Today at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, the Cleveland Browns and University Hospitals (UH) announced an extension of their partnership for UH to serve as the Official Health Care Partner of the team.
Since 2014, UH has worked with the Browns to provide a comprehensive, innovative and scientific-based approach to caring for Browns players, staff members and their families while also emphasizing engagement in the Northeast Ohio community. UH has developed a transdisciplinary sports medicine team that addresses Browns players' medical, training and overall health care needs as a foundation for long-term health, a philosophy that also extends to patient services at UH's network of 21 hospitals (including five joint ventures) and more than 50 health centers.
In conjunction with the team focus, UH offers essential support for the Browns' commitment to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout the region. Through camps, clinics and various initiatives, the organizations jointly promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education, along with other sports.
"We are proud to extend our partnership with University Hospitals, a national leader in overall health care and sports medicine and a pioneer in research. Their network of highly skilled doctors, physicians and dedicated staff deliver exceptional results, making them a valuable asset to our community and team since our partnership started in 2014," said Haslam Sports Group Chief Operating Officer Dave Jenkins. "Player health and safety is paramount in professional sports, and UH's medical experts, led by Dr. Voos, have offered tremendous assistance to our athletic training staff. As importantly, UH extends that level of high-quality care to all of our staff members, Browns fans and Northeast Ohio, as well as shares our passion for giving back to the community."
"Our goal has always been to provide the Browns with the most comprehensive, world-class health care program in the NFL. We want to help them win championships," said Cliff Megerian, MD, CEO of UH and the Jane and Henry Meyer Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair. "But we are also partners in extending that care and support to our community. Our continued partnership is a win-win."
As team physicians, UH Drusinsky Sports Medicine Institute specialists have a highly integrated relationship with players and coaches to assist the team's athletic training staff on the sidelines during practices and games, both at FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns, and on the road. UH physicians also help provide care after playing while doctors execute scientific approaches to overall health, fitness, performance and injury prevention.
"We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the Browns. Our collaboration on groundbreaking medical approaches enhances the well-being of each player on and off the field," said James Voos, MD, head team physician for the Browns and the Jack and Mary Herrick Distinguished Chair in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. "Developing and executing this level of care makes us better medical providers for all our patients, pee-wee to pro."
UH's holistic approach includes total care for health conditions such as cardiovascular issues, sleep and stress disorders, nutritional concerns and more, in coordination with team personnel. Browns Senior Vice President of Player Health & Development Joe Sheehan and Dr. Voos – who this past year was elected Vice President of the NFL Physicians Society (NFLPS) and will begin his term as President in 2024 – have spearheaded published research projects with the goal of advancing health and safety for all sports and levels of play, including via GPS tracking of on-field player metrics to maximize performance and minimize injury risk.
"While it is most visible to fans at FirstEnergy Stadium and the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus, our athletic training staff's and UH's devotion to player care extends much deeper than gamedays and practices," said Sheehan, who is entering his 15th season with the Browns. "With our shared dedication, we can help our players perform at their peak levels, mitigate injury risks and continue to identify cutting edge tools that can be implemented as best practices throughout the sports medicine community."
The Browns and UH are continuing their mission to improve participation and safety within youth and high school sports. When the partnership launch in 2014, the groups, as part of an NFL grant program, began funding full-time certified athletic trainers to care for all student athletes at Cleveland Metropolitan School District's James Ford Rhodes and John Hay High Schools, positions currently held by Anthony Connacher and Christine Novak, respectively. As part of today's announcement, the Browns and UH are donating $2,500 to each school's athletic department, adding to the more than $500,000 committed to the program since its inception.
UH is also an associate partner of the Browns HELMETS program, presented by Meijer, which awards Ohio area youth and high school football programs with $25,000 of new Xenith football helmets. Since 2017, the initiative has donated more than 3,100 five-star rated helmets to Northeast Ohio youth football organizations. To be eligible for HELMETS, programs must be enrolled in and complete USA Football's medically endorsed youth football certification course. UH covers the costs for the first 1,500 local organizations to receive the certification each year through the partnership.
Additionally, University Hospitals is a key contributor each summer to Cleveland Browns Youth Football Camps, which have recently been hosted at FirstEnergy Stadium and Obetz Field near Columbus. Every October, the Browns and UH Seidman Cancer Center help raise awareness, encourage early detection and address risk reduction efforts across multiple types of cancers, in addition to breast cancer, through the NFL's "Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer" campaign.
As the Official Health Care Partner of the Browns, UH medical staff offers care to Browns fans during all home games and events at FirstEnergy Stadium and open training camp practices at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Throughout the year, UH also promotes its Healthy Fan initiative to encourage everyone to schedule regular check-ups and improve their overall well-being.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, UH experts in epidemiology and other fields played in integral role in the Browns' planning and implementation of communal spread mitigation strategies and solutions at the CrossCountry Campus and FirstEnergy Stadium, which ultimately led to approval by city and state officials to host 6,000 fans for the first two games and 12,000 fans for the remaining contests of the 2020 season.
All Browns games, in-season programming and year-round shows including Cleveland Browns Daily can be heard live on the University Hospitals Cleveland Browns Radio Network, which encompasses 26 affiliates plus three flagship stations (Good Karma Brands' 850 ESPN Cleveland; and Audacy's 92.3 The Fan and 98.5 WNCX).
For more information, contact Rob McBurnett (RMcBurnett@clevelandbrowns.com) or Macie Jepson (Macie.Jepson@uhhospitals.org).
About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio:
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 21 hospitals (including five joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and over 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system's flagship quaternary care, academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Oxford University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The main campus also includes the UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, with more than 3,000 active clinical trials and research studies underway. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including "America's Best Hospitals" from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to 19 Clinical Care Delivery and Research Institutes. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with more than 30,000 employees. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebookand Twitter. For more information, visit UHhospitals.org.
About the Cleveland Browns:
A member of the National Football League's AFC North division, the Cleveland Browns are operated by Haslam Sports Group (HSG) and have long been among the most iconic and historic professional football clubs. Bolstered by eight league titles, 13 division championships and 17 Pro Football Hall of Famers, the Browns were established in 1945 as a charter team of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). The Browns played their inaugural season in 1946 and finished in first place during each of the league's four years of existence (1946-49). Cleveland was one of three AAFC teams selected to merge with the NFL in 1950 and appeared in the league's title game in each of its first seven seasons, claiming three of its four NFL championships overall (1950; 1954-55; 1964) during that stretch. The Browns' 17 Pro Football Hall of Famers, the sixth-most in the NFL, include founder Paul Brown, legends Jim Brown, Otto Graham and Lou Groza, as well as Marion Motley and Bill Willis, two of the first African-Americans who helped break professional sports' race barrier in 1946. After a relocation to Baltimore in 1995, Cleveland was awarded an expansion franchise that returned to play in 1999, retaining all of the club's history and its namesake. In 2012, Dee and Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J, purchased a controlling interest of the Cleveland Browns. Their vision for the Browns is to build a consistently winning football team, to take exceptional care of Browns fans and to be leaders in the Northeast Ohio community through the core areas of education, youth football and social justice while promoting volunteerism through the team's signature First and Ten volunteering movement. The Browns, led by Head Coach Kevin Stefanski and Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry, play their home games at FirstEnergy Stadium in Downtown Cleveland and operate from their training and administrative facility at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea.