The Sweetwater Union High School District recently hosted a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony celebrating the districts new Sports Medicine and Wellness Center. The new facility used to assess, treat, and rehabilitate injured student athletes is the first- of- its-kind in San Diego County and the state.
“Thanks to our partners SDSU, UCSD, Sharp Hospital and long-time philanthropist Doc Camarata for making the Sweetwater District Sports Medicine and Wellness Center a reality,” said Dr. Karen Janney, Sweetwater District Superintendent. “Thanks to all who have supported student athletes of the Sweetwater District.”
The Wellness Center will serve more than 15,000 student athletes in the Sweetwater District and is formally named the Dr. Charles Camarata Sports Medicine and Wellness Center. Dr. Camarata is the founder and head of the Southwest Sports Wellness Foundation. He has been an integral part of the clinic by his generous financial support and the organizer of an annual pre-participation sports screening assessment/exam (PPE) that involve EKG screenings to detect unforeseen heart issues in students.
In addition, Dr. Camarata organized the “Free” Saturday Morning Injury Clinic for injured youth in the Sweetwater District for more than 25 years. In 2004, he established the districts Sports Medicine Career Technical Education courses (CTE) in eleven high schools throughout the district.
Uniquely, the clinic is located in a centralized location with easy access for students on both the East and Westside areas of the district. The clinic is staffed by Sports Medicine doctors, led by Dr. Daryl Bates, Physical Therapists, and Certified Athletic Trainers who provide services at no cost to students.
The clinic not only serves as a hub for Sweetwater District athletes, but it also serves the entire South County Region in partnership with Southwest Sports Wellness Foundation and several other community organizations, including UCSD, SDSU, and Scripps Chula Vista.
“Thanks to all of the collaboration provided by many South County Stakeholders, the idea of having a Wellness Center in Sweetwater is now a reality,” said Joe Heinz, SUHSD Coordinator of Athletics. “This facility is providing critical support to students in this district and in many ways is helping save lives.”