The University of Akron and Akron Children’s Hospital have entered into a new multi-year partnership that makes Akron Children’s the official sports health provider for Akron Zips Athletics.
As part of the agreement, Children’s will pay to convert a previous storage and equipment room space in the Stiles Athletics Field House into a 5,000-square-foot health center.
The agreement also will allow UA students who aren’t athletes and community members to see providers at the facility.
Other terms of the 10-year agreement were not disclosed. Final cost estimates also are not completed because planning is still underway, university spokeswoman Cristine Boyd said.
“The Akron Children’s Sports Health Center for Zips Athletics will be a comprehensive sports medicine facility within the University of Akron athletics complex,” Children’s President and CEO Chris Gessner said in a press release. “The center will not only serve student-athletes but also the entire university community of students, faculty and staff. In addition, it will be a destination sports injury evaluation and treatment facility for the community at large.”
Akron Children’s has provided sports-related health services to the University of Akron student athletes for more than 30 years. There have been other health systems in Akron whose medical staff also have worked with UA athletes over the years, but the new agreement makes Children’s the exclusive sports health provider for UA athletes, said Boyd.
New center set to open in 2023
Planning for the project is underway with a targeted completion date of early-to-mid 2023. The center will offer sports medicine, orthopedics and sports physical therapy clinics. The facility will feature an agility area, throwing wall, concussion treatment room, imaging suite for X-rays, weights and sports equipment, aqua therapy and a cast treatment area.
“It is extremely exciting to enter into a partnership with one of the nation’s premier health care organizations and one of Akron’s most trusted health care providers,” said UA President Gary L. Miller in a press release. “Not only will our student-athletes have access to world-class sports medicine, but the new Sports Health Center will offer these services to benefit the entire Akron community.”
The center will serve student-athletes but also will provide services to students, faculty and staff, as well as community members, the university said.
Children’s spokeswoman Casey Newman said the community portion the center will function like the hospital’s orthopedics service on the seventh floor of the Considine building.
“That means patients will be able to schedule appointments to see a provider like they would at our ortho clinics,” Newman said. “The community services will be available when the center opens.”
Staff at the clinic
Here is the Children’s staff at the clinic:
- Dr. John Polousky will serve as the lead team orthopedic surgeon. He has performed thousands of arthroscopic surgical procedures, including ACL, complex shoulder, knee, elbow and ankle procedures, according to the hospital. He was among the orthopedic surgeons selected to serve on the ACL Clinical Practice Guideline Committee, commissioned by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, to write national guidelines on caring for patients with ACL injuries.
- Dr. Derrick Eddy will serve as the sports medicine medical director and team physician. He has provided sideline coverage for University of Akron football and training room coverage since 2016. He has also served as team physician at other institutions, including Walsh University, Wheeling Jesuit University and Bethany College.
- Cortney Myer, a board-certified physical therapist and sports clinical specialist, is lead physical therapist for the University of Akron Sports Medicine Program and a university adjunct faculty member.
“Our orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physicians, athletic trainers and physical therapists have extensive experience in working with college, professional and elite-level athletes,” Gessner said. “In addition to caring for physical injuries, we will offer complementary services to focus on the overall wellness and health of the student-athlete.”
Miller also recognized the value of the partnership beyond the clinical setting.
“This collaboration also opens avenues for new research and service opportunities for UA and Akron Children’s Hospital,” Miller said.
Beacon Journal staff reporter Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or [email protected] Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ To see her most recent stories and columns, go to www.tinyurl.com/bettylinfisher