Dec 1, 2022
IOC & University of Utah Partner to Promote Athletic Health

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has designated a coalition of U.S. sports medicine institutions that includes University of Utah Health as one of 11 IOC research centers worldwide. The centers promote research, development, and implementation of effective prevention and treatment for sports-related injuries and illnesses.

The designation reaffirms the IOC’s 2017 commitment to the United States Coalition for the Prevention of Illness & Injury, which consists of U of U Health, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado. The new agreement extends the collaboration between the coalition and the IOC to 2026.

utah“It’s a huge honor to be part of this very collaborative group that has and will continue to do important research that allows athletes to participate in their sports at the highest levels of competition while mitigating the risk of injury,” says Travis G. Maak, M.D., the coalition’s representative at U of U Health, head team physician for the Utah Jazz, and an associate professor of orthopedic surgery in the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah.

Over the past five years, the coalition has investigated numerous areas of sports medicine, including better ways to prevent and treat concussions and brain trauma as well as hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, and elbow injuries. They’ve also focused on improving athletes’ mental health and how to minimize their risk of early-onset arthritis.

“Many of these athletes get groin pain and, historically, we didn’t know what the causes were,” Maak says. “Now, thanks to the research we’re doing within the coalition, we have a better understanding of what these injuries really are and why they occur. Knowing that, we can suggest modifications in activity and other non-surgical and surgical treatments that potentially can prevent the progression of arthritis in the future.”

In addition to its IOC roles, U of U Health serves as the official health care provider for the Utah Jazz NBA franchise, the Salt Lake City Stars NBA G League team, the Salt Lake Bees minor league baseball team, the Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer team, Utah Olympic Park, Utah Olympic Oval, and the University of Utah Athletics. U of U Health is also designated as a Regional Medical Center to provide care for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

To read the full story from the University of Utah, click here. 

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