IWCS chooses Riverside for athletic trainers

Published 4:09 pm Thursday, February 2, 2023

Isle of Wight County Schools has partnered with Riverside Health System to provide certified athletic trainers to Smithfield and Windsor high schools.

The positions, according to Riverside, will serve as the first stop of medical care for student-athletes during practices or competitions.

Bon Secours, which had been Isle of Wight County Schools’ provider during the fall semester, notified the school division in November that the hospital system would be terminating its athletic training programs within 60 days.

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IWCS Director of Secondary Instruction Marsha Cale informed the School Board at its Jan. 12 meeting that the school division had offered Riverside the contract through 2025. Per the contract terms, IWCS will pay Riverside $30,000 for the remainder of the school year, and $75,000 annually for the next two school years.

IWCS chose Riverside, Cale said, after she and athletic directors for both high schools met with representatives from Sentara, the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters and Riverside to solicit quotes. The $30,000 for the remainder of the current school year, Cale said, is “very much in line” with what it had budgeted for Bon Secours.

“This important community partnership extends Riverside’s comprehensive sports medicine coverage to south of the James River,” said John LaRue, sports physical therapy and performance director for Riverside in a Jan. 24 press release. “We are excited to bring our dedicated and knowledgeable team to the community to keep Isle of Wight student-athletes in the game.”

The IWCS-Riverside contract marks the latest development in the expansion of Riverside’s presence in Isle of Wight County. Last year, State Health Commissioner Dr. Colin Greene overturned a Virginia Department of Health recommendation of denial, and granted Riverside state approval to build a 50-bed hospital at Benns Church and Brewers Neck boulevards. The hospital is slated to open its doors by 2025.