Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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Teaching Life Through Sport


Athletics are an incredible setting and tool for promoting health and wellness beyond the competition on the sports venue. Despite the recent negative attention on youth sports, athletics provide vital life lessons that shape our young people into productive and quality members of society.

Sports are so much more than extracurricular activities. It’s hard to find another endeavor that can provide so many benefits on so many levels to so many people.  There is no better opportunity to learn about teamwork, healthy competition and the growth that comes from winning and losing, respect for others, leadership and working for a common goal—all while having fun, improving fitness, building self-esteem and confidence and enhancing social skills.

The level of trust given and influence coaches, officials, administrators and other adults involved in youth sports have on the millions of girls and boys playing sports is unrivaled. With that privilege comes a great responsibility. What we say, and perhaps more importantly, how we act is noticed and makes a considerable difference.

Athletics are more than just a mirror for our world; they are a gateway to making a difference in our communities. The TSSAA along with the Program for Injury Prevention in Youth Sports (PIPYS) at Vanderbilt­—a partnership between Vanderbilt Sports Medicine and Children’s Hospital—has identified one such program, called MEND, which is using sports to empower us all to be better for each other.

MEND is a long-term initiative of the YWCA to end violence against women and girls by engaging men. In Nashville alone, one report of domestic violence takes place every 20 minutes. According to the FBI’s latest supplementary homicide report, Tennessee ranks sixth among the states with highest murder rate of men killing women.

MEND will identify, recruit, educate, and equip coaches and athletes to be advocates for preventing violence and providing positive role models for young men and boys. MEND will provide hands-on tools to help men and boys change the language, behavior, and mentality that perpetuate the violence. MEND seeks to change the culture and make Tennessee the safest state in the nation for women and girls.

Shan Foster talks about the MEND program to end violence against women and girls

Alex B. Diamond, D.O., M.P.H.

Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation 
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics 
Director, Program for Injury Prevention in Youth Sports (PIPYS) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Team Physician - Vanderbilt University, Nashville Predators, Nashville Sounds
Vanderbilt Sports Medicine 

Last Edited: April 28, 2016
Valued Participant of Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network