UT Health San Antonio, UTSA develop strategic partnership to advance health and wellness initiatives

Efforts include site of new medical care facility for San Antonians and comprehensive sports medicine program for UTSA student-athletes.

UT Health San Antonio and The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) are partnering to advance their shared goal of creating a healthier society. As part of the collaboration, the two institutions intend to develop a series of initiatives to strengthen their signature academic and research programs and leverage their combined capabilities and expertise.

As an initial step, UT Health San Antonio has become the official health care provider for UTSA Athletics. Student-athletes will have access to the health science center’s distinguished physicians and clinicians for primary care, for orthopedics, physical therapy and other specialties and for imaging and surgical services.

Also, a major community outpatient center that UT Health San Antonio announced it will build on UTSA’s Park West Campus will ultimately support the sports medicine program for UTSA student-athletes and has the potential to provide future collaborative opportunities in academics, research and health care delivery. The two institutions are currently negotiating a ground lease for construction of the facility, which primarily will serve the area’s growing residential population, near the corner of Loop 1604 and Kyle Seale Parkway.

History of collaboration

UTSA and UT Health San Antonio long have been at the forefront of San Antonio’s knowledge economy. Together, the two fast-growing University of Texas System institutions educate a total student population of 38,000 and award a majority of the bachelor’s and advanced degrees in medical, nursing, dental, health professions and biomedical science in South Texas.

“We are excited about the new collaboration and opportunity to once again work with our local University of Texas System partner, UTSA,” said UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich, MD, MACP. “Through this powerful new partnership, UT Health San Antonio will have a prime location to extend high-quality patient care programs for San Antonio’s unique population, and the opportunity to support greater access to services including advanced treatments and therapies for student-athletes.”

“This partnership provides unparalleled opportunities to leverage UTSA’s Knowledge Enterprise and work as a nationally recognized emerging research institution with the world-class patient care offered by UT Health San Antonio for collaborative, life-changing research and innovation that benefits our entire community,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy.

In the future, UT Health Park West could support UTSA’s academic and research enterprises, such as multidisciplinary education, research and training activities aligned to the university’s Classroom to Career Initiative. The program aims to expand the availability of learning opportunities for UTSA students of all levels and programs of study. Guided by its 10-year strategic plan, UTSA is working toward its goal of providing 75% of its students with hands-on learning opportunities by the time they graduate.

Care for student-athletes

More immediately, UT Health San Antonio and UTSA will jointly develop the comprehensive sports medicine program providing UTSA Athletics with access to UT Health San Antonio’s high-quality clinical expertise and care services. UT Health San Antonio has more than 800 physicians, board-certified in more than 100 specialties, ensuring an integrated care plan for each student-athlete.

Under the plan, UT Health San Antonio will provide UTSA student-athletes with sports medicine, orthopedics, imaging, physical therapy and other specialty services for preventive care and the treatment of a full range of sports-related injuries. The latter will emphasize rehabilitation and return to play.

UT Health San Antonio and UTSA will recruit a fellowship-trained primary care sports medicine team physician to lead the new program. This team lead will be employed by UT Health San Antonio and serve as the head team physician for all UTSA Athletics-sponsored sports programs, overseeing orthopedic surgeons, physicians, physician assistants, physical and occupational therapists, and athletic trainers. This physician will also assist the UT Health San Antonio Department of Orthopedics in growing and supporting its burgeoning sports medicine program.

To further promote the health and wellness of UTSA student-athletes, UT Health San Antonio will provide UTSA Athletics with:

  • Expanded concussion care and rehabilitation services
  • Medical and dental consults to UTSA student-athletes
  • Sports physicals
  • Priority access to UT Health San Antonio ophthalmology and optometry services
  • Priority access to all dental, physician and radiology services
  • Custom molds and mouth guards
  • An enhanced wellness program
  • Access to UT Health San Antonio’s unique, secure EpicCare Link portal, which houses medical records and radiology films, accessible from anywhere 24/7

“At UTSA, we care deeply about the well-being and development of our student-athletes on the field and in the classroom,” said UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos. “This new partnership is a game changer that will provide UTSA student-athletes with best-in-class care, furthering efforts to make the university’s NCAA Division I athletics program a world-class destination for student-athletes where they develop academically, athletically and socially.”

With the start of the new sports medicine program, UT Health San Antonio will also become the official health care sponsor of UTSA Athletics, effective July 1. The agreement includes a marketing component, brokered by Roadrunner Sports Properties, that serves to support UTSA’s 17 NCAA Division I athletics programs and helps to provide scholarships and cover some program costs.

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