Optum contributes time to make sports physical exams affordable

Courtesy photo Dr. Wendy Grose, DNP, also with the Optimum medical team with Dr. Agstep, checks lungs and respiratory qualities for another Los Al High athlete during the free physical exams for the high school student athletes.

It is that time of the year when our youth athletics are required to see their primary care providers for sport physicals, according to a press release.

Changes in healthcare have made this difficult for many of our youths. Five years ago, Dr. Elmo Agatep, an Optum Seal Beach physician and physician to the United States Olympic Beach Volleyball and water polo team, worked with Tyler Huesca who is the Los Alamitos High School trainer looking at methods to improve access for these youths for sports physicals.

Dr. Elmo M. Agatep, of Seal Beach checks the muscle skeletal system on student athlete during a daylong program and physical evaluations on Los Alamitos High School athletes recently in preparation for summer and fall sports. Dr. Agatep holds certification in Sports Medicine and also works with the USA Women’s Water Polo Olympic gold medal defending champions at the Olympic Pool at the Joint Forces Training Center. He also serves as team physician for the Olympic Beach Volleyball Team. More than 400 student athletes participated. Courtesy photo

Tyler Huesca is a Certified Athletic Trainer at Los Alamitos High School where he is entrusted with the athlete’s rehabilitation and education from orthopedic injuries for Los Alamitos High School athletes. Between Dr. Elmo Agatep and Tyler Huesca, they have developed a program that is able to provide more than 350 students/athletics sports physicals.

On May 11th, Dr. Elmo Agatep, Dr. Wendy Grose – nurse practitioner (Optum – Cypress), Dr. Christine Carreon –nurse practitioner (Optum – Seal Beach), Sima Shayne-nurse practitioner (Optum), Optum ancillary staff, and Tyler Huescaalong with the students with the athletic training from Long Beach State University were able to provide approximately 370 sports physicals from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

This program helps so many young students in a time where trying to schedule an appointment with their provider may take months to get an appointment. Besides the challenges of scheduling appointments, insurances often don’t cover sports physicals.
This outstanding program, through a team approach, developed by Dr. Elmo Agatep and Huesca has provided an average of 1,000 sports physicals over the last 5 years along with Dr. Wendy Grose, Dr. Christine Carreon, Sima Shayne, Optum team members and the student athletic trainers. High school students and their parents are provided a form in advance to fill out to aid the expediting the process.

Once they arrive at the Los Alamitos High School gym, students sign in with the assistance of an Optum auxillary team member. From that point they are sent to various stations for their blood pressures and eye test then on to the muscle-skeletal and agility exams completed by the athletic trainers.

Once this is complete, they bring their completed forms where the medical team reviews their forms before listening to their heart and lungs and assessing their abdominal area for any abnormality. If there is any concern, forms are completed to notify the parents and the

Los Alamitos High School Athletic department of the concerns and follow up required for clearance to participate in high school sports.

The cost of this program is $25.00 or any donation to help offset the cost of the Los Alamitos High School gym however, no student is turned away. Our goal is to encourage our youths in activities that promote sportsmanship along with leaders. All those who volunteered their time to this process enjoyed taking time away from their home to provide this valuable service. Each volunteer looks forward to next year’s sports physical and hope to have more than 400 students next year. They are grateful to Dr. Elmo Agatep and Tyler Huesca efforts making this happen.