Mercy Health, a Catholic health ministry serving Ohio and Kentucky (part of Bon Secours Mercy Health), announces that it will serve as the exclusive Official Health Care Partner of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) for three years. OHSAA promotes the values of participation in interscholastic athletics as an integral part of a student's educational experience.
As OHSAA’s Official Health Care Partner, Mercy Health will have a presence at state championships and tournament events. It will serve as a thought leader and education provider of orthopedic, sports medicine and general health information for administrators, coaches, athletic trainers, student athletes and parents. Available educational resources include content that coaches, parents and students can use to:
- Prevent the most common injuries
- Recognize and treat concussion
- Understand the role that proper stretching, hydration and nutrition play in keeping student athletes healthy
- Determine when a student has fully recovered and is safe to return to play
In addition, Mercy Health is collaborating with the Governor’s office and OHSAA to develop an initiative that will offer school engagement programs addressing youth addiction prevention as well as resiliency.
“Mercy Health is pleased to partner with the Ohio High School Athletic Association to share the expertise we’ve developed as the state’s leading sports and general medicine partner to 85 schools and counting,” said Don Kline, President, Great Lakes Group, Mercy Health. “Our goal is to keep kids safe on and off the field and we’re excited to partner with Governor DeWine’s office and OHSAA to provide proven resources that address addiction with kids, families, communities and schools that need support.”
“This new partnership between Mercy Health and the Ohio High School Athletic Association is focused on ensuring our students are healthy,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “We know that many who battle substance use disorder become addicted to opioids after taking prescription medication following an injury. Raising awareness about alternative injury treatments, injury prevention and responsible recovery from an injury can help prevent addiction.”
“At OHSAA, we believe that participation in interscholastic athletics programs complements a student’s school experience and teaches lifelong lessons of hard work, teamwork and self-discipline, in addition to promoting citizenship and sporting behavior, instilling a sense of community and fostering a lifetime appreciation for sports and healthy lifestyles,” said Jerry Snodgrass, Executive Director, Ohio High School Athletic Association. “We’re adding to the resources available to our more than 1,600 member schools by partnering with Mercy Health to provide vital health information and develop and make available proven addiction prevention resources across the state.”
Mercy Health, OHSAA and the Governor’s office will work collectively to identify and deploy science-based best practices with the aim of connecting students, parents, faculty and administration to much needed addiction prevention and resilience resources.