Nemours Children’s Health System and an internationally recognized orthopedic institute will be the official medical providers of the United States Tennis Association’s campus in Lake Nona, they announced on Thursday.
Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, located in Gulf Breeze, and Nemours will provide the USTA with a team physician, sports nutritionists and athletic trainers year-round.
They will be responsible for medical services and care of visiting athletes, coaches, staff and spectators.
The partnership gives Nemours and Andrews prominent exposure in the 64-acre facility, officials said. A 16-court Nemours/Andrews Family Tennis Zone will also be created with smaller courts for beginners.
USTA officials said that they spoke with several health systems in the region, but the Nemours/Andrews partnership was the best fit.
“The idea of having a pediatric facility nearby combined with world-class institutes and the shared commitment of overall wellness for kids, all the boxes got checked,” said Lew Sherr, chief revenue officer at USTA.
Nemours and Andrews Institute have worked together before in North Florida, but this is their first official partnership.
Andrews Institute, which is part of Baptist #Health Care in Pensacola, has more than 40 physicians and experts in orthopedics, sports medicine, joint care and neurosurgery. Nemours has one of the largest pediatric orthopedic practices in the United States.
Both will have staff on campus.
“We’re certainly going to be on call for USTA all the time,” said Dr. Sarah Gibson, a pediatric sports medicine physician at Nemours who completed her fellowship at Harvard and a tennis player. “We’re going to have an open line of communication with the staff and we’re always available to them.”
Dubbed the Home of American Tennis, USTA’s National Campus has 102 lighted tennis courts, making it one of the largest tennis facilities in the world.
The campus will be the headquarters for USTA’s Community Tennis and Player Development area, which features 22 courts and a player lodge that can house 40 players.
It will also be the home of UCF men’s and women’s varsity tennis program and will host the 2017 USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Championships.
The campus is expected to host as many as 70 tournaments and events in 2017 with nearly 30,000 participants and as many as 100,000 attendees.
The Nemours/Andrews team will address acute injuries and rehabilitation, but also focus on injury prevention and athletic performance enhancement.
“The goal is to prevent injuries and recognize them early,” said Dr. James Andrews, founding partner of the Andrews Institute and world-renowned for his research in the field.
It will also serve as a lab of sorts for research on tennis injuries and prevention efforts, “so that we can make tennis even safer,” said Andrews.
Nemours, Andrews and USTA said they’re planning to develop programming to reach out to the community and give local kids access to activities, training and lifestyle education.
The USTA broke ground in Lake Nona in April 2015 and is expected to open the National Campus in December, with the first tournament scheduled for January.
The campus is open to the public.