Edmond officials learned at the end of the day April 25 that OU Medical Center will not be renewing its 10-month contract with the Edmond School District for athletic trainers. The contract expires May 31.

“We were told that OU Medical Center was not able to renew its contract due to the reduction of Medicaid reimbursement for the state,” School Board President Jamie Underwood said Friday afternoon.

Supt. Bret Towne said, “OU Medical Center is having to look at reductions just like everyone else is, and this is one thing that came up on their cuts list.”

Towne said the district is looking for a partnership with an orthopedic group that will supply trainers with the support the district will need.

“We are already in contact with some great groups,” Towne said. “What we fully expect in the future is that the athletic department will be responsible for the cost,” Towne said.

The contract with OU Medical Center has been in place for more than 20 years.

“Until 2010 the school district paid $39,000 or approximately 25 percent of the total cost and the balance was paid by OU Medical Center,” Underwood said.

In 2011 the funds for the three medical trainers started coming from the Athletic Department, Underwood said.

There was a trainer assigned to each high school, and they were available to help middle school parents and coaches when needed, Towne said.

“At this time the board has asked Athletic Director Mike Nunley to get bids for a 12-month contract from local orthopedic hospitals,” Underwood said.

Towne added it is unfortunate that the contract cannot be renewed at this time.

“We appreciate the many services the OU Medical Center has provided through athletic training services for our schools and our athletes,” Towne said.

A Special Board Meeting has been called for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 19 to discuss options.

A native Oklahoman, retired school teacher Patty Miller taught journalism and English for 30 years before beginning her second career as a reporter for The Edmond Sun in 2000. She is a previous winner of the OPA's Beachy Musselman Award.

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