Internal medicine doctor sets example for patients, students

out mtnjugDr. Randall Provost walked the walk—or more accurately ran the run—when he competed in the Mountain Jug Run for Research, a 175-mile relay from Cullowhee to Boone, last month to raise money for athletic training research and scholarships.

Provost, an internal medicine doctor at Sylva Medical Center, also supervises Western Carolina University athletic training students as they complete clinical education requirements. 

“I believe that exercise is medicine,” Provost said, “a belief long held by the American College of Sports Medicine. Because of the substantial health benefits of exercise, anyone can benefit from an increase in physical activity that is appropriate for their age and circumstances. “I also believe WCU’s athletic training program produces positive community input as local high school athletes benefit from the expertise of the graduates, including my own kids. I’ve been impressed by how well-educated these students are.”

Named after the well-known football rivalry between WCU and Appalachian State University, the relay takes place primarily along the Blue Ridge Parkway, with runners completing five-mile stretches five different times along the course. Among the 18 people who participated in the Jug Run Oct. 11-12, was James Scifers, the originator of the relay and a professor of athletic training at WCU. The runners began in the early morning hours in Cullowhee on Friday, Oct. 11 and ran overnight, finishing 27 hours and 25 minutes later on Saturday, Oct. 12.  

Since its inception, the annual event has raised more than $17,000 over the last six years, dollars that go directly to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Research and Education Foundation, which awards research grants and academic scholarships in the fields of athletic training and sports medicine.

Medical research shows a trend indicating that physical inactivity and obesity in our culture could result in a shorter lifespan, with much of the weight gain and lack of physical activity due to the sedentary nature of many modern jobs. 

WestCare sponsored Provost in the run on behalf of Carolina West Sports Medicine, which provides physician coverage and athletic training for WCU athletics and the local high schools.

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