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Fast Action to Provide Free Physicals for ASD Kids
May 03, 2024

Joe Orengo, Dr. Robert Dolansky, Lori Dolansky RN, Rob Pica PA-C, Melissa Lawall RN, Jeff Kowalski, Christie Polito, Danielle Huskey, Chris Pinto.

Nearly 100 students will be able to participate in Allentown School District’s Allentown Youth Internship Corps (AYIC) program this spring and summer thanks to the staff at St. Luke’s Occupational Medicine (SLOM) stepping up.

St. Luke’s Sports Medicine provides physicals and athletic training for the school district. In February, Amy B. Cotter, MS, LAT, ATC, CCHW, Sports Medicine Coordinator/Sports Medicine Relationships, had proactively reached out to the district to offer support for the athletics physicals that would be needed in June. Turns out, the district had just learned it needed a new provider for physicals for students who wished to participate in its AYIC program, but time was short. These physicals were needed in March.

Cotter forwarded the request to the appropriate resource: St. Luke’s Occupational Medicine. Deborah Accurso, Director of College & Career Readiness for ASD, said Cotter and Christie Polito, Account Manager for SLOM, “made magic and connected us and St. Luke’s stepped up to support us.”

Medical staff from Occupational Medicine provided just under 100 screenings, which included physicals, medical histories and a test to prevent the spread of a communicable disease, tuberculosis. The screenings were conducted by the leadership of Occupational Medicine, including Robert Dolansky, DO, Chief of Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine, Jeff Kowalski, Senior Network Director, and advanced practice clinicians. They were conducted over two days at William Allen High School and Louis E. Dieruff High School in March. “It really was a total collaboration of resources within the Department,” Polito said.

Accurso is extremely grateful that SLOM was not only able to help but also to do so on short notice. The AYIC program is a partnership among the Allentown School District, the City of Allentown, and various community organizations to offer students spring and summer internship opportunities to gain authentic, real-world career experiences. “Because St. Luke’s Occupational Medicine stepped up, nearly 100 new AYIC student interns will be able to be onboarded, equipping them with essential health resources as they embark on their professional journeys,” Accurso said. Accurso said that the staff’s dedication and willingness to get the job done “has made a profound and lasting impact on the students’ lives and futures.”

Cotter said this experience “is typical of the approach St Luke’s takes when caring for our schools and communities” and highlights “the resources we have available to help the students. We are always working closely with district administrators and staff to recognize needs and helping fulfill these needs, when possible,” she said. 

Polito said, “We were honored to be able to serve Allentown School District in this capacity.”