Some years ago, the Executive Committee of the Georgia High School Association authorized the formation of a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC). In the years since, this Committee has been at times active and regrettably inactive. Leading into the fall of 2014, the GHSA renewed its emphasis on the importance of the SMAC and the role it can play in the safety of all athletes. The Committee redefined its mission as well:
- Gather current scientific evidence on athletic-related issues.
- Balance medical perspectives with the pragmatics of high school athletic programs.
- Generate proposals to the GHSA Executive Committee for the development of new policies, and to review current GHSA practices.
- Generate educational materials for athletes, coaches and administrators.
The Sports Medicine Advisory is composed of the following healthcare professionals:
- Boedy, Rick, MD, Medical College of Georgia
- Cooper, Bud, PhD, University of Georgia
- Donati, Norman, MD, Hughston Clinic
- Hopp, Jeff, ATC, Marietta High School
- King, Dianne, RD, ATC, Childrens Hospital of Atlanta
- Lamphier, Richard, RN, CHOA Project Save
- Levengood, Gary, MD, Sports Medicine South
- Marshall, David, MD, CHOA
- Rowels, Kechia, ATC, Rockdale County Schools
- Stevens, Jack, MD, Sibley Heart Center
- Wilson, Carter, AD, Decatur High School
At the first meeting for 2014-15, the committee explored a variety of issues and planned the direction of the committee for the coming days and years. Topics Discussed Included:
- Sudden Cardiac Arrest
- Concussion: risk management, assessment tools, return to protocol
- Wrestling weight management, weigh in procedure
- Athletic Trainers at all schools
- Emergency Action Plan at all schools
Future Topics will include:
- Sickle Cell Trait
- Energy Drink Policy
- Cardiac Screening
- CPR certification
The GHSA and its SMAC encourage all school administrators and coaches to look at the web site of the National Federation of State High School Associations (www.nfhs.org) and click on the “Sports Medicine” page. There are a number of topics at that site that are extremely important and useful in administering high school athletics. The sports medicine page on the GHSA web site (www.ghsa.net) offers a number of timely topics as well. The health and well-being of student athletes is the top priority for all of us in the athletic arena.
– Gary Phillips, Executive Director