Ben’s Ford Christian School takes physicals for athletics

Published 9:04 am Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Doctors from the LSU Rural Family Medicine residency program returned to Ben’s Ford Christian School for a second straight year to administor physicals for the Eagles’ athletes Friday afternoon in the school’s gym.

The physicals are part of the LSU Rural Family Medicine residency program, which is affiliated with the Our Lady of the Angels Hospital and Family Medicine Clinic.

It’s the second year they’ve done this for Ben’s Ford. The program is part of the Bogalusa Sports Medicine Initiative.

It began in 2013 to help bring sports medicine coverage to the rural community.

On Friday, the group is heading to Bogalusa for the Lumberjacks’ physicals.

Besides the physicals, the group is on the sidelines at Ben’s Ford Christian School and Bogalusa home football games along with the EMS in case an athlete gets injured.

Dr. Jay Umarvadia said the group is going to expand sports coverage in the future.

Umarvadia said they have a great rapport with the athletes, parents and coaches, many of which, are patients at their clinic on Avenue F.

“We’ve seen these kids for the last year, treated them, and we have a great support system backing us here at Ben’s Ford,” Umarvadia said.

Umarvadia said having taken care of these athletes over the last year would help them out this year if an injury were to happen.

“We’ve taken histories last year. If a concussion or an injury were to happen on the field, we’ve taken care of them in the past, which gives us a better idea of how to take care of them in the future as well,” Umarvadia said.

One of the big topics across the sports world is head injuries.

At the physicals, the group took neurocognitive baseline scores.

“At this physical today, we are getting neurocognitive baseline scores so that in case a head injury or a traumatic brain injury were to happen on the field, we can assess them on the field as well as look back at their baseline and see how far off they are off their baseline score based on their physical day neurocognitive assessment,” Umarvadia said.

Some of the tests given were balance testing, gait testing, range-of-motion and long-and short-term memory recall tests.

Ben’s Ford athletic director/football coach Cole Holden said he appreciates the group coming and doing this.

“It helps out. It helps the kids out. It helps everybody out around here as far as being able to go on and get their physical. And it’s free,” Holden said. “You can’t beat that. It saves the families some money. It just saves a lot of headache. We can stay very organized with our physicals as far as they go.”

Holden said they also send people to help them out on the sidelines on Friday nights.

“We really appreciate that. We can’t thank them enough for being there on Friday night. Most of the time, it might just be a cramp or something like that, but you never know when something serious might happen,” Holden said.

The physicals being at the school also make it more convenient for everyone involved.

“Before they came, we were going all of the way to Covington,” Holden said. “On a Saturday morning, we’d have to load up a busload of kids and take them to Covington. This is a lot more convenient.”