Oklahoma City University News
St. Anthony Hospital Announces Partnership for River Sport Athletes
OKLAHOMA CITY — Officials with St. Anthony Hospital announced today a partnership with Oklahoma City University and the National High Performance Center to provide professional hospital services and physician care for river sport athletes who train at the Devon Boathouse on the Oklahoma River. An announcement ceremony was held today at the construction site of the Devon Boathouse, located in Regatta Park near Lincoln Avenue south of Bricktown.
As the official medical provider for the High Performance Center, St. Anthony will provide three physicians and services of the hospital to help athletes stay healthy and maximize their performance while training to compete at the highest levels. The physician team will consist of two family medicine doctors and a sports medicine specialist.
St. Anthony has also committed to a donation to the Devon Boathouse over the next five years.
Officials from St. Anthony Hospital, the National High Performance Center and Oklahoma City University provided details about the partnership at today’s ceremony. Athletes from rowing and canoe/kayak teams will also discuss the importance of having services available while undergoing intense training.
“St. Anthony is pleased to partner and support the National High Performance Center at the Devon Boathouse. We are excited to be a part of the sport bringing Olympic athletes to our thriving city. The growth and development of sports on the river also serve to emphasize the number of positive, healthy activities available in our community,” said Joe Hodges, president.
Mike Knopp, head coach of the OCU rowing team and executive director of the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, and Shaun Caven, coach of the OCU canoe/kayak team, stressed the importance of having physicians and medical professionals available during rigorous training regiments.
“These athletes, many of them potential Olympians, require more attention to their health than most people,” Knopp said. “Proper care can make the difference between winning a world championship and ending a career due to injury.”
Caven, who is starting the nation’s first collegiate canoe/kayak team this fall, added,
“While coaches know a lot about human performance, there is an advantage to having doctors available who have dedicated their lives to understanding the physical effects of training. They will certainly play an integral role to our success on the water.”
Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Jason Emerson, D.O., along with family medicine doctors Jeffrey Hirsch, M.D., and TiTi Nguyen, M.D., all members of Saints Medical Group, will be the medical staff members at Devon Boathouse when it opens in October. The $10 million boathouse will feature state-of-the-art training equipment including an indoor propulsion rowing tank and hyperbaric chamber.