Getting back in the game starts with care on the field

Whether on the playing field or in a healthcare setting, teamwork is essential to success. As head athletic trainer at Milford High School, Taylor Hatfield, ATC, sees this play out daily with the school’s various athletic teams. As a Bayhealth employee, she and her colleagues are also a part of a network of professionals that live by this philosophy, working together to provide timely and beneficial care to area athletes.

This teamwork was evident during an evening football game at Milford High School. Injury struck on the field for linebacker Mardis Powell. Hatfield was there for first-level care. Surgery looked to be a possibility to treat his meniscus tear, a common knee injury, but physical therapy was recommended as a first step. Communication with Department Manager for Outpatient Rehabilitation Josh Smith quickly ensued, and Powell was seen on the next day’s schedule for physical therapy at Milford Memorial.

Upon first meeting Powell, Smith already had background information to expedite a plan that would best help him. Bayhealth providers and staff all use the same Epic electronic health record system, allowing for immediate access to patient health history, notes from practitioners and test results, such as X-ray and MRI images. The open flow of information and communication between everyone working with a patient streamlines recovery because everyone can make decisions about care knowledgeably and efficiently.

As a senior starter on the team, Powell benefited from the swift action and his own motivation to work hard in physical therapy. Within two weeks, he passed the “Return to Play” examination required of all athletes, in time for the remainder of the season. “While a smooth and fast recovery from an injury is ideal, it’s critical to ensure that an athlete is 100 percent ready to reduce the likelihood of having the injury again,” explained Smith.

Even with the protocols and tools in place, the human element should not be overlooked. Smith joined Bayhealth earlier this year and has been impressed by the strong collaboration he has seen among departments. Hatfield can attest to that. “There’s a great rapport between Bayhealth’s orthopaedicssports medicine and outpatient physical therapy teams. With a quick text or phone call, an injured student athlete can be referred and seen as soon as possible for treatment. With everyone on the same page at each step, together we can provide a seamless process.”

While sports medicine is just one of the areas that Bayhealth’s Outpatient Rehabilitation covers, Smith pointed out that at the heart of all treatments is a detailed one-on-one approach to care. Bayhealth provides physical, occupational and speech therapy services that are individually tailored to meet a multitude of diagnoses. “We have the system and resources in place to invest in helping each person recover. The dedicated and highly qualified team of therapists here works towards reducing the toll of injury and helping patients return to their best life. It’s great to see the future of healthcare at work through Bayhealth.”

Visit to learn more about the outpatient rehabilitative services we offer.

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