

These services will cost the Berkeley Unified School District $16,000 an- 


“This program wasn’t out of necessity but more out of cooperation,” said Jamie Faison, head athletic trainer at BHS. “There wasn’t really a spike in injuries, but the partnership provided a way to help keep our 1,000 student athletes safe.” 

Kristin Glenchur, BHS athletic director, says the program, while young, seems to have been effective. 

“While we are still in a very early stage of the program, it has been very successful,” said Glenchur. “While most students won’t notice any significant difference in the fall, they will have many opportunities and support services available for them provided by the hospital.” 

Valentine, program manager for Athletic Training Services at Children’s Hospital Oakland, has been working 16 with BHS Trainer Faison to provide resources to athletes such as performance group classes, injury prevention, individual sports training, community education classes, and coverage for high school championship games. 

“This is the last piece of the puzzle to come online with our sports medicine department at Children’s Hospital,” said Valentine. “We wanted to work on-site with athletes so not only will they have a person to help with first aid but also the opportunity to visit the hospital to utilize services such as physical therapy, rehabilitative services, the emergency room, and orthopedic services. We are pretty rich in resources.” 

The department chose Berkeley High School as a pilot school, since an athletic trainer, Faison, had already been hired by the Berkeley Unified School District but had limited resources available. That’s where the hospital stepped in—Valentine works directly with Faison, who is the communication center head for the athletes, the coaches, and the parents and who is now independently contracted by Children’s Hospital. 

“At the high school, he [Jamie] didn’t have a support system,” says Valentine. “This was a great school to have this program, because I didn’t have to recruit an athletic trainer, which saved me a little work … Instead, my job is to make sure that the athletic trainer has the resources of the hospital to provide services to our young athletes.” 

When trainers from the hospital observe the athletes, they observe how they may be doing things incorrectly which might make them more likely to have an injury. 

Valentine describes the process: “When athletes come in contact with us, we identify the vulnerabilities and actions that may put them or other athletes at risk. We try to correct these underlying problems.” 

Faison says that injuries are pretty common across the board. 

“I see injuries in every sport at Berkeley High,” remarked Faison. “Football, basketball, and soccer are the most common sports where people get injuries.”  

Geoffrey Mahley, who will be a senior this fall, says the addition of Children’s Hospital to BHS athletics will be a welcome one. 

“I think that it will be cool to have more support, so we won’t have as many injuries,” said Mahley, who plays baseball and football at BHS. 

Glenchur also informed the Planet that Faison would be teaching a new elective class at the high school called Sports Medicine as a sixth-period class, where students go to clinics and seminars and can eventually do internships with various sports teams.  

“This class sounds like it will be a very interesting class to take,” Mahley said, who signed up for the class last spring. “It will teach me good skills to employ in the future.”