Emory Healthcare, Atlanta Dream Expand Partnership

WNBA team Atlanta Dream has named Emory Healthcare its official team health care and sports medicine provider.

The team will now have a full-time athletic trainer and team doctor, and Dream players, staff members and executives will have access to Emory Healthcare facilities such as the recently opened Emory Sports Medicine Complex, according to Director of the Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center Scott Boden.

Emory previously provided the team with some physician and medical care coverage, but Emory Healthcare and the Atlanta Dream extended their partnership Feb. 7 to provide better medical resources for the team, according to Boden, who manages Emory’s relationships with professional sports teams.

The new arrangements were negotiated over several months starting in 2017 after both parties expressed interest in expanding their existing relationship, Boden said. The Atlanta Dream will compensate Emory for the medical services it provides, including the time physicians spend traveling with the team. Atlanta Dream President Theresa Wenzel declined to provide the monetary amount of compensation.

“[The Dream] had a desire to broaden the relationship, and we had a desire to collaborate more on community outreach,” Boden said.

Wenzel said Emory stood out among other health care providers in the area.

“We wanted to make sure we were aligned with the service that was the best in the business, and Emory was very appealing for that,” Wenzel said.

Emory physicians are conducting preseason physical examinations before the team’s first season since the expanded partnership begins next month.

Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics and Family Medicine in Emory’s School of Medicine Brandon Mines will serve as the team doctor, and physical therapist Jessica Cohen will be the athletic trainer, Boden said.

“We are excited and proud … to be trusted with the most valuable assets of so many teams and hope that the entire Emory community can feel proud that we as an overall institution have been chosen to do this,” Boden said.

Emory Healthcare has existing health care partnerships with local professional athletic teams, including the Atlanta Falcons, Braves and Hawks.

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