Building on a long history of providing health care to athletes at the University of Florida and beyond, UF Health on Saturday joined a select group of health organizations providing care to Team USA athletes as they prepare for international competition, including the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Elite competitors overcome many challenges to reach the pinnacle of their sport, some of them health and/or injury-related. While their success is often predicated on perseverance, dedication and commitment — qualities at the core of UF Health, the University of Florida’s academic health center — access to world-class health care is also critically important.
As a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Medical Network, UF Health will offer advanced resources and services to athletes from across the nation, as well as research and professional collaboration with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and other providers.
“In athletic endeavors, athletes participating on the international stage are the epitome of excellence,” said UF President Ben Sasse. “Our selection as a member of the USOPC’s medical network, providing health care for members of Team USA and those aspiring to represent Team USA in the future, reflects the excellent health care we provide through UF Health.”
Developing a network of specialized medical providers helps the USOPC fulfill its mission of empowering Team USA athletes to achieve sustained competitive excellence and well-being.
“We strive to deliver world-class, comprehensive health care to Team USA athletes, which wouldn’t be possible without the support, dedication and expertise of our U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Medical Network partners,” said USOPC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jonathan Finnoff. “As a health care leader in the southeast United States and home to many Team USA athletes over the years, we’re thrilled to welcome UF Health as the newest member of this established group of premier medical providers who care for the unique needs of Team USA athletes.”
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Medical Network provides medical care to Team USA athletes through top-tier medical providers with proven expertise in sports medicine. Providers invited to join the medical network must have a strong history in the following areas to qualify: multidisciplinary care; sporting event coverage; and screening, prevention and performance services.
The agreement between the USOPC and UF Health is for two years.
“It is an honor for all of us at UF Health that the USOPC entrusts us with providing health care to athletes who aspire to represent our nation in international competition,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health. “What is equally rewarding is knowing that we champion health care for all, not just for champions. Everyone who comes to us every day is provided the highest possible quality care — the same care we will be providing these outstanding athletes.”
To help ensure athletes’ success, UF Health will contribute significant funds annually to the USOPC that will support athlete-centered programs.
UF Health becomes the eighth member of the medical network, and the first in the southeastern U.S., where many Team USA athletes live and train.
The other members of the network are Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston; The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado; Adirondack Health and Lake Placid Sports Medicine in Lake Placid, New York; Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence and UC Health in Colorado Springs; and University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City.