HSS to Offer Free Injury Prevention Program for 50 U.S. High Schools via New “Move Better Play Better” Initiative

The top-ranked orthopedic hospital in the nation, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), has launched a new initiative, “Move Better Play Better”, which will provide free injury prevention resources to 50 high schools throughout the U.S. during the 2022-23 school year.

The “Move Better Play Better” program is comprised of risk factor screenings for student-athletes; educational workshops for parents, coaches and physical education teachers, and on-site or virtual support visits for key stakeholders. HSS will also provide priority access to a new injury prevention training app for coaches. Any high school in the nation can apply to join the program, as long as they do not have a full-time athletic trainer.

“High school sports have long been an important community pillar as they provide children with important social skills and health benefits,” said Joseph Janosky, DrPHc, MSc, PT, AT, Director, Injury Prevention Programs, HSS. “While injuries are common, the good news is that proper training can change this. Here at HSS, we have developed evidence-based injury prevention programs so kids can reap the benefits of sports with a reduced risk of getting hurt.”

Approximately 7 million students play high school sports with over 2 million injuries each year. Nearly 30,000 of those injuries result in hospital stays. The CDC believes that up to half of these injuries could be prevented with proper training and resources.

When schools have access to a full-time athletic trainer, their students see lower overall and recurring injury rates. Unfortunately, approximately two-thirds of U.S. high schools lack access.

Kids who endure sports injuries are more likely to miss school, suffer from mental health issues such as depression, and develop chronic orthopedic issues like arthritis that could increase risk of opioid dependency.

“We understand the devastating effects that injuries can have on our youth and we believe that we can help kids stay safe playing the sport of their choice by providing our resources and expertise directly to their schools,” said Janosky.

“Move Better Play Better” lives within the HSS Sports Medicine Institute’s Youth Sports Safety Program, which brings together sports medicine doctors, physical therapists and other experts to develop injury prevention programs aimed to keep youth athletes safe. Since the program’s inception in 2016, nearly 300,000 youth athletes, coaches and teachers have attended  injury prevention workshops. Since December 2021, over 1,000 youth athletes have participated in injury risk factor screenings.

“The HSS Sports Medicine Institute is committed to getting athletes of all ages back to their sports and we are especially proud of initiatives such as these that strive to help children embark on a lifelong journey of athletics,” said Andrew D. Pearle, MD, chief of the HSS Sports Medicine Institute.

The initiative was announced at the Project Play Summit on May 4 in Washington, D.C. Project Play is the flagship initiative of the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program, and aims to develop, share and apply knowledge that helps stakeholders build healthy communities through sports specifically access to quality sport activity for all children. The yearly Summit is the nation’s premier gathering of leaders building healthy community through sports.

Interested high schools can apply to join the Move Better Play Better Campaign here. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through July 1, 2022. A brief letter of support from a school or district administrator is required as part of the application. Applicants who are not selected will receive access to a selection of free injury prevention resources.

About HSS

HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the 12th consecutive year), No. 4 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2021-2022), and the best pediatric orthopedic hospital in NY, NJ and CT by U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” list (2021-2022). In a survey of medical professionals in more than 20 countries by Newsweek, HSS is ranked world #1 in orthopedics for a second consecutive year (2022). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has the lowest complication and readmission rates in the nation for orthopedics, and among the lowest infection rates. HSS was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center five consecutive times. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State, as well as in Florida. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Innovation Institute works to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The HSS Education Institute is a trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal knowledge and research for physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, academic trainees, and consumers in more than 145 countries. The institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally. www.hss.edu.

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