Doctor makes sports clinic available for local athletes

Published 2:41 pm Friday, August 3, 2018

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

Dr. James Worthen, an orthopedic surgeon who practices in Birmingham, is taking the quality of care for athletes found in Birmingham and bringing it right here to Chilton County.

Worthen’s group, St. Vincent’s Orthopedics, will be offering a sports clinic at St. Vincent’s Chilton on Friday nights during football season.

“Kids that are injured have a place to go to that is close by,” Worthen said. “It will be at (St. Vincent’s Chilton), and there will be a streamlined setup to where they don’t have to wait in line at the emergency department.

“They will be evaluated right away. They will have a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon if need be. We are going to have a hotline setup for coaches and trainers that will put them directly in touch with my staff, including myself.”

The main idea behind the clinic is to keep local athletes from having to drive out of Chilton County to receive care for injuries.

“It’s a way of streamlining their care and making it so they don’t have to travel,” Worthen said. “Their options in the past have been to go to Shelby (County) or up to Birmingham. We want to bring that quality of care here.”

Worthen said St. Vincent’s Orthopedics can handle any sports-related injury, including concussions. The group can also help athletes find more specialized care if necessary.

“What’s nice about it, we have the channels set up to where if the injury involves another specialty, things can be taken care of in a quick manner. We can get them to the right people,” Worthen said.

The group will also have a hotline available so that athletes can seek care outside of Friday nights during football games.

“We will have a Friday night clinic from 5 p.m. to about 10 p.m. during football season,” Worthen said. “Then we will have the hotline available on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the JV games. The hotline will be available Saturday morning as well from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. The number will be available for all sports.”

St. Vincent’s Orthopedics had the hotline available for athletes in Chilton County last year, but this will be their first time having a sports clinic available at St. Vincent’s Chilton.

“St. Vincent’s in Birmingham has had a sports clinic, but there has been nothing like that down here,” Worthen said. “Last year we started a little bit of the hotline but didn’t really get it going. This year our hope is to make it more known and more involved.”

Worthen and St. Vincent’s Orthopedics put together a cookout for coaches in Chilton County at a private residence July 31 in order to make more people aware of what he and his staff were making available to local athletes.