USF Health Sports Medicine Institute Gets $3Million Boost

News Release: USF Health’s Sports Medicine Institute Gets $3-Million Boost

Tampa, FL (June 3, 2006) – The University of South Florida’s creation of a
interdisciplinary center to raise the standard of care for athletes of all ages got a
$3-million boost in this year’s state budget.
The latest funding builds upon the $500,000 appropriated last year by the Florida
Legislature to begin a statewide Sports Medicine & Athletic Related Trauma (SMART) Institute at
USF. The interdisciplinary center promoting the health and safety of athletes through education,
research and clinical care will be housed in USF Health’s Center for Advanced Healthcare-North,
an outpatient facility expected to open on the Tampa campus in 2008.
“SMART will enable Florida to be a leader in optimizing the benefits of physical activity —
sports, athletics and exercise — through an approach that emphasizes evidence-based prevention and
care,” said Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, dean of the USF College of Medicine and vice president for
USF Health.
“The Institute’s ongoing work will be relevant to anyone who participates in sports or
exercise,” said SMART Director Larry Lemak, MD, a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon and
pioneer in sports medicine who joined the Institute last year. “That includes students playing team
sports, weekend warriors, aging baby boomers exercising to keep fit, and professional athletes
striving to maintain their competitive peak.”
“We have a deep appreciation for the outstanding talent in USF Health, and we’re extremely
fortunate in athletics to receive the rewards of that talent,” said USF Director of Athletics Doug
Woolard. “The research, education and clinical care at SMART will provide USF student-athletes
with unparalleled sports medicine benefits, improving their lives and assisting them in performing
to their full ability.”
The Institute will expand its community outreach by providing certified athletic trainers to
Hillsborough County high schools and by offering a nationally-recognized sports safety training
program called PREPARE to more coaches at all levels of competition, said Eric Coris, MD,
assistant professor and director of the USF Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Family
Medicine. In addition, Dr. Coris said, the funding will help the Institute strengthen its sports
medicine research, including projects focusing on heat illness, female athletes, sudden cardiac death
in athletes, pediatric sports injuries, and biomechanics and injury prevention. The Institute will
work with the USF College of Public Health to establish the first statewide pediatric sports injury
Over the past year, Dr. Lemak and Dr. Coris have worked with William S. Quillen, PT,
PhD, professor and director of the USF School of Physical Therapy, to lay the foundation for the
SMART Institute. This year, the Institute will build upon its collaboration between USF Health and
staff at the Athletics Department and School of Physical Education, Wellness and Sports Studies.
– USF Health –
USF Health is the University of South Florida’s enterprise of researchers, teachers and clinicians dedicated
to improving the full continuum of health. Its core is the colleges of Public Health, Nursing and Medicine,
including a School of Physical Therapy, as well as the healthcare delivered by its 450 physicians and more
than 100 nurse practitioners. In partnership with its affiliated hospitals, USF Health’s research funding last
year was $134 million — more than half of which came from federal sources. Last year, USF health
clinicians cared for more than 31,000 patients and oversaw 396,000 outpatient visits.

Media contacts: USF Health Public Affairs
Susanna Martinez, (813) 974-2776 or
Anne DeLotto Baier, (813) 974-3300 or