How Holy Name program helps Bergen Catholic student-athletes on and off field

Holy Name has long been proud of its involvement in the community it serves. So, when the athletic department at Bergen Catholic High School asked if the hospital was willing to be a partner, Holy Name quickly jumped at the chance.

The partnership means the hospital was on the sidelines when the football team won a state championship last fall — as it was for every game, in multiple sports.

But Reg Grant, the director of human performance at Holy Name and Holy Name Hospital Fitness, said the partnership is much deeper than just being ready to help an injured player in a game.

“We have partnered with many area schools on different health initiatives over the years, so, when Bergen Catholic approached us seeking a possible opportunity to partner on student athletic programs, we developed and piloted a program that was tailored to meet the distinct needs of the Bergen Catholic student body,” he said. “The program incorporates resources from orthopedics, sports medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, primary care, emergency medicine, cardiology, nutrition, behavioral science, sports performance and years of experience in professional sports.

Dominick Barbarulo, from left, Dr. Dennis Pfisterer, Dr. Doug Avella and Michael VanKoppen take in a game.

“This partnership has grown from Holy Name’s expanding effort to partner with area schools and colleges to support the overall health, wellness and development of students and faculty.”

Grant said the program fits perfectly into Holy Name’s vision to help the community achieve the highest attainable level of health through prevention, education and treatment.

“We launched this sports medicine partnership program with schools like Bergen Catholic because it is completely in alignment with our mission,” he said.

The relationship allows Holy Name to interact outside of sports venues, too, Grant added.

“This allows us to proactively engage with families outside of the hospital setting, where we can develop meaningful, trusted relationships that can continue off the field when needed,” he said. “Emergency care to physical therapy to our Holy Name Physicians network are among many other services we provide.”

Of course, should an injury occur, there’s nothing more important than being there in real time, Grant said.

“Holy Name physicians are always on the Bergen Catholic sideline, ensuring the Crusaders’ student-athletes stay healthy and in the game,” he said.

“Our model provides licensed athletic trainers, physical therapists and related support staff for the school’s athletic programs of choice. This results in an expert level of service and a net cost saving for the school, and closer, more comprehensive care relationships between Holy Name physicians and their student-athlete patients.”