Junior Jacquelyn Loretto spent the end of her freshman year as a frequent visitor to the athletic training room. She played softball in the spring, yet found herself going back and forth between the lower field and the small room nestled between the football field and the swimming pool because of a knee injury. Loretto visited athletic trainer Javier Margarito everyday to prepare for her upcoming knee surgery by stretching and strengthening her joint under Margarito’s supervision. Eventually, in May, Loretto had the surgery and moved on to her sophomore year while Margarito picked up new duties as MVHS’ health clerk. But an idea had been planted in Loretto’s mind.
“That’s where I got my exposure [to sports medicine]and that’s where I wanted to do more,” Loretto said. “That’s why I started helping sophomore year.”
Loretto helped Margarito tend to athletes after school during her sophomore year. Eventually with fellow juniors Emily Tang, Kimi Chen and Hira Ali, she submitted a proposal to create a Sports Medicine Club at MVHS. However, the proposal was denied for being too unspecific in the clubs goals, and the club had to wait until this school year to resubmit it.
Now, with Physiology teacher and Leadership advisor Jenna Smith stepping in as a co-advisor, SMC has officially joined the long list of MVHS clubs. The club plans to start holding regular meetings and appointing officers in the second semester of the 2017-18 school year.
SMC’s main goal is to teach students about the allied healthcare field and give them hands-on experience by helping Margarito after school with his duties as an athletic trainer. Allied health refers to any medical field which doesn’t have doctors, nurses or dentists but are still considered medical professionals.
“We’re not just talking about medicine but we’re talking about specific hands on sports medicine things like chiropractic, nursing, massage therapy, physical therapy,” Smith said. “There are a whole bunch of different careers out there that aren’t necessarily talked about specifically in our other clubs.”
SMC held two meetings before the Thanksgiving break, with a third one planned for the week before finals, on December 6 in room B103. In the first two meetings, they spoke with interested students about the goals of the club and the requirements to join.
“Looking at our mission, we want to educate students and really show them practical skills,” Margarito said. “Because no matter if you learn them at this age or learn them ten years from now those skills don’t change. Take for example, CPR. We can teach someone how to do CPR right now and that puts another person out in the public that can potentially step up and help someone in a situation where others may freeze.”
About 14 members, including Loretto, Ali and Chen, showed up to the second meeting where Loretto discussed the different officer positions available to members. Loretto currently serves as the president, while Smith and Margarito are co-advisors for the club. New members of the SMC hope to assist Margarito in the trainer’s room after school to get firsthand experience with the allied healthcare field.
Smith says that although there are other medicine related clubs on campus, SMC is still unique in what it offers to the MVHS student body. Although Smith states the other health clubs on campus offer specific instruction and experience to students, she believes the SMC will give those students who aren’t interested in medical school a chance to learn about new medical fields after high school.
“There’s a club coming into my room next week doing a heart dissection, which is phenomenal, right?” Smith said. “They’re amazing and they’re talking about really specific human physiology and things that doctors do, but it’s focused on that. And at our school I personally feel there’s opportunity for more focus on healthcare fields that are not just going straight to med school. Like getting a doctorate in chiropractic, what’s that pathway like?”
Loretto affirms this sentiment, and hopes that students will join the club regardless of what they hope to do in life.
“There are so many benefits that could come from it, even if you don’t end up being interested in anything medical related, you still get more educated on what they are and what the different opportunities are in the different medical fields,” Loretto said.