The Los Angeles Rams joined forces with Cedars-Sinai to provide free medical physical exams to select Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) varsity high school boys tackle and girls' flag football players.
"When you're talking about a school district like Los Angeles Unified, 85% of our kids live at or are below the poverty line," said Kirsten Farrell, Athletic Training Coordinator, Los Angeles Unified School District. "So, when we're talking about taking care of our city's kids and making sure that they are safe and healthy and get to do everything they love, it's really amazing when you see partners like Cedars-Sinai, the Rams, the Boys and Girls Club and LAUSD come together to make sure it happens."
Through the pilot program, nine Cedars-Sinai physicians volunteeredto provide physicals to student-athletes from Agustus Hawkins High School, Mervyn M. Dymally High School, John C. Fremont High School, Manual Arts Senior High School and Santee Education Complex.
"My coach told me about this a couple of days ago," said Maqye Clark, Santee Education Complex student-athlete. "I was surprised and thought this was pretty cool because not everyone gets this opportunity. This is very helpful. I'm excited and my mom was very grateful. She works a lot, but she supports me in sports. She wants me to go out there and play my sports and push myself to reach my full potential."
In partnership with Cedars Sinai, the Los Angeles Rams offered free physicals to high school football and girls flag football programs in the L.A. area. Take a look through photos showcasing the Rams' efforts to enhance access and support the local sports community.
In January 2022, the Rams collaborated with the LAUSD to conduct a survey among their varsity high school football teams to assess the impact of the pandemic. The survey revealed student-athletes were lacking access to proper health care and annual physical exams, which are required for participation in any school-sanctioned sport. In response to this data, the physicals provided by the Rams and Cedars-Sinai will give students 12-months of eligibility to play. In addition, the physicals included on-the-spot electrocardiograms (EKGs) when necessary.
"When I was younger, we had a guy on the basketball court have a heart attack and died. There's a lot more of that happening at such a young age because these things are missed. It's great to have these kinds of resources so they'll know," said Nicole Jones-Ryan, Clinical Operations Supervisor and Licensed Vocational Nurse, Cedars-Sinai Urgent Care - Playa Vista. "Working in an urgent care, I see people come in and they don't have any insurance. They don't have any way to get this kind of physical. They don't have a primary care doctor. They have to pay cash, out of pocket, which is very expensive to get something like this done. So, I just think its major for these organizations to come together and to think about the communities and the people that don't have the resources to do this kind of thing. I think this is a great program."
LAUSD covered the cost of transportation for each school to ensure that the students could easily access the physicals. In addition, each participant received a Rams Super Bowl LVI hat and snacks provided by Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions.
The exams took place at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles - Challengers Clubhouse, whose field was refurbished earlier this year by Andrew Whitworth, Super Bowl LVI Champion and the 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year. Along with the Rams, Cedars-Sinai and other partners, the effort kicked off the support of year-round programming at the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Los Angeles.
To learn more about the Rams' community efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.