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2005 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital Performs Free Physicals for Pinellas County Student Athletes

Comprehensive High School Physicals Include Cardiac & Asthma Screenings

CLEARWATER, Fla. (May 3, 2005)- Morton Plant Hospital physicians are teaming up to help ensure local student athletes are safe on the playing field next school year. On Saturday, May 21st, physicians, certified athletic trainers and physical therapists will be performing free athletic physicals.

"These are comprehensive screenings that only take a few minutes and could detect potential health concerns in a young athlete that should be addressed and treated," said Dr. David Thompson, Morton Plant sports medicine physician and medical director Pinellas County athletic training program. "Our physicians are volunteering their time to keep kids safe and give back to the community."

The annual sports physicals are part of the athletic training outreach program, which is a partnership between Morton Plant and Pinellas County High Schools. This year, for the first time, physicals will include cardiac screenings. An electrocardiogram (EKG) and echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart) will be performed on each student to measure their rate and regularity of heartbeats.

Screenings for asthma also will be available, as well as information on nutrition and the dangers of steroid use. The physicals do not include blood tests or drug screenings.

Recently the Florida High School Athletic Association adopted a proposal requiring schools to have on file a physical evaluation form for a student-athlete before he or she can participate in any form of physical conditioning.

Morton Plant athletic physicals will be conducted on Saturday, May 21st, from 8:00 a.m. to noon at the following location:

Ptak Orthopaedic & Neuroscience Pavilion, Morton Plant Hospital, 430 Morton Plant Street, Clearwater, FL

For more information on the athletic physicals program, call (727) 462-7861.

Students from nine high schools in Pinellas County have been invited to participate in this year's athletic physicals. They are: Clearwater High School, Largo High School, Seminole High School, Osceola High School, Pinellas Park High School, Dixie Hollins High School, Calvary Christian High School, Clearwater Central Catholic High School and Indian Rocks Christian School.

The physicals are free of charge, however individual schools may ask for donations to benefit local booster clubs.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility dedicated to improving the health of all it serves through community-owned health services that set the standard for high quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Hospital has received numerous national recognitions for its quality of care including the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for Primary Stroke Care from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and 100 Top Hospital Overall Quality of Care for five years. Morton Plant is one of only seven hospitals in the United States to be ranked in the100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success Study for six consecutive years. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., 727-462-7000.

Contact: Amy Morrow, 727/461-8538 (phone), 727/468-7586 (pager)