May 2, 2022
Marshall Medical Centers will contribute a healthy component to the family-friendly atmosphere of Sand Mountain Park’s elite-level athletic facilities.
Thanks to a historic agreement between the hospital system, The Orthopedic Center (TOC), the city of Albertville and Albertville City Schools, Sand Mountain Park will have a full-time certified athletic trainer to ensure sports played there are as safe as possible. The addition of an on-site, medically trained employee of Marshall Medical Centers adds a layer of care that goes above and beyond the normal parameters of a sports complex.
“Marshall Medical Centers was the perfect partner for all of us,” said Scott Smith, director of marketing at Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheater. “It’s the perfect marriage.”
Hospital officials agree.
“Marshall Medical Centers, as the community owned, non-profit healthcare system, in conjunction with Huntsville Hospital and TOC, consider it a high honor to be chosen as the provider of athletic training, physical therapy and orthopedic services for Sand Mountain Park, the City of Albertville and Albertville City Schools as we continue to build a world class sports medicine program,” said Bill Kirkpatrick, executive director of clinical services.
An athletic trainer is expected to be in place in the spring.
Another development of the partnership is that TOC is opening a new facility in the former Powerhouse Gym building to improve local access to diagnostics and orthopedic specialists. Dr. Matthew Smith and Dr. Zach Moore will be working in the Albertville facility by this summer.
“It’s a natural partnership,” said Tom Perkins, sports medicine marketing executive for TOC. “All parties are interested in investing in this community. TOC strives to impact every part of the community in every way.”
Marshall Medical Centers’ Athletic Trainers are certified by the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer. In the role at Sand Mountain Park, days and hours will vary depending on the sporting events scheduled. While attending to athletes from across the many sporting venues, the trainer will assess, treat and assist with medical injuries, concussion protocols and heat stress. To ensure the most convenience access for patients and families when the need arises, referrals for follow-up care such as orthopedic visits and physical therapy will be local to help minimize travel and wait time.
In addition to treating athletes from many areas outside of Albertville, the trainer will also assist the Albertville City Schools athletic trainers when Albertville High School teams are playing or practicing at the park. Due to the high number of sporting events taking place there, Marshall Medical and Huntsville Hospital will provide supplemental help throughout the year from their pool of more than 40 certified trainers under the direction of Michael Stevenson, director of Sports Medicine at Huntsville Hospital and Caine Buff, lead athletic trainer for Marshall Medical.
Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheater is a 130-acre park. As a sports travel destination, the facility is designed to host events from all over the nation. It is expected to change the face of Albertville and Marshall County.
“The leaders of Albertville created a vision with Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheater and brought it to reality for the citizens of Albertville, Marshall County and surrounding areas,” Kirkpatrick said. “Patrick O’Brien and his team have implemented the vision and continue to build on it. The visibility and renown provided by Sand Mountain Park meant that they had a choice in providers to serve the athletes and residents who use this extraordinary campus.”
O’Brien, general manager of the park, said the development was a huge investment to improve the quality of life for residents of the area.
“Our mission is to dramatically improve the health and economic vitality of the Sand Mountain region, and this partnership contributes greatly to our ability to reach this goal. We are very excited to establish this partnership and continue to cultivate strong community engagement by improving the mental and physical health of the entire region.”
Albertville’s mayor heralded the partnership between medical, education and sports industries.
“Albertville is proud to see our city school system and Sand Mountain Park partnering with Marshall Medical Centers and TOC in providing additional, significant opportunities to better serve our students, student-athletes and citizens from all walks of life through this multi-faceted relationship,” said Mayor Tracy Honea. “Additionally, we are glad to welcome TOC to our community and are appreciative of them choosing our city to invest in and land their new facility.”