News

Empower with Power Program For Middle School Girls
November 11, 2019

Nicole Pruchnik, MS, LAT, ATC, and Olympic weightlifting hopeful Jillian Seamon, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, both of St. Luke’s.

Girl power!

St. Luke’s University Health Network invites you to witness strength in action with the conclusion of our initial five-week Empower with Power program aimed at middle school girls basketball players.

This is an opportunity for interviews, photos and videos of young girls becoming empowered through strength training conducted by nationally certified coaches and an Olympic hopeful.

Who: 25 middle school girls improving their athletic performance through strength training with Nicole Pruchnik, MS, LAT, ATC, and Olympic weightlifting hopeful Jillian Seamon, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, both of St. Luke’s.

What: Teaching young women that strength makes them better basketball players. “Empower with Power” concludes its initial five-week program with a closing ceremony and T-shirt awards to the participants.

Why: Our mission is to make you stronger and more powerful, and by being stronger, you will be healthier and less likely to suffer an injury,” Seamon said. “Sports are more dangerous than what you do in the weight room. Being stronger and more powerful will improve your performance.”

When: 6:00 p.m., Nov. 12

Where: Greater Valley YMCA

430 E Broad St, Bethlehem, PA 18018

Jillian Seamon and Nicole Pruchnik, athletic trainers with St. Luke’s University Health Network, have launched the only program of its kind in the region, a program to empower young women with the power of strength training.

“We all know football and wrestling are huge in the Lehigh Valley,” Seamon, MS, LAT, ATC. CSCS, said. “Sometimes, girls are a forgotten piece in weight training. We want to make our young female athletes strong and healthy.”

Both Seamon and Pruchnik, MS, LAT, ATC, are USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach Certified (USAW-SPC).

Seamon and Pruchnik’s “Empower with Power” program partnered with the Seventh Grade Initiative (7GI) of the Greater Valley YMCA in Bethlehem and the Five Star Heart program developed by St. Luke’s Community Ambassador Bobby McClarin to help middle school girls find strength in purpose by developing basketball skills and strength.

Utilizing basketball as the base sport, the girls train with weights for strength and power over the first 45 minutes, and then train with basketball drills and skills for the remaining 45 minutes.

The group is impressive as 25 middle school female athletes are taking part in the initial five-week program that will conclude on November 12 with the athletes receiving “Empower with Power” T-shirts.

Seamon said that often times parents and coaches are reluctant to allow their young female athletes to train with weights, but that should not be the case.

“There is a stigma that weight training may stunt their growth or they can get hurt,” Seamon said,” but that’s not true at all. Our mission is to make you stronger and more powerful, and by being stronger, you will be healthier and less likely to suffer an injury. Sports are more dangerous than what you do in the weight room. Being stronger and more powerful will improve your performance.

“We want to show these girls how cool it is use weights properly, and how cool it is to be able to box out other girls in basketball because you have stronger, more powerful legs. We want to convince parents and athletes this is the truth, and we can back it up with evidenced-based research.”

The Empower with Power program will expand once the St. Luke’s Fitness & Sports Performance Center – Union Boulevard opens on Nov. 23. Beginning Dec. 5, Seamon and Pruchnik will be offering both an in-season basketball program so that girls can continue to train, as well as out-of-season training for spring and fall sports.

“Lifting during the season is just as important because research shows that it aids performance and recovery when done properly,” Seamon said.

“Once Union Boulevard opens, we will begin to integrate more Olympic lifts and more traditional lifting with barbells and dumbbells, preaching technique and form over everything else,” Seamon said.

That is real girl power, the goal of Empower with Power.

 

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and 300 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 34 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 263 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital.  In 2019, three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke’s hospitals.  St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health seven times total and five years in a row. St. Luke’s has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.