BCM takes part in Junior Olympics

Sept. 1, 2012

Dr. Barry Smith, interim chair of physical medicine and rehabilitation, tends to a young wrestler at the Junior Olympics, held in Houston in August.
Dr. Barry Smith, interim chair of physical medicine and rehabilitation, tends to a young wrestler at the Junior Olympics, held in Houston in August.

As the world tuned in to the Olympics, medical volunteers from Baylor College of Medicine were focused on a different type of athlete. They were working to ensure the safety of those competing in the AAU Junior Olympic Games held here in Houston.

Baylor College of Medicine was the medical sponsor of the games at the George R. Brown Convention Center and Pearland Aquatic Center locations. The games, which bring together some of the nation's top young athletes, were spread out across the Houston area.

Dr. Barry Smith, interim chair of physical medicine and rehabilitation, served as the medical director for the event and helped to organize the volunteers made up of faculty, fellows, residents, medical students and BCM staff. He also worked with the Houston Sports Authority to include area trainers.

Learning opportunity

A team of BCM medical students, fellows and residents, ices down a wrestler injured during a match.
A team of BCM medical students, fellows and residents, ices down a wrestler injured during a match.

"This was an excellent opportunity for the Baylor family," Smith said. "We worked with our community partners to highlight the best of Houston to the national athletic community while providing our residents and students the unique opportunity to gain experience delivering onsite athletic coverage for multiple sports not usually seen in our training programs. A true win-win experience for all!"

From countless nose bleeds during wrestling events to twisted wrists resulting from jump rope competitions, much of the time was spent treating minor cuts and scrapes. However, there were some serious injuries such as concussions and broken bones. BCM medical staff was on hand working with EMS and other Houston area trainers to make sure the student athletes had the proper care.

"The time, the commitment and the willingness of all those who volunteered was exemplary. Without each of them this event could not have been successfully completed," Smith said. "We are truly indebted to our resident volunteers and their program directors.

They came from emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, surgery and even dermatology."

Smith added a special thanks to a couple of volunteers.

"Rachel Zeider and Charles DeMesa, two of our physical medicine and rehabilitation residents, spent multiple days at the Junior Olympics volunteering at both the GRB Convention Center and the Pearland Aquatics Center."

Faculty participation

Faculty on hand to manage the many volunteers included Dr. Bobby Kapur, assistant professor medicine-emergency medicine; Dr. Steve Sigworth, vice president and chief medical officer the Faculty Group Practice at the Baylor Clinic; Dr. Joseph Chorley, associate professor pediatrics – adolescent and sports medicine; Dr. Michael Vennix, associate professor of physical medicine and
rehabilitation; Dr. Theodore Shybut, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery; Antone Opekun, assistant professor medicine – gastroenterology; Anne Chlebowski, instructor of medicine – emergency medicine; and Dr. Monika Shah, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

"Serving as the medical sponsor for the Jr. Olympics was a unique opportunity for BCM to provide an important service to our community," said Dr. Paul Klotman, president and CEO. "Dr. Smith did an incredible job of working with the Houston Sports Authority