Health
1:41 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Allegheny Health Network Joins US Olympic Committee National Medical Network

Allegheny Health Network has been designated by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) as an official Olympic Regional Medical Center.

“As a participating center, one of just six in the country, we will have the great privilege of playing a prominent role in the health and well-being of our nation’s elite Team USA athletes,” said Dr. Patrick DeMeo, chair of the AHN Orthopedic Institute.

AHN will provide comprehensive medical services including orthopedics and sports medicine, primary care, cardiovascular care, neurosurgery, physical therapy and more to athletes in the region. The USOC launched the National Medical Health Network in 2013 to support U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and USOC officials said they choose partners carefully.

“This isn’t something where people can just simply send in an application and say, ‘Hey, we’d like to be part of the network,’” said Bill Moreau, managing director of sports medicine for the USOC. “It’s a targeted type of an approach to make sure we have geographic distribution to provide care to Team USA regardless of where they live. We would like the athletes to be able to receive care in the region they live and train in.”

More than 150 Olympic athletes are training in this region.

“So we believe that we’ll service the majority of those and I don’t know that you can predict the type of injury, we’re capable of handling any injury or medical problem,” DeMeo said, “and I think it’s important to understand that sports medicine really just isn’t an injury.”

Athletes are in Sochi for the Winter Olympics, but this network doesn’t end when the games do, rather it’s an ongoing relationship.

“It’s really meant to help address problems that occur between the Olympics,” DeMeo said. “Right now, gearing up for the Olympics, pretty much the hard work has been done. It’s those four years in between where the large bulk of problems exist.”

Other medical centers in the network are Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City; Memorial Hospital, part of University of Colorado Health in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Colorado Center for Orthopedic Excellence in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Adirondack Health of Saranac Lake, N.Y.; and Lake Placid Sports Medicine in Lake Placid, N.Y.