Groups aim to enhance cadet performance at UNG

A variety of departments at the University of North Georgia are teaming up to help provide the best medical care possible for members of UNG’s Corps of Cadets.

Faculty members in kinesiology and physical therapy are teaming up with the Military Science Department and the Athletics Department to conduct functional movement screenings and orthopedic screenings on new cadets, including about 35 who joined the corps in January. These efforts allow them to identify any movement patterns or musculoskeletal red flags, discrepancies and pathologies prior to the commencement of physical training.

The program also includes a ramp-up to the physical training levels of the other cadets already on campus in an effort to foster a healthy transition for the newest members of the corps.

“This collaboration brings the most benefits for everybody involved. Everybody is able to bring their expertise together to help the cadets,” Dr. Sabrina Fordham, associate department head and associate professor of kinesiology, said. “We want to mitigate injuries while helping cadets maximize their performance.”

Dr. Michael Polascik, associate professor of physical therapy, has partnered with the corps for a while on projects that help measure performance and health indicators, and he currently treats cadet musculoskeletal injuries. He sees the chance to set UNG apart as a leader among the senior military colleges.

“UNG will be key in establishing a new era in caring for the cadet population,” Polascik said.

Kevin Pack, a former military science instructor and current graduate assistant and student in UNG’s Master of Science in athletic training, is hopeful the partnership can continue to find physical ailments sooner to provide cadets the treatment they need.

“We want to change the culture starting with those freshmen,” Pack said.

Samuel Pennell, a sophomore from Great Falls, Montana, pursuing a degree in criminal justice, is an Air Force veteran. He was grateful for the physical training ramp-up in his initial weeks as a cadet.

“It’s good to teach us the basics so we don’t hurt ourselves,” Pennell said. “A lot of the stuff they’re doing is helping prevent future injuries, which is very important.”

Clio Lane, a sophomore from Savannah, Georgia, pursuing a degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology, also expressed gratitude for the ramp-up.

“Rather than just jumping into something I’ve never done before, they helped me,” Lane said.



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