The athletic training residency program at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital recently received reaccreditation for a seven-year term.


The national Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) granted the reaccreditation following an extensive review of documentation and a three-day site visit in January. This process ensures that athletic training residency programs meet or exceed 103 standards set by CAATE to ensure quality of care.


“This is a tremendous validation of our residency program, which gives highly qualified athletic trainers the advanced experience and knowledge they need to support sports teams and athletes at any level,” said Marie Charpentier, program coordinator, board-certified physical therapist in orthopedic and sports medicine, and manual therapy fellow at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. “The seven-year designation is proof that CAATE recognizes the quality of our training, the commitment of our people and the learning opportunities we provide.”


The hospital’s athletic training residency program is the largest of its kind and the only accredited multi-site program in the country. The hospital began with just two residents per year in the first few years, but the program has since grown in both stature and numbers. Currently, there are 18 residents in the program who split their time between didactic classroom instruction and actual athletic training coverage at middle and high schools in four area school districts, including Fort Bend ISD.


“The Houston Methodist Sugar Land residents provide an extremely valuable service to the schools, delivering athletic training care and game coverage on-site, accompanying students to an orthopedist/sports medicine specialist if necessary, and coordinating physical therapy and rehabilitation both at the hospital and at the school,” said Richard Gregoire, head district athletic trainer for Fort Bend ISD. “Their efforts extend the ability of our schools to provide knowledgeable, experienced athletic trainers who can help keep students healthy.”


In the past, residents have even provided life-saving responses to students who suffered severe medical emergencies or injuries.


“There is a definite need for skilled athletic trainers in many states,” said Charpentier. “It’s a profession that is evolving in its scope and complexity, and many school districts are short-handed when it comes to having knowledgeable people who can provide coverage. We are doing our part to help, not only by providing athletic trainers today but by expanding the overall talent pool for the future.”


Once this year’s class graduates in May, more than 60 residents will have completed the year-long program since its inception in 2013. Most are now working full-time at high schools across Texas, while some have gone on to work in military settings or attend medical or physical therapy school.