The University of Louisville athletic department has a new corporate medical partner.
The school announced at a news confernece on Thursday morning that U of L Health will now become the official health care provider for all of U of L athletics. U of L interim President Dr. Lori Gonzalez and athletic director Josh Heird made the announcement at the PNC Club inside Cardinal Stadium.
U of L Health CEO Tom Miller and Dr. Jennifer Daily, who is the medical director of U of L Health Sports Medicine were also speakers at the event.
“Academic health care offers unique advantages, especially for world-class athletes like those at UofL,” Miller said. “Our sports medicine team understands the complexities needed to keep athletes at the top of their game. We have been taking care of the Cardinal athletes since the 1980’s, starting with the innovative sports medicine program developed by Dr. Raymond Shea. There was a brief hiatus from the sidelines for some of our providers, but we never stopped providing care and this agreement formally puts us all back on one team for the benefit of the athletes, our university and our community.”
In the release, U of L athletics calls U of L Health a fully integrated regional academic health system affiliated with the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
The new partnership that extends for eight years addresses medical coverage for all 23 U of L sports programs, plus basic training coverage for the Cardinals’ cheer and dance teams. There will be a comprehensive brand presence for U of L Health throughout Louisville Athletics facilities.
Heird said U of L Health will also help upgrade some of the facilities for health care of the student athletes and Miller confirmed the partnership would bring $3.5 million a year to the athletic department from U of L Health.
“This is an exciting day for the University of Louisville,” Heird said. “Our number one priority will always be the well-being of our student-athletes and whenever we can create a partnership that provides our student-athletes with world-class services, we want to celebrate it. The commitment U of L Health is making to our student-athletes and our department will allow us to be a national leader in the medical and mental health care we provide our student-athletes.”
The level of support for Cardinal student-athletes will significantly increase with added personnel as well as health and performance equipment upgrades. U of L Health will provide access to its network of sports health physicians, orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, and primary care providers.
“Maintaining good health is essential for any athlete, especially student-athletes,” Daily said. “We have the expertise, and we have the technology, such as DARI which provides movement data analytics to help athletes regain their game. We also have the comprehensive resources to make sure they never lose ground in the classroom.”
Heird said multiple times that mental health services were a point of emphasis with the new partnership. U of L Health will have at least 10 dedicated mental health and mental performance professionals planned for U of L student-athletes, in addition to other generally available mental health services.
Also included are additional services and equipment for injury rehabilitation, medical coverage at athletics events.