BRADENTON -- Sports and media firm IMG announced Monday it is partnering with New York-based Hospital for Special Surgery for a new athlete physical rehabilitation program that includes a deal to operate a therapy clinic at IMG Academy in Bradenton.
"Like IMG, we have long specialized in working with high-performing athletes and enabling them to maintain long and healthy careers. Our doctors and performance specialists are the most highly respected in the sports medicine and athletic rehabilitation fields today, and we are looking forward to providing our expertise to IMG's global network of athletes, while continuing to advance research and innovation in athletic rehabilitation on the campus of IMG Academy," said Louis A. Shapiro, president and chief executive officer of HHS.
The hospital is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report in orthopedics, and will provide student-athletes, employees and visiting youth, collegiate and professional athletes who train at the campus services at an existing therapy clinic adjacent to its weight room that will be rebranded and expected to open in January, said Kim Berard, a spokeswoman for IMG Performance, a division of IMG Worldwide.
The hospital will help bring expertise to the sports' firms clients, said Sam Zussman, senior voice president of IMG and managing director of IMG Performance.
"Athletes will receive the best orthopedic and rehabilitative care from HSS specialists who will work with IMG coaches and trainers to help athletes return to the field or court as quickly, healthy and strong as possible, while guarding against future injury," he said.
The hospital and IMG will also create education and training programs including a series of professional education conferences at IMG Academy for physical therapists and other sports injury specialists. Also, IMG Performance will help the hospital in outlining injury prevention protocols and work together on injury prevention and recovery research for high-performing athletes.
"HSS's extensive knowledge and practical application in working with some of the world's most elite athletes will significantly enhance our ability to provide our global sport clientele with a truly best-in-class option for their rehabilitative needs," said Mike Dolan, chairman and chief executive of IMG.
The New York-based hospital's physicians serve as official team doctors for various pro teams including the New York Giants, Mets, Knicks, Liberty and Red Bulls. Hospital for Special Surgery is also designated the National Medical Center of the United States Olympic Committee, serving as an official hospital for U.S. athletes.
"As a longtime trainee of IMG Academy and an athlete who has relied on the sports medicine expertise of Hospital for Special Surgery to help me maintain a long and successful career, I am happy to see these two leaders in their respective fields come together to assist athletes at all levels reach their goals and maximize their performance over the course of their career," said tennis professional Tommy Haas who has collected fifteen titles on the ATP tour.
The academy, which had partnered with Coastal Orthopedics in Bradenton, is putting Coastal in contact with HSS for the new program, said Gary Pluchino, vice president of IMG Performance, because the hospital will need some local support for its operations. What that support and relationship looks like between HSS and Coastal is still being determined.
The hospital will also provide reciprocal training with the current physical therapy staff that will stay on with the new clinic, he said.