has decided to discontinue its sports medicine services, which are contracted out to several local high schools and colleges including and .
Michael O’Farrell, spokesman for the hospital, said the sports medicine program employs seven people full-time and one person part-time.
“As is the case with everything, we are always evaluating the programs and services that we offer,” said O’Farrell. “Despite careful review and consideration, the sports medicine program has become no longer sustainable.”
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The service placed licensed athletic trainers in schools daily or by contractual need, according to the hospital’s website. O’Farrell said trainers were contracted to high schools in East Lyme, Ledyard, Montville, Old Lyme, and Stonington as well as Mitchell College and the University of Connecticut at Avery Point.
Walt Sherwin, the athletic director at Montville High School, said a trainer would be at the school daily. Sherwin said the trainer’s activities included preparing athletes for practices and treating injuries on-site or referring students to follow-up care. He said trainers were also in constant communication with coaches.
Sherwin said he was disappointed with the decision because he has been satisfied with the service.
“It’s a very necessary job in the high school, so we’re going to have to get out there and see what other resources are available,” said Sherwin. “But I feel it’s a definite loss to our program and to the surrounding schools that L&M serves.”
Jim Buonocore, athletic director at Ledyard High School, said a trainer was contracted to the schools to serve a certain number of hours over a season or school year. He said the school’s trainer provided support to each sports team, seeing to the treatment and rehabilitation of injured athletes and providing coverage at athletic events.
“I thought it was a great, great program that did a wonderful service for the community and the local high schools,” said Buonocore. “We had an outstanding trainer here at Ledyard High School who did a phenomenal job.”
Buonocore and Sherwin said they were notified of the hospital’s decision today. Buonocore said he has already been contacted by some other services, and hopes to set up a new service in the next few weeks to have it in place for the coming school year.
“We will continue this service, there is no doubt about it,” he said.