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Crozer-Keystone Health System and Premier Orthopedics Partner with Philadelphia Soccer Teams

In Brief

  • Crozer-Keystone Health System and Premier Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Associates provide healthcare services to two professional soccer teams, the Philadelphia Union and the Philadelphia Independence.
  • The Philadelphia Union is an expansion Major League Soccer team. The Philadelphia Independence plays in the Women’s Professional Soccer league.
  • The physicians have provided player examinations and care. During games, team physicians from both teams will look out for common injuries.
  • CKHS and Premier, in conjunction with the Southeastern Pennsylvania soccer community, have developed an educational DVD about injury prevention for younger athletes.

This season, new partnerships between Crozer-Keystone Health System, Premier Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Associates and two professional soccer teams — the Philadelphia Union and the Philadelphia Independence — are kicking up excitement in Delaware County.

When it was first announced that a Major League Soccer expansion team was coming to Chester along with a new stadium, Crozer-Keystone Health System and Premier Orthopedics & Sports Medicine recognized a chance to get involved with an exciting new venture and help promote the community of Chester. The organizations promptly signed on as founding sponsors. “We saw that our efforts in providing healthcare in Chester for decades fit in well with the teams’ efforts to revitalize the city. We had the opportunity to get in on the ground floor as the teams’ healthcare provider and we were very happy to be part of it,” says Charles Hummer III, M.D., a Premier orthopedic surgeon based at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, who, along with his colleague James McGlynn, M.D., is serving as the Union’s orthopedic surgeon and medical director.

Though the Union is just starting its first season, the collaboration between the team and Crozer-Keystone is the culmination of months of work. “We’ve been actively involved in preparations starting this time last year when we attended the Soccer Industry Medical Symposium in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and met with most of the physicians and athletic trainers representing the other clubs. From that we were able to get a reasonably good feel for our duties as team physicians,” McGlynn says.

As official medical physicians for the Union, Steven Collina, M.D., and David Webner, M.D., of the Crozer-Keystone Healthplex® Sports Medicine Institute, were, together with Hummer and McGlynn, responsible for examining all of the players, including a detailed cardiovascular and musculoskeletal evaluation, review of health records and providing necessary immunizations for foreign travel.

In addition, while their training facility has been under construction, the Philadelphia Union players have trained at Crozer-Keystone’s HealthplexÒ Sports Club.

Anne Colton, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon based at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, is serving as team physician for the other new soccer team in the area – the Philadelphia Independence, which plays in the Women’s Professional Soccer league. “My responsibility is to oversee their healthcare, visit practices once a week, examine injured players and work with trainers to develop a treatment plan to them to get back on the field,” Colton says. 

During games, team physicians for both teams will look out for common injuries. “Soccer players are at particular risk for concussions and lower-extremity injuries, specifically hip and ankle injuries. We’ll be there on the sidelines to make sure they’re in good hands,” Collina says.

As the season ramps up, McGlynn is looking forward to being close to the action. “Soccer has always been my sport. I started playing when I was five years old and played through my mid-thirties so this collaboration is very exciting,” McGlynn says.

The doctors involved view the partnerships as more than healthcare initiatives. They also see them as an opportunity to give back to the community. “I love sports in general and I have always wanted to be a team physician,” Colton says. “This team is a fantastic way to bring attention to professional women’s sports in Philadelphia — they’re a great example for young girls.”

CKHS and Premier, in conjunction with the Southeastern Pennsylvania soccer community, have developed an educational DVD about injury prevention for younger athletes. Colton is working with the Independence to develop other community outreach efforts.

“The health system is a large part of the community of Delaware and Chester Counties and the Delaware Valley as a whole, so we will use this platform to reach out to kids and educate them on topics such as injury prevention and healthy eating habits,” says Rob Parker, vice president of Corporate Sales and Service for the Philadelphia Union. “We share the same values and goals, and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner.”

“It’s especially meaningful that the stadium is being built in the shadows of our flagship hospital, Crozer-Chester Medical Center,” Collina says. “I think the teams will have a great impact on the community.”

For more information on the Philadelphia Independence and the Philadelphia Union teams, visit www.philadelphiaunion.com and www.wpsphillyindependence.com.

For more information about Crozer-Keystone’s musculoskeletal offerings or to request a prompt appointment with a specialist in orthopedics, sports medicine or rehabilitation, call 1-877-CK-MOTION (1-877-256-6846) or visit http://ckhshmi.crozer.org.

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