Concussion partnership benefits athletes at Florence school

Thomas Woods doesn’t remember exactly what happened during Labor Day football practice, but he’ll try to piece it together.

“I remember being on the ground,” Woods says, “and my coach asking me what was wrong, and trying to explain that my head was hurting.”

Woods is a starting linebacker for The King’s Academy, a private school in Florence. After the big hit, coach Keith Rogers had teammates drive Thomas home and drop off his truck at his house.

The next day, Thomas and his mom met with the McLeod athletic trainer assigned to the school, who said Thomas probably had a concussion. That led to an appointment with McLeod Sports Medicine, Dr. Christopher Stanley, who confirmed the trainer’s diagnosis. After that first visit, Thomas was able to be in all of his follow-up appointments without ever leaving school. A partnership between The King’s Academy and McLeod Health allowed for telehealth appointments between student-athletes and the sports medicine team at McLeod.

"It's quicker for the patient and quicker for us, usually," Dr. Stanley said.

McLeod athletic trainer Joe Cauble comes to the school, sets up a secure video connection with Dr. Stanley, and puts Thomas through a series of tests. Dr. Stanley says it's a convenient way to provide care without sacrificing quality.

This story aired on South Carolina Public Radio in January 2020. Click here to listen.