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Hilo Medical ʻohana Helps Keep Vulcans Ready To Play

Medical professionals examining students in a gym

On two Sundays every August, more than 40 local primary care physicians, nurses, optometrists and physical therapists take over the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo gymnasium to administer physicals and concussion tests to every UH Hilo student athlete. Under the supervision of Head Athletic Trainer Kensei Gibbs, the group works perfectly and seamlessly together to make sure that all Vulcans are declared fit to play.

“There is no way that we could get all of this done without them,” Gibbs said. “These people give of their time freely to help us and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

At every NCAA school across the country, student-athletes are required to have physical exams and concussion testing. At UH Hilo, that means more than 200 men and women in 12 sports need to be checked out and processed. That is no easy task anywhere, but the challenges might be more pronounced on Hawaiʻi Island, where securing medical appointments with a finite number of physicians available can be difficult.

On August 27, Hilo’s group of volunteer health professionals processed eight of the 12 teams in just under three hours. The other four UH Hilo squads went through the process on August 13.

“We are so grateful and fortunate to have our community of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals that donate their time willingly to assist our student-athletes with physicals,“ said UH Hilo Athletic Director Patrick Guillen. “I do not know of anywhere else this level of support occurs other than here in Hilo. We are blessed. Mahalo!”

Read more at the UH Hilo athletics website.

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