UH Expands First Response for Sports Trauma (FRST) Program to Chagrin Valley Conference, the Second Largest High School Sports Conference in Ohio

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CLEVELAND – The First Response for Sports Trauma (FRSTTM) course, conceived and developed by Robert Flannery, MD, of the University Hospitals Sports Medicine Institute, is expanding in Northeast Ohio to serve the second largest high school sports conference in Ohio.

This highly active, dynamic course is the first of its kind in Northeast Ohio, and aims to give communities the tools they need to prepare and act when an athlete’s life is in danger.

Representatives of the Chagrin Valley Conference, consisting of 22 school districts across a five-county region, will receive safety training Monday, May 24, at FirstEnergy Stadium.

“Being prepared for the unexpected is paramount to the positive outcome from an injury. Teaming up with Dr. Rob Flannery of the FRST program, along with the backing of the Physicians Ambulance Service, the Cleveland Browns and Denzel Ward and his foundation, raises the continuity of treatment in our league,” said Chagrin Valley Conference Commissioner Dr. Don Lewis, DDS.

“The athletic medicine staff has many moving parts that include the athletic trainers, EMTs, and possibly physicians, coaches, administration, and high school student training aides. When there is a serious injury, those parts need to work as a team. As much as we would want to believe that we will rise to the occasion, the truth is that you rise to your preparation,” said Dr. Flannery.

Medical professionals, including members of EMS and athletic training teams, will learn skills required to cover sporting events and treat athletes in the events of sudden cardiac arrest, heat illness, sickle cell trait, and concussion. The course also includes hands-on practice for removing protective equipment (i.e. football helmets and pads) in the event of trauma to the neck or spine.

FRST is offered in partnership with founding sponsor Physicians Ambulance and was developed in partnership with University Hospitals Ventures.

“It’s not easy to bring first responders, athletic trainers, coaches, and physicians into one room to plan for the unthinkable. To do it at this scale is remarkable and speaks to the viability and sustainability of this program,” said Matt Zenker, Senior Portfolio manager at UH Ventures.