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The University of Akron and Akron Children’s Hospital Expand Partnership to Include New Sports Health Center

07-11-2022 (Akron, Ohio )

For 30 years, Akron Children’s has provided sports-related health services to The University of Akron’s student-athletes. The two organizations are taking that collaboration to a new level with a multiyear agreement that makes Akron Children’s the official sports health provider for Akron Zips Athletics.

The shared vision of athletic excellence includes a new sports health center Akron Children’s will build out on the University campus.

“The Akron Children’s Sports Health Center for Zips Athletics will be a comprehensive sports medicine facility within The University of Akron athletics complex,” said Chris Gessner, Akron Children’s president and CEO. “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.”

Project planning 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. “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 new agreement will bring an all-star lineup of Akron Children’s experts to Zips Athletics. John Polousky, M.D., 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. 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.

Derrick Eddy, M.D., 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, PT, DPT, SCS, CIDN, is a board-certified physical therapist and sports clinical specialist. She is Akron Children’s 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.”

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