Dr. Clint Lutterman, director of 21st Century Rehab at the Dallas County Hospital in Perry, has been honored as the 2014-2015 Sports Medicine Person of the Year by the Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association (IHSADA).
Lutterman was one of 14 figures to receive an award for outstanding service at the annual IHSADA convention and banquet in late March. The Perry physical therapist was Iowa’s sole sports-medicine recipient of an IHSADA Outstanding Service Award. Other service categories included volunteer service, sports media and school administration.
“It was a nice surprise and kind of a neat recognition,” Lutterman said of the award, “although I tell my friends that it’s hard to accept an award for something you love to do.”
Tom Lipovac, director of student activities and student services in the Perry Community School District, said Lutterman deserved the award for his outstanding service to Perry athletics.
“Dr. Lutterman’s calm, professional manner is an asset to our athletic program,” Lipovac said “As a physical therapist, he provides medical coverage for our high school on a daily and weekly basis during practices and competitions. Under his direction, numerous sports medicine services are provided to our student athletes.”
Lutterman’s services to PHS athletics include on-field event and practice coverage, injury evaluation and management, preventative taping and bracing, injury prevention programming, coordination of physical therapy services, sports-medicine education of coaching staff, emergency action planning, hydration and body composition plans for wrestling and ImPACT concussion testing and monitoring.
“He is respected by staff, students and parents for his expertise and his compassion,” said Lipovac. “Clint is the key component in our district’s sports medicine services and a valued member of our student activities program.”
Lutterman moved to Perry in 2001 with his wife Jody and began as a volunteer coach for Perry High School football. More recently, 21st Century Rehab contracted with the school to provide sports medicine at relatively nominal fees.
Lutterman said he acts as sports medicine provider at all varsity home games and several junior varsity sports. He also offers a regular Wednesday service, checking in on any student sports injuries and setting up treatment plans that fall little short of formal evaluations.
The risk of concussions in contact sports is taken more seriously today than previously, Lutterman said.
“We’ve been doing a lot at the high school level to raise awareness about concussions,” he said. He said he began the regular use of a computerized program called ImPACT concussion testing and monitoring, which measures a student’s reaction time and memory.
Athletes take the test as freshman in order to set a benchmark and are tested again as juniors. “We can look at balance and vision and other physical things, but this helps us see how brain itself is doing and gives an extra level of precaution,” Lutterman said.
“We’ve been using it for three or four years,” he said. “I did a lot of research to got educated on the subject, and now we work with parents and coaches on this, which is still relatively new but has gotten a lot of attention in the last five years with well publicized NFL stories of concussions and head trauma.”
He said the Iowa High School Athletic Association now provides some training for coaches and makes sure parents understand the risks.
“It’s a lot different than it used to be,” Lutterman said. “If a kid gets hit and is a little goofy, I’m more cautious than I used to be. It’s a much safer system.”