Building on a 30-year foundation of providing sports-related health services to University of Akron (UA) student-athletes, our expanded collaboration includes a visionary sports health center that will open later this year.
As the Official Sports Health Provider for Akron Zips Athletics, the Akron Children’s Sports Health team is dedicated to keeping approximately 500 UA student-athletes across 17 teams in the game.
“The enhanced UA partnership is going exceedingly well,” said John Polousky, MD, who serves as the lead orthopedic physician for the program. “We’ve seen a lot of athletes not just for orthopedics and orthopedic surgery, but also for sports medicine, sports psychology and sports nutrition services. Many of these athletes have also been referred to other hospital service lines for additional needs.”
Our orthopedic and sports medicine physicians and fellows participate in UA athletic event coverage year-round – from men’s soccer and basketball to women’s lacrosse. Three physicians and two fellows provide athlete medical clinics five days a week. In addition, 10 athletic trainers provide sideline coverage at practices and home/away games and work with athletes in the UA training room.
Rounding out the services is sports physical therapy led by Cortney Myer, a board-certified physical therapist and sports clinical specialist who provides therapy with another physical therapist.
New sports health center to open in 2023
In taking this collaboration to the next level, we are building the Akron Children’s Sports Health Center for Zips Athletics, which will be a comprehensive sports medicine facility within UA’s athletics complex. It will not only serve UA athletes and the entire student population but be a destination sports health center for middle and high school athletes, club sport participants and weekend warriors up to age 26.
“The new facility will draw younger athletes who want to receive the same high level of sports medicine care as Division I college and other elite-level athletes,” Dr. Polousky said.
Project planning is underway with mid-September 2023 slated as the target date for construction completion. The tentative go-live date is Oct. 17, 2023.
The first floor will house the sports health rehab center. The second floor will have clinic space for our orthopedic and sports medicine physicians and an imaging suite. The facility will feature a throwing wall, agility area, weights, sports equipment, custom orthotics fabrication and a concussion treatment room.
The center’s proximity to the university’s practice field and track will make it more convenient for therapists and athletic trainers to take sessions outdoors, where athletes can work on sports-specific moves.
Looking ahead, Dr. Polousky hopes to continue to leverage the UA relationship with increased collaboration, as well as seek greater community support for expanding these services.
“We’ve developed the nuts and bolts of our Sports Health program and will continue to look for ways to elevate it to become even bigger and better,” he said.