The Southwest Sports Wellness Foundation is the result of the vision and passion of a group of established athletes, doctors, physical therapists, and caring professionals who have charitably been underwriting medical programs and improving access to healthcare services for student athletes through:
> Pre-participation screening exams
> ATCs for high school sports programs
> No cost injury clinics for early diagnosis and treatment
> Access to physical therapy care for rehabilitation
> Access to highly trained physicians described in this summary for almost 45 years
Dr. Charles “Doc” Camarata began working with high school athletes in 1964 and has been donating his services to student athletes in San Diego County ever since. In 1982, along with Ed Ayub P.T., they started the first free Saturday morning injury clinic in the South Bay area of San Diego. Michael Stein, P.T. has been volunteering his services since 1987 and the injury clinic program started by Doc and Ed was moved to his clinic, Manual Orthopedic Physical Therapy in Eastlake, in 2008. Doc and Mike are joined in this effort by Dr. Mike Lenihan and Dr. Mark Selecky, who practice together at LSC Orthopaedics, also in Eastlake as well as by Joe Bailey, P.T. and Curtis Hill, P.T. who run Manual Orthopedic Physical Therapy with Mike Stein. Doctors Lenihan and Selecky did their sports medicine fellowships at Kerlan and Jobe Orthopedic Sports Medicine Clinic in Los Angeles where they worked with many college and professional athletes and teams including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Angels, Lakers, Galaxy, Ducks and Kings. Both Dr. Lenihan and Dr. Selecky have worked in the South Bay area of San Diego for many years and have volunteered countless hours treating high school, college and Olympic athletes.
Together, this group has supported programs that have screened, treated and trained hundreds of young athletes, providing quality rehabilitation and guidance that would not normally be available to many of these young people. More than a few of the young athletes that this group has seen in their charitable efforts have gone on to professional sports careers or entered the medical field due to their experiences with these people. The Foundation’s model of the free injury clinic has been used in many other school districts, but few clinics can boast similar numbers that have been treated or the longevity of their program.
The Foundation seeks to continue this tradition on a more comprehensive and organized level by providing funds and seeking out volunteers to provide sports medicine care to student athletes, especially those without resources. This will be accomplished by free injury clinics and by supporting rehabilitation for student athletes. The Foundation will also continue to underwrite pre-participation screenings to continue with the preventive work the group has done over the years. The pre-participation exams will initially be conducted twice each year in order to give the student athlete a quality medical screening before they participate in a school sport.
The Foundation will also continue its support of sports specific training opportunities for the area youth athletes. This program opens up a world of training and competition to young athletes who would otherwise not have access to such opportunities. The program provides role models to the young athletes that builds self esteem and shows them the real world results from the commitment to setting goals..
Another key focus of the Foundation is in helping with the development and education of health care professionals. The Foundation will sponsor a family practice sports medicine fellowship, which will be administered under the supervision of Doc Camarata and in conjunction with the University of California, San Diego, Scripps Mercy Chula Vista Hospital and LSC Orthopedics. The Foundation will require that the fellow provide one-half of his or her practice time serving the goals of the Foundation. Additionally, hands-on experience for physical therapists, athletic trainers and students will be provided by the Foundation under the guidance of established specialists, by attending pre-participation screenings, injury clinics and the chance to work on rehabilitating athletes at Manual Orthopedic Physical Therapy.
In a further effort to provide supplemental experience and income opportunities for athletic trainers, the Foundation will coordinate and fund the opportunity to:
> Provide ATCs to teach SUHSD’s Career Technical Education (CTE) Medical Pathways Sports Medicine classes at 9 high schools in the San Diego area. SWSWF plans to have CTE classes available in all 12 high schools in the district by 2018.
> Develop athletic training programs for student athletes and for students interested in healthcare as a profession in San Diego area high schools.
SWSWF promotes the following goals:
Improving Access to Healthcare Services for Student Athletes through:
> Pre-participation screening exams and Cardiac assessments
> ATCs for high school sports through SUHSD CTE Medical Pathways programs
> No cost sports injury clinics for early diagnosis and treatment
> Access to physical therapy care for rehabilitation
> Access to highly trained physicians
To provide educational opportunities for physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers and students including:
> Internships for students who are interested in sports medicine
> Fellowships for healthcare professionals in sports medicine
> Student scholarships for studies leading to careers in sports medicine
> Financial assistance for Healthcare professionals who demonstrate interest in the field, show promise in being able to contribute to the community
> Hands-on experience and supplemental income opportunities for individuals interested in health care professions
Please take a moment and view our foundation video.
The Southwest Sports Wellness Foundation (SWSWF) was established in 2010 to fulfill a need in the under-served areas of San Diego by underwriting high school sports screening assessments, supporting free high school sports injury clinics, educating medical doctors, physical therapists, and certified athletic trainers, and by providing scholarships for students with an interest in healthcare.