UM AND FCS PARTNERSHIP: A NEW ERA FOR FCS ATHLETICS

Written By: Katrina Hernandez, Student

This year, Florida Christian student athletes have been able to receive superior care due to a new partnership between the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute and FCS. The partnership was born from the need for a new athletic trainer at FCS and so students could have access to UHealth staff and facilities. Our new trainer at FCS, Aricia Cabral, has been able to work with students every day right on campus. This new partnership’s benefits are already incredibly evident. Student athletes from a wide range of sports have gotten the necessary assistance from Cabral and have been able to healthily continue to train and compete despite any injuries. Cabral is also incredibly pleased with the partnership, saying that her relationships with the student athletes is one of the best parts of the job. She has established great bonds with countless student athletes throughout the last few months while helping them perform at their best.

Additionally, Dr. Lee Kaplan, who has worked with UM for 13 years and is now the head of the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute, sees the partnership as incredibly beneficial. He describes it as a cooperation that allows for FCS student athletes to have the same level of care as professional athletes by having quick access to esteemed doctors.

The partnership between UHealth and FCS is the same partnership that the Miami Marlins have with UHealth.

Dr. Kaplan believes that the most beneficial aspect of the partnership is the community outreach that it fosters. He hopes that in a post-COVID setting, students with any interest in the healthcare profession can have access to UM doctors for questions and even internships. He believes that the partnership allows for students to get the best care and is sure to deepen and grow with time.

Another beneficial aspect of the partnership is the fact that it easily connects FCS students to incredible UM doctors and surgeons if necessary. Instead of having to wait endlessly for an appointment to receive care from a specialist, students can be connected to UM doctors quickly thanks to Cabral’s contacts. Both Cabral and Dr. Kaplan recognize that connection as the best part of the partnership between the two organizations.

Cabral said that “working with UM gives me the opportunity to provide the best healthcare for my student athletes at FCS”.

FCS students are also incredibly pleased with the partnership. Chloe Chang, Captain of the FCS girls’ soccer team, has gotten a lot of help from Cabral this season. Chang explained that her legs tended to cramp up on the field and that she often struggled with pain in her calves throughout the soccer season. She said that she was incredibly thankful for Cabral, who would always help her stretch so that she could get back into games whenever a cramp occurred.

Chang is just one of the many students that Cabral has helped overcome injuries to have successful seasons. She has provided everything from ice packs to athletic taping for a wide range of athletes – from track and cross-country runners to basketball and soccer players. It is always safe to assume that there are students in the training room receiving the care and recovery assistance necessary to practice healthy long-term athletic training.

Personally, I have a long history with the Health Department at the University of Miami. A string of injuries led me to having two surgeries with UM sports medicine surgeons and I was in physical therapy at the Lennar building for about two years. My circumstances were surely unfortunate, however, I found comfort in the warmth of the UM doctors and physical therapists that literally helped me get back up on my feet.

The same personal and excellent care that I received at the different UM facilities is now easily available to FCS students. Although the partnership was just recently developed, there is a new culture regarding athletic care developing at FCS. This is best exhibited by the easy atmosphere of the training room and the “little family” that Cabral says has formed these past months. It is safe to assume that this partnership and the “little family” it has fostered will only continue to grow and that FCS student athletes will continue to receive superior care for years to come.

Contributors:

Katrina Hernandez is a current senior at FCS. She is in the top 5% of her class, President of the National Honor Society, and Treasurer of the Senior Class. She is Co-President of the FCS Choir Department and is Vice-President of the FCS Drama Department. She plans on studying International Relations and hopes to attend Dartmouth College in the Fall.

Mr. Carp is a current teacher at FCS. He teaches AP English Language and Composition, Honors English 11, College Prep English 11, and AP Psychology. He is also the Sponsor of the National Honor Society, Brain Bowl Co-Coordinator, the Junior Class Sponsor, and coaches Girls’ Volleyball. Mr. Carp is currently pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Communications with a specialization in Organizational Leadership from the University of Alabama.