Special to UM News
The University of Miami Health System Sports Medicine Institute will bring all of its advanced specialists and the full range of diagnosis and treatment to The Lennar Foundation Medical Center when it opens in December. UM athletes, weekend warriors, professional athletes, and everyone else with an injury will be seen in the spectacular new center on the Coral Gables campus.
What sets this sports medicine institute—and all of the Lennar center—apart will be its multidisciplinary approach, a new clinical delivery model that can truly be supported only by an academic medical system, said Ben Riestra, chief administrative officer of the Lennar center.
Lee Kaplan, M.D., professor and director of the Sports Medicine Institute, can’t wait. “The ability to have everything in one place, focused on the total patient experience, from coming in, to physical therapy, to all the radiologic tests and procedures, and to have surgery right there is unique,” Kaplan said.
Experts in shoulders, knees, feet and ankles, hips, concussions, and neurology will treat patients at Lennar. Sports cardiology, sports psychology, kinesiology, and sports nutrition also will be integrated into the care. Having everything in the same building brings significant benefits, including in safety and outcomes, Riestra said.
“It isn’t just a new building but a lot of new philosophies about the interdisciplinary nature of what we do,” Kaplan said. A close relationship with the Coral Gables campus will bring in students and researchers in biomedical engineering, kinesiology, athletics, and other areas—in addition to research Kaplan is already doing with stem cells and regenerative medicine. “Engineering students, for example, can come in and see equipment I’m putting in that they have been working on or researching.”
For patients, “the opportunity to see people with the same injury you have, participating in the same activities as you do, throughout treatment, therapy and/or surgery, and then getting back to sports and activities, will provide the mentorship and peer momentum critical for our new philosophical approach to health care,” Kaplan said.
A huge plus will be the center’s proximity to all the student athletic teams.
“We’re basically going to be on the football field and the basketball court, and to be right there for our student-athletes will be a dramatic improvement,” Kaplan said. “If they get injured they will see experts at a state-of-the-art facility right on their campus—they can go from the field to my office to an MRI to surgery if needed and to physical therapy, which is dynamite. For parents and grandparents to know that their kids are being cared for that way is very powerful.”
But it’s not just athletes who will benefit.
“Because we will be right there for the regular student body, they can be treated exactly as we treat the Marlins and our own student-athletes,” Kaplan said.
An innovative new feature of sports medicine at Lennar will be EXOS Performance, a highly specialized system that has been designed to help everyone lead healthier lives. This will be EXOS’s first South Florida location, and its first at an academic health center.
“Our situation is that we take very good care of people when they’re injured, but we need to start working on them before they get injured,” Kaplan said. “EXOS is going to take us to another continuum. We will do a lot of prevention programs, work-related and executive medicine programs to get you to your best performance.
“When you layer on proper nutrition, proper exercise, proper stretching, and proper advanced active recovery, you can really get to your maximum performance.”
Among those who benefit from this will be patients who have had surgery and want to get to the highest recovery level possible.
“EXOS will be that cog that will continue the wheel and get them to the next place,” Kaplan said. “They will help us translate our work with athletes to the active South Florida community.”