By Sandra L. Cooper

For at least the last twenty-one years, local health professionals and other volunteers have set up a highly organized  system to give sports physicals to Washington County youth at no charge.
Physicals are currently conducted at the new gymnasium at Weiser High School,  and are scheduled once a year in late July, just before 4-H Week and the Washington County Fair,  just in time for sports practice to begin at area high and middle schools. 
Memorial Hospital’s Marketing Director, Layna Hafer, also deserves credit for organizing the team and getting word out to students and their families.  This service makes it possible for more students to participate in sports as the additional cost of the required physicals can put it out of the reach of some families.   
The physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners are assisted by local nurses and other volunteers that the students see at the first exam station. They receive basic height/weight checks, as well as vision and hearing tests, before being examined by the medical team members.  
Other, non-medical, personnel have been recruited on occasion when a shortage of nursing staff has occurred.  This year, Mr. Davies and Mr. Grant rolled up their sleeves and assisted with the preliminary testing, much to the appreciation of all involved.
Providing the free physicals this year were Drs. Randall Peterson, Lore Wootton, Jordan Blanchard, Bryan Drake, Jamie Peterson, Suzanne Hubele, and Jonathan Gardner, Kent Hamilton  PA, and Selena Ankarberg, FNP.  Congratulations to the 2018 Volunteers of the Year, our “Magnificent Nine.”