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Articles / 2009

Doctor donates services to teen athletes

Camarillo Acorn
Friday, 07/03/2009

Joe Martinez, the head football coach at Hueneme High School, knows his team will face tough competition in the Pacific View League come fall.

A bigger challenge for the Camarillo resident is simply ensuring the program's nearly 200 players comply with California Interscholastic Federation rules before they step foot on the field.

To make that happen, Martinez recruited a trained professional—not another coach, but his doctor, Hany Fouad.

A physician with the Camarillo Center for Family Health, Fouad agreed to give free physicals to the players on Hueneme's freshman through varsity football teams.

The CIF requires all California high school athletes to have a physical before the start of the season.

"For us it's crucial," said Martinez, who will begin his second season in September. "Especially with the economy the way it is, there are a lot of families having a hard time coming up with the extra money for physicals."

Fouad, a Camarillo resident, also noted that in a down economy it's more difficult for parents to afford the costs of high school sports—particularly those that require out-of-pocket doctor visits. He said the free exams make it possible for more students to participate in sports.

The family doctor said he offers the free physicals because he believes in doing community service.

Kimberly Bridges, director of the Centers for Family Health, which are part of the Community Memorial Health System, said more than 1,000 high school and youth sports athletes have been given free exams over the past year by doctors at the nine CMHS family health centers throughout Ventura County.

"It's good for us to contribute to the communities which we serve," Bridges said. "We really do need to take care of our youth."

Fouad will examine the players in the coming months with the help of a team of nurses at the Camarillo facility on Arneill Road.

Citing the growing problems of childhood obesity and the rising number of youngsters with early onset diabetes and heart disease, Fouad said teens need to stay active and reduce the amount of time they spend at the computer and in front of the television.

"I actually encourage them to limit the time they spend in front of the TV to a maximum of two hours," Fouad said.

Martinez said his job as a coach is more than ensuring that his players stay in shape; he wants to keep them safe. "We need to make sure that any kid participating in the physical demands of athletics is capable and able to meet those demands," he said. "For me as a coach . . . it definitely gives me and my staff peace of mind knowing that (the players) are able and qualified to be out there."

The Camarillo Center for Family Health, 422 Arneill Road, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for appointments and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday for urgent care.

For an appointment or details about the health center, call (805) 482-1282.