PHS Sports Medicine Information

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Phone: 803-821-2258     |    Fax: 803-821-2150     |    Email: gwham@lexington1.net

One of South Carolina’s premier high school sports medicine programs, PANTHER Sports Medicine was established in 1997 with the mission to prevent, evaluate, treat, and rehabilitate injuries incurred by Pelion High School and Pelion Middle School athletes.   Over the last 20 years the program has grown from a single athletic trainer (AT) with 3 student aides (SMSA) to the current staff of 3 athletic trainers and 14 sports medicine student aides. Working closely with team physicians at Palmetto Health USC Orthopaedics, the staff serves over 500 athletes at PHS/PMS providing event coverage and treatment sessions each day for Pelion athletes, including post-operative rehabilitation. During the 2017-2018 school year more than 500 injuries were evaluated and treated in the Pelion High School Athletic Training Room, ranging from minor sprains and strains to fractures and dislocations, concussions and 7 surgery-requiring injuries. PANTHER Sports Medicine has been on the cutting edge of improvements in care for high school athletes, as it was the first high school sports medicine program to purchase/implement an AED program (2001) and the first to purchase/implement ImPact Concussion Testing (2008).

 

The Pelion High School Sports Medicine Student Aide (SMSA) Program has been a model high school sports medicine program providing hands-on educational opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare and extending the reach of our school’s athletic trainers in providing sports medicine services for our athletes. Student Aides are selected through a rigorous interview process, take sports medicine courses, and are encouraged to participate PHS’ Therapeutic Services major. In 2018-2019 there are 15 student aides in our program serving as an extra set of hands for our AT’s. Many aides elect to participate in internship, shadowing, and volunteer opportunities with our partner Palmetto Health USC Orthopaedics. Since 1997 nearly 155 PHS students have served at least 1 full school year as a SMSA with many serving the maximum 3 years. Additionally, 16 student aides have gone on to college sports medicine programs, 2 have been selected to the Shrine Bowl (2010, 2014), and 3 have been selected to serve in the North/South All-Star Football game (2001, 2007, 2011). PHS SMSA’s have excelled in the state and national HOSA Sports Medicine Competitions producing one national champion, two top10 finishers, and & four top 20 finishers since 2003. On the state level our program has produced 3 state champions, 8 state runner-ups, and 9 other students placing in the top 6 in the state. Perhaps most importantly, PANTHER Sports Medicine has served as a spring board for students interested in healthcare with former aides going on to pursue careers in athletic training, medicine, physical therapy, nursing, pharmacy, EMT’s, and a variety of healthcare professions.

Pelion Panther Sports Medicine Staff

GEORGE WHAM, EdD, SCAT, ATC          

HEAD ATHLETIC TRAINER / ASSISTANT ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

Dr. George Wham returns for his 23rd year as Pelion High School’s head athletic trainer. Under the advice and consent of the physicians at Palmetto Health USC Orthopaedics, Dr. Wham is responsible for coordinating sports medicine services for PHS athletes and teaching our sports medicine courses. George earned his undergraduate degree from Presbyterian College, and his masters and doctorate degrees from the University of South Carolina, and holds national and state certification as an AT.  Dr. Wham has served on the AT staffs at PC and USC and as a faculty member in Carolina’s AT education program and at Midlands Tech. A member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers’ Association, the South Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association, and the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association, Wham currently chairs the SCATA Honors & Awards Committee and is a member of the SC Medical Association’s Advisory Committee to the SCHSL.  He has previously served as President of the SC Coaches Association, on the SCACA Board of Directors, and on the SCATA, MAATA, and NATA Secondary School Athletic Training Committees. Wham is a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Athletic Training and has been published in the JAT, the Journal of the SC Medical Association, Coaching Today, Athletic Therapy Today, Training and Conditioning, and the NATA News. He has delivered over 40 presentations at state and national conferences related to his research and on issues involving appropriate medical care in secondary school athletics.  Wham has served as a sports medicine consultant for the SC Department of Education, the Brain Injury Association of SC, Gatorade, Cliff Bar and the SCHSL. Dr. Wham has been honored with the NATA Most Distinguished AT Award (2019), NATA AT Service Award (2013), Gatorade NATA District 3 Secondary School AT Award (2019) and MAATA Most Distinguished AT Award (2019). Wham has been named SC AT of the Year (2014) and USC AT Alumni of the Year (2014) and served as Shrine Bowl AT (2013) and North-South All-Star Football AT (2000). Originally from Clinton, George and his wife, Julie, live in Lexington and have three children: Samuel, Merritt Elizabeth, and Preston.

SKYLAR AARON ROGERS, SCAT, ATC        ASSISTANT ATHLETIC TRAINER

Mrs. Skylar Aaron Rogers is entering her third year as Pelion High School’s assistant athletic trainer. In addition to her duties in athletics, she also teaches health science and serves as an advisor for the HOSA chapter. Mrs. Rogers holds national and state certification as an athletic trainer. She received her B.S. in athletic training from Charleston Southern University. During her time as an undergraduate student, she worked with university’s football, softball, women’s basketball, track & field, and high school outreach programs. Mrs. Rogers spent time working with the South Carolina Stingrays hockey team. She has also volunteered as a first responder for the Kiawah Island Marathon and Cooper River Bridge Run.  Mrs. Rogers is a member of the NATA, MAATA, and SCATA. She is certified by the American Heart Association as a CPR/AED/1st Aid Instructor and provides training to our coaches, student aides, and health science students. Originally from Pelion, Skylar and her husband Kyle live in Columbia with their son , Rhett, and Texas heeler, Sadie.

FRANK NOOJIN, MD        TEAM PHYSICIAN, PALMETTO HEALTH USC ORTHOPEDICS

Frank Noojin, MD is entering his 19th year as a team physician for PANTHER Sports Medicine.  Dr. Noojin is an orthopaedist with Palmetto Health USC Orthopedics in Columbia/Lexington specializing in sports medicine and general orthopaedics.  He earned his MD from the University of Alabama, completed his residency at the University of Louisville Hospital in Kentucky, and completed a fellowship with the Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Mississippi.  He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. In addition to Pelion, Dr. Noojin also serves as a team orthopaedist for Newberry College and several other Columbia area high schools and middle schools including Spring Valley, Westwood, and Lugoff-Elgin.