The Northwestern State Athletic Department and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center have signed a four-year partnership agreement to make NRMC the “Official Health Care Provider for NSU Athletics.”
Announcement of the partnership was made Friday afternoon by NSU president Dr. Jim Henderson, director of athletics Greg Burke and NMRC chief executive officer Kirk Soileau. The agreement was approved Thursday by the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, which includes Northwestern State.
“Partnering with the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center as the official health care provider for NSU ensures that a high level of coverage and care for our student-athletes will be maintained which has always been priority number one by our athletic department. There will also be additional advantages to being aligned with a local health care facility. Our coaches and staff look forward to a wonderful relationship with NRMC going forward,” Burke said.
The Natchitoches Regional Medical Center (NRMC) system is comprised of 229 beds; 96-bed acute care hospital, a 112-bed skilled nursing facility operated as the Courtyard of Natchitoches, and 21 senior care apartments at Natchitoches Assisted Living. NRMC offers an array of services that include orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, pulmonology, robotic surgery, women’s health and obstetrics, cardiology, advanced imaging, physical, speech, and occupational therapy, ENT, sleep studies, ophthalmology and general surgery. In addition the system operates Natchitoches Comprehensive Wound Care Center, Natchitoches Imaging Center, North Natchitoches Medical Clinic in Campti, NRMC Walk-In Clinic, Natchitoches Parish Emergency Medical Services (ambulance) and PRISM, a comprehensive rehabilitation service with locations in Natchitoches and Many.
NRMC is a hospital service district and has served Natchitoches and the surrounding communities since 1956 under the direction of a seven-member Board of Commissioners. Soileau, assumed the CEO role of the medical center in 2013, establishing its three vision strategies; achieving the 95 percent of Patient Experience Scores in all services measured; to be recognized as a top 100 hospital; and to earn a Malcolm Baldridge Award for Excellence.
As part of the partnership, NRMC will provide many services to the NSU athletic program and its student-athletes. Two certified athletic trainers provided by NRMC will enhance coverage at all practices, conditioning sessions, and competitions. They will join NSU’s current full-time athletic trainer staff, led by Jason Drury, who is in his 10th year as a member of the NSU sports medicine staff including the past three as head athletic trainer. Anita Miller is the assistant athletic trainer.
Orthopedist Dr. Steven Kautz, a member of the NRMC active medical staff, will assume the role of Head Team Physician. Also serving as team physicians are Dr. James Knecht and Dr. Marc Stokes.
Student athletes will have access to regular clinical sessions at the NSU athletic training room and 24-hour medical assistance as well as fast-tracked services for care in the NRMC emergency room, imaging (MRI and x-rays) and other key services.
“The entire NSU Athletic Department is appreciative of the commitment made by NRMC to support the university and its athletic programs and to have them as a sponsor of our athletic events. We appreciate the leadership of the NRMC Board, CEO Kirk Soileau, PRISM, and the NRMC medical staff,” said Burke.
Bringing all health care services for NSU Athletics back to the local community for the first time since the 1980s has many advantages. The opportunity was embraced by NRMC.
“We are pleased to be a part of the NSU athletic family, and we will take great care of all of NSU’s student athletes. Our Sports Medicine team focuses on prevention and wellness, and if an injury happens during a game, I can’t think of better folks to have on the sidelines than our trainers and doctors,” said Soileau. “Backed by the full services of the hospital, our Sports Medicine Team can provide medical care immediately and right here in Natchitoches so athletes are not traveling long distances after an injury. And PRISM offers the ongoing physical therapy that players will need to get back in the game.”