EL RENO, Okla. – As students gear up for the new school year, student athletes must also ensure they receive an annual sports physical to prevent or detect any potential conditions that may put them at risk for injury.
Medical providers from the new Mercy Clinic primary care office in El Reno will provide free sports physicals to student athletes on Thursday, July 31 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as part of the 7th Annual Free Community Health Fair at Leslie F. Roblyer Middle School, located at 427 Southwest 27th St. in El Reno.
The sports physicals will include a full musculoskeletal exam to check for flexibility, range of motion and document prior injuries. Providers will examine students’ hearts and lungs to look for any underlying problems, and will review patients’ medical history to ensure pre-existing medical conditions are under control.
Mercy’s medical team providing the sports physicals includes Dr. Richard Lowrance III — a new provider — along with physician assistants Robert DiCintio and Valorie Graves, nurse practitioner Heather Stanley, and six nurses.
“Catching any problems before training starts can prevent injuries and lead to quicker treatment,” said Lowrance. “Trainers and coaches can focus on problem areas related to students’ muscles, like inflexibility and weakness, and can help strengthen joints that had prior injury. And, if the sports physical indicates that a condition is not under good control, this information can be discussed with the student’s regular doctor and treated.”
Lowrance said it is particularly important to screen for any lung-related problems, like asthma, and any heart abnormalities, like arrhythmias, valve problems or enlarged heart. Heart abnormalities can put athletes at risk for sudden death. Providers also pay close attention to previous injuries, especially repeat head injuries, which can cause serious problems.
Sports physicals are also offered at Mercy Clinic’s two primary care offices in El Reno for those student athletes who cannot attend the health fair on July 31. Call 405-295-2200 to make an appointment at our two Mercy Clinic facilities, located at 605 Southwest 27th St. or 2315 Parkview Drive, Suite 100, in El Reno. Most major insurance and Medicaid plans are accepted.
Mercy is the fifth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves millions annually. Mercy includes 33 acute care hospitals, four heart hospitals, two children’s hospitals, three rehab hospitals and one orthopedic hospital, nearly 700 clinic and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.