Partnership with Nationwide Children's Hospital
Nationwide Childrens Athletic Training
Athletic Trainers are licensed and certified health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

Injuries are an inherent part of any athletic activity, whether it is conditioning, weight lifting, practicing, or competing in games. Bexley Athletics' trainer Gail Swisher from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, works to prevent injuries, evaluates them when they do occur, oversees rehabilitation when it is needed, and then ensures safe return to participation for our injured student-athletes. Athletes may stop by the Athletic Training Room to get their expertise when injury needs arise.

Bexley's Nationwide Children's team assists the district's sports programs by providing athletes, teams, and coaches sport-specific exercises, enhancing performance and injury prevention. Hospital staff members conduct metric testing on student athletes to evaluate baseline movements, strength, power, and agility, and re-evaluate periodically throughout the year for gains in focus areas.

Ohio's Concussion in Youth Sports Law requires that all students participating on a school-sponsored athletic team and their parent/guardians sign the Student Athlete Concussion Information Form (for Interscholastic Activities) prior to the first practice, for each sport played. For more information about the Concussion in Youth Sports Law, visit
Sports Nutrition
Why is sports nutrition important?
Athletes train long hours for their sports. In order to optimize that training, proper nutrition needs to be a steadfast component of the workout plan. A car needs fuel to run properly, just as people (especially athletes) need a healthful eating plan. Healthy eating has to be a priority; meal and snack planning takes extra time and is often pushed to the side due to hectic family schedules consisting of school/work, practice schedules, and homework. The benefits of a healthy eating plan include:
  • Prevention of injuries
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Decreased muscle tiredness and soreness
  • Helps muscles heal and recover 
  • Improved energy levels
  • Increased focus and attention span
Gail Swisher Gail Swisher, AT, ATC is an Athletic Trainer in the Nationwide Children's Hospital Sports Medicine Department. Currently providing outreach athletic training services to Bexley High School, she is a Physician Extender in the Sports Medicine Clinic. She serves on several committees at NCH Sports Medicine, including Education, Website Marketing and Community Outreach. Ms. Swisher is an American Heart Association BLS Instructor, teaching CPR/AED classes to coaches and other community members. Her previous clinical experience includes providing athletic training services to multiple sports at both the collegiate and high school levels, as well as leadership experience as a Senior Athletic Trainer in the Hospital Community Outreach setting. She has twice presented at the National Athletic Trainers' Association annual meeting. She was named to Memorial University Medical Center's Key 100 Class of 2007, an honor given to the organization's rising leaders.
Kayleigh Hitchcock Kayleigh Hitchcock received her Bachelors of Science degree from University of Pittsburgh in 2011 with a degree in Rehabilitation Science and received her certificate in Pathokinesiology. While at Pitt, she was the captain of the women’s rugby team. In 2013 Kayleigh received her Masters of Athletic Training from The University of Findlay. Kayleigh then joined the UVMC Center for Sports Medicine staff in the summer of 2013. She served as Athletic Trainer for Bradford High School from 2013-2015 and Troy High School from 2015-2016. Kayleigh is a NATA member and is licensed and certified as an Athletic Trainer. She is also CPR and AED certified.
Kayleigh Hitchcock

Jeff Sydes, CSCS, is the Lead Sports Performance Specialist for Nationwide Children's Hospital Sports Medicine. He is a certified strength & conditioning specialist through the National Strength & Conditioning Association.  Before coming to Children's, Jeff served as the fitness coordinator for New Albany High School, training all of its teams and athletes. Jeff also spent 2 years in the private sector working with youth, high school, collegiate and professional athletes in the greater Columbus area.  He began his coaching career and worked several years at the division 1 collegiate level. His experiences included stints at the University of Kentucky, University of California Los Angeles and Arizona State University.  Mr. Sydes earned his BA from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He also spent a year in the exercise science graduate school program at Arizona State University.

Dr. James MacDonald Dr. James MacDonald, MD, MPH, team physician and physician for Nationwide Children’s Sports Medicine, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Family Medicine at Ohio State University's College of Medicine. Fellowship trained and board certified in sports medicine, Dr. MacDonald is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He attended Harvard Medical School and completed a Family Practice Residency at Maine-Dartmouth in Augusta, Maine and a Sports Medicine Fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital in Massachusetts. A member of the USA Swimming Medical Task Force, he is an Associate Editor of the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.