Franciscan Health will provide sports medicine services to Lake Central High School athletes after reaching a partnership agreement with the Lake Central School Board.

Two athletic trainers will be stationed at the school full time, treating injuries, guiding preventative measures and implementing safe sport techniques such as heat acclimation, concussion awareness and balance stability, according to Frank Eksten, director, Sports Medicine and Sports Performance at Franciscan Health Crown Point.

Eksten said when the opportunity to partner with Lake Central arose, Franciscan Health jumped at the chance to bring its sports medicine expertise to St. John and the surrounding communities. “Lake Central was a school that made a lot of sense for us. I had conversations with the athletic director, determining their needs. My intention is to exceed what they had before,” he said.

Chris Enyeart, Lake Central director of athletics, said, “Lake Central High School is excited to join the Franciscan network as our provider for our athletic training services. We are extremely happy to continue working with Mr. Chris Hall and Mrs. Taylor Gleason as our athletic trainers. During these uncertain times with the COVID-19 pandemic, joining an amazing team allows us to provide our student-athletes with top notch care.”

Eksten said Franciscan’s goal is to ensure a safe return for student-athletes, noting the revised protocols related to preventing the spread of COVID-19. “A document was developed by our medical directors, and that went out to all partner schools on how to develop their own plan on how to return to sports,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to have some excellent people that are part of our sports medicine collaborative throughout the alliance.”

Franciscan Alliance provides sports medicine and athletic training services to about 45 high schools in Indiana. In Northwest Indiana, those schools include, Crown Point, Lowell, Andrean, Boone Grove, Kankakee Valley and Covenant Christian.