New Athlete Health Organization of TJU to Keep Student-Athletes in the Game for Life

The AHO of TJU will provide youth athletes and their school communities with free medical screenings, innovative population-based solutions and educational programs.

The Athlete Health Organization (AHO), which provides health screenings to student-athletes in underserved areas, is now a program under Jefferson’s Department of Family and Community Medicine.

The not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization has performed over 10,000 free, comprehensive sports physicals and delivers educational info to student-athletes, enabling them to participate in sports and preparing them for a healthy life.

For years, Jefferson has partnered with the AHO—now known as the Athlete Health Organization of TJU. The organization will be led by Dr. Christine Arenson, department chair of Family and Community Medicine, and Dr. David Shipon, director of preventive/sports cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation for Jefferson Health, will be AHO of TJU director, alongside co-director Dr. Jeremy Close, director of primary care sports medicine. Many of the AHO founding members and board will make up the advisory board, including Dr. Joseph Steingard, Mitch Budman and Cliff Hubbard.

Through this new collaboration, the AHO of TJU will continue to provide all levels of youth athletes and their school communities with free medical screenings, innovative population-based solutions and educational programs.

“This program provides an annual, comprehensive exam that most of these children have never been given previously,” Dr. Shipon says. “The conditions we typically find illustrate the acute and chronic problems our inner-city communities have at a young age. By offering these screenings, we uncover chronic disease patterns and potentially lethal medical conditions that often go unrecognized by the typical physical exam.”

This year’s annual screening will be June 9, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School. An expected 500 students will receive height and weight recordings, eye exams, head trauma tests, primary care and pulmonary, orthopedics and cardiology assessments, including electrocardiograms and echocardiograms if needed. Register here by May 29 if you would like to volunteer. Physicians, nurses, students and the general public are welcome to participate.

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