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Hawkins Provides Sports Medicine Support to Avery High

Joe Hawkins

Sept. 14, 2012. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) recently welcomed Joe Hawkins, MA, LAT, ATC, EMT-P, a nationally certified Athletic Trainer, to our Rehabilitation Center team in Linville. Hawkins will work as an Athletic Trainer at Avery High School providing education to help prevent injuries, treatment of existing conditions and frontline sports medicine care for injuries and urgent situations that may occur.  

“Since starting with ARHS in August, Joe has already screened many injuries on the sidelines, addressed old injuries from last year and sent a few students to the hospital for assessment and treatment,” shared Jeanne Bradshaw, Executive Director of Rehabilitation and Wellness Center for ARHS. “He has had 360+ student visits, not counting taping, and has referred more than 21 students to Cannon Memorial Hospital or local doctors’ offices for x-rays, MRI’s, CTs, ECHOs and ACL reconstruction consultations.”

Hawkins comes to ARHS from Lees McRae College where he was the Head Athletic Trainer.  He has over 22 years experience, including 15 years of professional work with the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs.

“Joe brings a great deal of experience to our system,” shared Jay Smith, Athletic Director for Avery High School. “Our student athletes now have a full-time person at school, not only to monitor at the games, but to do rehabilitation during lunch and before practice. He is also available on Saturday mornings.” 

A well known member of the Linville community, Hawkins received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina -Charlotte.  He then earned his master’s degree in Sports Medicine from the University of Alabama.  He is certified as an instructor of the American Heart Association in Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support and is a certified paramedic with the Linville Central Rescue Squad and Avery County EMS.  

“Joe’s certifications mean that he can provide pre-hospital care, if a serious injury occurs,” said Bradshaw. “He is a wonderful asset to have at local athletic events.” 

ARHS’s vision, to build a healthcare system that results in healthier individuals and enhanced quality of life, is strengthened by Hawkins’ presence. By providing sports medicine support to Avery High School, students athletes have access to strength and conditioning professionals that will work with them to help prevent injuries, as well as receive immediate attention if an injury does occur. 

Smith continues, “This partnership gives our kids the best possible care. When an injury occurs, Joe can treat it or ensure that the student gets to the Emergency Room and treated in a timely manner. It is a win win for Avery County athletics.”

For more information about the The Rehabilitation Center of ARHS or the ARHS Athletic Training Program, call 828-737-7520