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Nicholls State University, Hospital Partner on Sports Medicine

THIBODAUX, La. ― Five certified athletic trainers from Thibodaux Regional Medical Center will work with Nicholls State University through an agreement making the hospital the official sports medicine provider for the university’s athletics program.

The Courier reports the two entities completed the partnership in a signing Wednesday, about a year after Nicholls Athletics Director Rob Bernardi approached Thibodaux Regional.

“As athletics administrators and coaches, the most important thing we do is ensure the health, safety and welfare of our student-athletes,” he said. “That’s what this endeavor is all about.”

The medical center’s trainers will provide services during all practices and games, including for intramural teams. Until now, Bernardi said, the university has only had two full-time certified trainers for about 300 student-athletes representing 14 sports.

Student-athletes will also have access to Thibodaux Regional’s sports medicine facilities, which Bernardi said will help with injury prevention and athlete recruitment.

In addition, Nicholls President Bruce Murphy said, part of the university’s recreation center will be converted for treatment.

“We think that athletics and recreation are an important part of higher education,” he said. “We thought that we could … provide better care, provide better services to our student-athletes as well as to our student population in general if we were to engage in a partnership.”

The university and hospital boards unanimously approved the agreement about a month ago, Murphy said. The partnership does not cost Nicholls anything.

“Nicholls State and Thibodaux Regional have a good history of working together … and this is just another very important milestone in cementing that relationship,” said Greg Stock, the medical center’s CEO. “I think the benefits are great for the community.”

Bernardi said the agreement will help prepare athletic training students for careers as they work with Thibodaux Regional’s certified trainers.

Athletic training senior Sara Schexnayder, 21, of Lutcher, said the partnership will help athletic training students respond to injuries, which she said can be stressful for the small department.

“We’re going to have more staff back there. So if something would happen, I think that it’s going to give the students more confidence to be able to deal with the injuries,” she said.

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