St. Luke's and District 11 team-up
St. Luke's and District 11 formally teamed-up for a partnership Tuesday morning during a press conference held at St. Luke's Campus in Cetronia.
The announcement comes on the heels of the upcoming fall season, which gets under way on August 11, as District 11 joins District 7 in Pittsburgh, as the only two PIAA zones that have partnerships with medical providers.
St. Luke's won the bid for the partnership and District 11 chairman Bob Hartman couldn't be happier about the merger.
"This really does help us out at events where we really didn't have a great amount of trainer coverage," Hartman said. "For example, at our district events for swimming, tennis, wrestling and track and field, we'll have more enhanced and efficient coverage because we'll have more feet on the ground. It's really a big deal."
Outside of added coverage for district events, District 11 and St. Luke's will be featured in joint branding and marketing efforts. St. Luke's will also provide on-site athletic training services, on-call and on-site physician services, medical and athletic training supplies and care when needed.
The merger does not have an effect on schools during the regular season, in regard to each school's respective athletic training staff. Hartman did stress the significance of having a partnership with St. Luke's to ensure all District 11 athletes have the best championship experience possible.
The partnership will run for the next five school years and will feature sponsorship type naming rights that are common in major collegiate events. For example, the PIAA District 11 Cross Country Championships presented by St. Luke's University Health Network will be the moniker used moving forward. All District 11 championship events will be presented by St. Luke's.
There will also be increased visibility of the partnership during playoffs and championship events in the forms of signage, public address announcements and educational booths.
Athletes from various District 11 schools were on hand for the announcement, which included Northwestern's Cam Richardson.
The upcoming senior standout on the Tigers football team and track star, appreciated the efforts of the district forming such a partnership, especially since Richardson knows about dealing with injuries and working through them.
Richardson dealt with an ankle and toe injury last season, which sidelined him for two and a half weeks during the football season.
"I think as an athlete it makes you feel more comfortable that they're putting this much emphasis on an athlete's health," he said. "It's great to see this because trainers do a great job getting athletes back on the field, so I'm happy they've come together for this partnership."
John Hauth, manager of Sports Medicine Relationships at St Luke's University Health Network, is proud to be able to assist the district and Lehigh Valley.
"St. Luke's is already the official medical provider for the Lehigh Valley SteelHawks and the Parkettes National Gymnastics Training Center," said Hauth.
"We also provide on-site, emergency and ongoing care for athletes at a host of schools in and around the Lehigh Valley, the Poconos and the Schuylkill County region. We now have the opportunity to do that for the entire District 11 as needed. This is an opportunity and a responsibility that we accept with great commitment and enthusiasm."