‘They need things on a daily basis’: UMMC and JSU team up to keep athletes healthy, injury free

SOURCE: JSU Athletics
SOURCE: JSU Athletics(JSU Athletics)
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 12:17 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - 450 athletes at Jackson State University now have one less thing to worry about on and off the field - access to specialty healthcare.

University of Mississippi Medical Center and Jackson State University are partnering to provide medical services to athletes, prevent injuries and even keep athletes mentally sound.

“This model looks at the wholeness of the athletes and their medical, emotional, and wellness needs in order for them to perform well,” Dr. George Russell said, chief executive officer of University Physicians, the Medical Center’s faculty physician practice plan.

It’s total healthcare for athletes.

All JSU athletes will get detailed physicals, access to UMMC medical staff at home and away football games, and all home women’s and men’s basketball games.

“When a young man or woman comes to campus as a freshman, we are watching over someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister and friend,” Ashley Robinson said, vice president and director of athletics at JSU. “The care they receive is a part of the student-athlete experience, and I believe we work with the best medical professionals in the country.”

“It’s a great new opportunity for the department, but these athletes also need access to cardiology, ophthalmology and all specialties. Being injured on the field is not just about a broken bone,” Dr. Kellie Leitch said, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation.

JSU offers men’s baseball, basketball, football, cross-country, tennis, track and field, and cheerleading programs. Women’s programs include basketball, bowling, cross-country, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball and cheerleading.

“They need things on a daily basis,” Dr. Jim Hurt said, one of the physicians caring for football players both at home and on the road. “There’s a point person in every single department who is willing to see a student that day or the next day.

The JSU-UMMC partnership is year-round.

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