POCATELLO, Idaho - For athletes, wellness off the field is just as important as performance on the field, which is why Portneuf Medical Center has teamed up with Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 for athletic support unlike any other in the state.
Portneuf Medical Center has not only committed $40,000 to the district, all Pocatello area high school athletes will receive certain medical services like physicals for free.
"We feel a strong need to have a strong affiliation with our local medical center," said Superintendent Mary Vagner, announcing the partnership at Tuesday nights school board meeting.
She says with funding always an issue, the deal with PMC is a welcome relief to the students and parents.
"Kids are doing a great deal of fundraising and in most cases parents end up buying what kids have to raise money for," Vagner said. "So it is an extra help on cash flow at home."
As for the doctors who will be providing the services, they have years of experience and have been helping the high school athletes already.
"Several years ago we had a pretty good program but then a lot of the funding had gotten pulled," said Dr. Richard Wathne of the Pocatello Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute. "That's what's really been the impetus to drive this program."
Wathne said he and his team care about the student athletes and feels the team of experts provide the best care.
"One this program is in full action it will be unmatched throughout the state," Wathne said.
And as for the money donated, one of the main uses is to help with the school district with the cost of using Holt Arena.
"So the hospital volunteered to put money toward that," Wathne said, "as well as money toward the employment of a new athletic trainer, as well as money for supplies."
Wathne said this makes the whole partnership worth between $60,000 and $70,000.
"We've only been in school a few weeks and kids have been practicing for about a month," Vagner said. "But we've been grateful that we've had athletic training services because the trainers have been used."
This deal is only for this current school year. The school district and PMC will continue to discuss needs for the future as they work on agreements for the 2014-2015 school year.