Dayton Public contracts with Premier Health for athletic trainer services

Jun. 11—Dayton Public Schools has approved a contract with Premier Health to provide six athletic trainers for the district's high school athletic programs.

The agreement takes effect on June 15 and will run for three, three-year terms. DPS and Premier will discuss any changes after the end of the three years. Dayton Public will pay $382,422 in the first year of the agreement, according to the contract, and display advertising for Premier Health at sporting events..

Premier Health spokesman Ben Sutherly said all sports medicine collaborations are set in three-year increments to make sure there can be changes and adjustments, but the nine year total term would give as much continuity as possible to the district.

"Student safety is our top priority, and having skilled athletic trainers at our practices and athletic events will ensure athletes are always in a safe environment and receive the support they need," said Dayton Public Schools superintendent David Lawrence. "This athletic partnership is part of our continued efforts to work closely with local corporations and businesses to provide support for our children."

The district has been working with Go4HealthCare's on-demand athletic trainers since September. The district ended their partnership with Kettering Health in May 2023. DPS officials said last year that Kettering Health was asking for the district to pay for 75% of any athletic trainer's salary.

Previously, DPS was able to get athletic trainers for free from Kettering Health in exchange for advertising, but that model no longer is common. DPS paid $538,560 for Go4HealthCare's contract.

"The District looked at multiple potential partners for this athletic trainer contract, and Premier was the best option overall," Lawrence said. "We are very excited to be partnering with Premier to provide athletic trainers, and we are in the process of establishing other future partnership opportunities."

Experts in the field say there's a shortage of athletic trainers, who are required to have a bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited program and become certified.

"These athletic training services further strengthen the bond between our two organizations and exemplify our mission: To Care. To Teach. To Innovate. To Serve," said Michael C. Riordan, president and CEO of Premier Health.

Athletic trainers work with athletes to prevent injuries, as well as rehabilitate them when they are injured. They can help prevent issues like heatstroke, torn ligaments and broken bones. In contact sports like football, where concussions are more likely, the athletic trainer can quickly administer aid.

Premier provides athletic training services to more than 40 districts, according to the hospital system, including Northmont, Centerville, Beavercreek, Springboro and more. Premier employs more than 60 athletic trainers dedicated to schools.