St. Luke's Contributes to LVU Success

From baseline testing to physical conditioning; from treatment at practice and games to preparation off the field, Lehigh Valley United’s relationship with St. Luke’s University Health Network is a proven success.

This season, LVU teams earned six EPYS State Cup championships, the most in a single-season in club history, and the relationship with St. Luke’s has helped make that possible.

“We’re only a few years into this partnership,” says Greg Ramos, Director of Coaching for LVU, “and it’s not only about the baseline testing to ensure our players are getting back on the field at the right time, it’s having the Athletic Trainers at our games.

“It separates us from other clubs. You have the peace of mind as a parent or coach that if something does go wrong, your child, your player, is in great hands.”

Stephenie Stark, Senior Athletic Trainer, says that having Dave Keeler assigned to LVU on a full-time basis is a critical component of players receiving proper care from a fully certified and licensed medical professional.

“They have immediate access to someone anytime an injury occurs,” she says. “That gives players, parents and coaches the reassurance that a medical professional is providing immediate attention, and they can facilitate timely care from our physicians for the best and quickest diagnosis and treatment.”

Ramos says that not only the players and coaches know “Trainer Dave” by name, but also the parents, and that’s a critical step in the process of building trust when injuries go beyond normal bumps and bruises.

St. Luke’s Fitness & Sports Performance extends the relationship with LVU by conducting off-field training regimens designed to “injury-proof” the players as much as possible.

“We are providing them with proper pre-practice, pre-game preparation techniques and showing them how to do appropriate warm-ups and dynamic movement patterns prior to actually participating in sport,” explains John Graham, Senior Network Administrator for Fitness & Sports Performance.

Graham says that St. Luke’s also provides sports performance testing for LVU players to assess their current level of performance against national norms, and aids in assessing the talent level on the team.

“They’re great kids to work with,” says Graham. “The nice thing for us is that the typical kids at the U8 level working up through high school haven’t been introduced to the benefits of proper sports performance training. These kids are like sponges soaking up water. They really take to it and it helps their ability to perform at a higher level.”

And if an injury does occur – even a head injury such as a concussion – the baseline testing helps St. Luke’s professionals assess players to ensure they return to the field when they are best prepared to participate.

And that leads to success.