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January 2, 2019


ThedaCare Licensed Athletic Trainer Helps Maintain Highest Safety Standards

January 2, 2019


ThedaCare Licensed Athletic Trainer Helps Maintain Highest Safety Standards

MENASHA, Wis. – Menasha High School was recently named a first team Safe Sports School by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

“We’re the only school in the Fox Valley that has this recognition of a Safe Sports School, so I think that is really neat and something to be proud of,” said Anna Linstedt, a licensed athletic trainer with ThedaCare at Menasha High School.

To achieve the first team Safe Sports School recognition, athletic programs must take crucial steps to keep athletes safe. According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, there are nine areas of focus:

  • Create a positive athletic health care administrative system
  • Provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations
  • Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities
  • Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment
  • Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes
  • Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions
  • Provide or facilitate injury intervention
  • Create and rehearse venue-specific Emergency Action Plan
  • Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education
  • Be sure athletes and parents are educated of the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities

“We’ve taken steps to make sure our athletes are safe,” said Linstedt. “We’ve also taken time to develop specific plans with school leadership, which is important for improving safety for all.”

Linstedt has been with Menasha High School for 11 years. She is part of a unique program involving Licensed Athletic Trainers (LATs). ThedaCare provides LAT services at more than a dozen schools in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The program saves families time and money, offering services on-site, rather than going to another location for rehabilitation.

Because of the program, LATs also develop a strong relationship with students and athletes. They work with them daily; know the athlete’s injuries and how to help them heal. Linstedt works with about 450 athletes throughout the year. The ultimate goal for Linstedt is to get athletes back into play when it is safe for them and without the risk of re-injury.

“You never want to see a kid get hurt, but if they do, I want to be there and get them through recovery,” said Linstedt.

The Safe Sports School recognition was an extensive process. Linstedt explained that she worked over the summer on the application that involves an emergency action plan and policy and procedure book for the high school.

“We work hard to keep athletes safe,” she said. “To have it on paper is a huge accomplishment.”

Along with the application for the Safe Sport School, she applied for a grant through the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association to pay for the application fee, which was also awarded.

The designation of the first team Safe Sports School is for a three-year period, from October 2018 through October 2021.

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.

Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.