Breaking with the tradition of holding its quarterly board meeting at Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation members headed their cars up north to The Star on Tuesday, September 11. The occasion wasn’t a workout with the Dallas Cowboys, but rather to see and learn about the gleaming new 375,000-square-foot Baylor Scott And White Sports Therapy And Research providing comprehensive sports performance and healthcare. To say it’s spectacular is an understatement with its Blue Star Imaging, The Carrell Clinic, Digestive Diseases Group, Cardiovascular consultants, Orthopedic Associates of Dallas, Outpatient Rehabilitation, Primary Care, Sports Concussion Program, Sports Performance Center, Sports Surgery Center, Surgical Institute and Urgent Care facilities. Why, there’s everything from energy sleep pods, an indoor basketball court to a turf field with a skybox. Within the nine stories, services range from performance diagnostics, professional care, recovery from injuries, and nutrition, all aimed at helping athletes return to play.
Before guests like Jill Smith, Nancy Dedman, Kalita Blessing, Carol Dalton, Tricia Besing, Roy Bailey, Bill Benton, Jacqueline Fojtasek, Pierce Allman and Tavia Hunt settled down in the basketball court for lunch, they caught up on their summer jaunts. Terry Conner found that retirement hasn’t been couch-bound. Instead, he’s traveling more like his recent trip to Montana with wife Anne Conner for fly fishing and working with nonprofits. Speaking of fish, Terry reported that the lit trout that had hung on the wall of the late Daddy Jack’s was now residing at the Conners’ place in Taos.
Foundation President Robin Robinson told how his grandson had called that morning to wish him a happy birthday. When Robin told that him that he was a day early, the youngster said he would call back the next day.
Before introducing the panel, Robin updated the members on the October events that were coming up. Pointing to 2018 Celebrating Women Luncheon Co-Chairs Pat McEvoy and Michal Powell seated nearby, he said that the guest speaker, “Modern Family’s” Eric Stonestreet, had recently been announced, and that ticket sales were under way for the Thursday, October 25th fundraiser. In addition to the Healthy Harvest Fun Walk/5K Run and Expo on Saturday, October 28, the annual Grand Rounds golf tournament on Monday, October 22, was already sold out.
He also reported that since its establishment in 1978, the Foundation had provided $646M to support Baylor’s mission. Over the past five years, the Foundation has invested $199M into the System.
As Baylor Scott And White Health Chief Strategy Officer LaVone Arthur, Fusionetics Founder/CEO Dr. Michael Clark and Baylor Scott And White Clinical Director of the Sports Concussion Program Dr. Erin Reynolds took their places on the stage, Robin joined them for a panel discussion to learn about “Sports Medicine And Research at The Star: Wellness, Injury Prevention and Advanced Treatments for Athletes of All Ages.”
To get things kicked off, LaVone told the backstory of the facility and how it started. It seems that because the Cowboys decided that an MRI machine was a bit too expensive to own, they began talking with Baylor. That chat resulted in a much, much greater partnership offering a full range of services to the public including a sports medicine complex and a unique collaboration of Baylor, the Cowboys and the Frisco Independent School District. The goal was to make sports safer.
But the center was not meant for only professional athletes and varsity types. According to LaVone, “If you can move, you’re an athlete.”
Next up was Mike, who had become one of the top experts in human movement after having founded the National Academy of Sports Medicine and working 13 seasons as the physical therapist for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Incorporating sports science, clinical application and cutting-edge technology, he developed a comprehensive, three-part “Fusionetics” system to help maximize human movement.
Prior to the luncheon, Mike had invited Robin to bring some people to try out the program — testing, analyzing the test results and creating a profile, including providing a daily plan for fitness that’s accessible via the Internet for each individual.
In keeping with the partnership, Mike reported that FISD players and firefighters are being tested.
The final speaker was Erin, who had moved to DFW to join the Baylor team a year ago after working for five years in Pittsburgh. Having worked with youth, high school, collegiate and professional athletes who have suffered concussions, her work in neuropsychology has resulted in her creating a comprehensive concussion program that includes clinical, research, outreach and training.
Some guests were surprised to learn that, in diagnosing a concussion, the following risk factors are considered:
- Age: Younger children may have longer recovery times
- Sex: Women are more at risk
- Migraine: Personal or family history
- Learning disability/ADHD: Including underlying, or undiagnosed, difficulties
- Motion sensitivity/ocular-motor dysfunction
- Prior head injury: If untreated or mismanaged
She provided an example of a young female straight-A student. Her grades started dropping, her mood changed and she lost interest in athletics. After seeking help from other medical experts with no results, her parents arranged for her to see fly to Pittsburgh to see Erin. After being examined, it was discovered the source of the problem was a concussion. The youngster was given a rehab exertion plan to follow and, within weeks, her grades, mood and interest in athletics all returned.