North Shore Receives Safe Sports School Award

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Through a partnership between North Shore High School and Northwell Health, the Glen Head-based secondary school was recently named a First Team Safe Sports School by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). The Safe Sports School program promotes sport safety and injury prevention for youth athletes, as well as athlete and parent education at the secondary school level.

North Shore was the only high school in New York to receive first-team recognition in 2016 and it became the 14th school in New York and first in Nassau County to achieve that status. To achieve the award, North Shore partnered with the Northwell Health Orthopaedic Institute and Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Services (STARS), which provides both sports medicine and rehabilitation services.

“With the great group of orthopedic doctors and the great reputation of Northwell Health, our student-athletes have great access to quality health and wellness care,” said Don Lang, director of athletics, physical education, health and intramurals at North Shore Schools.
Michael Gonzalez, an athletic trainer with STARS, was instrumental in helping North Shore earn the award. He developed a strength and conditioning program for student-athletes competing in football, lacrosse, basketball and soccer.

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Dr. Nicholas Sgaglione, Northwell Health’s chair of orthopaedic surgery; Martina Luce, sports coordinator at Northwell; Don Lang, North Shore High School athletic director; Michael Gonzalez, an athletic trainer at Northwell Health STARS; Janice Nunziatta, a North Shore High School nurse; Jennifer Imperiale, North Shore High School assistant principal; and Daniel Vaknin of Northwell Outpatient Rehabilitation Services.

“North Shore High School is honored to receive this first-team recognition from NATA,” Gonzalez said. “We remain committed to keeping our student-athletes safe during physical education classes, team practices and games so they can accomplish their own goals of great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship and good health. Our goal is to lead our athletics program to the highest safety standards for our players.”

“The longstanding partnership between NSHS and the Northwell Health Sports Medicine Program has benefited the North Shore community for many years. We look forward to continuing to provide expert care and treatment to students, athletes, teachers, coaches and their families,” said Nicholas A. Sgaglione, MD, professor and chair of orthopedic surgery at Northwell Health.

NATA established the Safe Sports Schools program in 2013 as injury prevention and awareness in high school and youth sports saturated the national spotlight. The association’s strict guidelines help prevent injury and provide quality care and treatment and are intended to: create a positive athletic health care administrative system; provide pre-participation physical examinations; promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities; plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment; provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes; develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions; provide injury intervention; create and rehearse a venue-specific emergency action plan; provide psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling.

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