Divine Savior and Portage Family Skate Park Team Up to Reduce Injuries


Divine Savior Healthcare and Elements Board shop get together to present donations to Portage Family Skate Park. Pictured left to right Dawson Brandt Shop Manger Elements Boardshop, Mariya Little PFSP Volunteer; David Spannagel Emergency Department Director, and Kyle Little President of the PFSP.


On Thursday, June 8th, 2017 Divine Savior Healthcare joined the Portage Family Skate Park (PFSP), Portage Parks and Recreation and Elements Board shop in the Wisconsin Dells to encourage skateboarding safety by purchasing and donating twenty-four new helmets and sets of pads for participants of the new Skateboard Basics Class.


The PFSP in coordination with Portage Parks and Recreation recently launched a new Skateboard Basics Class open to community members. One important part of the class is skateboard safety and Divine Savior Healthcare’s trauma team recognized an opportunity to help.


According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 84,414 children ages 19 and under had skateboard-related injuries, and 59,316 had skating related injuries, in 2014. Divine Savior Healthcare is a level three trauma center. Part of the mission of the trauma and emergency team is to not only care for patients who experience injuries, but also to work with the community to prevent them.


“The trauma team at Divine Savior Healthcare is continually seeking ways to help prevent injuries in our community. This partnership with Portage Park & Rec and the Portage Family Skate Park is a great opportunity to help make sure kids have fun enjoying the Skate Park safely,” states Divine Savior Healthcare General Surgeon Dr. Joshua Pogorelec. “We want to recognize and applaud the efforts of the Skate Park and Parks & Recreation for including safety as an important part of instruction.”


Divine Savior and Elements Board shop combined to provide protective gear, including helmets and elbow, knee, and wrist pads to each of the registered participants in the class. Kyle Little, President of PFSP, and the board for PFSP had desired to provide the course itself to encourage safe participation at the skate park. 


“The initial cost of getting all of the equipment can be discouraging to parents, so providing these items for the class along with the safety teaching seemed like a great approach to teach kids safe skate boarding habits,” said David Spannagel Divine Savior Emergency Department Director and Trauma Coordinator.  “Especially helmets!  We can usually fix a broken bone, and bruises heal, but head trauma can end a life or have life-long impacts.” 

        Hudson Maas shows off his cool new gear donated by Divine Savior Healthcare and Elements Board shop in Wisconsin Dells. He’s now ready to stay safe while on his board at Portage Family Skate Park.

It was reported in Safe Kids Worldwide that “helmets reduce the risk of head injury by at least 45 percent, brain injury by 33 percent, facial injury by 27 percent and fatal injury by 29 percent.”


The classes come at an exciting time where the PFSP has just been granted up to $37,500 of matching funds towards phase two of the Skate Park by the Lenz Charitable Trust.  PFSP is hoping to capitalize on that opportunity and start building phase two in 2018. 


“On behalf of the Portage Family Skate Park committee and volunteers we would like to thank Divine Savior for providing the youth of the PFSP the opportunity to stay safe while mastering the skills of skateboard basics. Not only will they be safe because of this wonderful donation they will continue to have the health benefits from being active as well,” shares Little.


Kids interested in the second session of skateboard basics class starting in August can enroll online at the Portage Recreation website: portage.recdesk.com


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