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Sports Medicine Feature

Andrew Feldman, M.D. and Laith Jazrawi, M.D. / Courtesy of NYU Langone Medical Center and National Women’s Hockey League

NYU Langone Partners With National Women’s Hockey League

Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed. • Tue, October 18th, 2016

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NYU Langone Medical Center will officially bring its expertise to the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). The two entities will partner, with NYU Langone serving as the official hospital for the league and providing care throughout the 2016-17 season.

“Forming this partnership with an elite medical institution like the NYU Langone Medical Center is a giant step forward for our league, ” said NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan in the September 30, 2016 news release. “We are grateful to NYU Langone for its support of women’s hockey and look forward to working with them to maximize the health and safety of our players and to promote wellness throughout the sport of ice hockey.”

Said Andrew Feldman, M.D., clinical assistant professor of orthopedic surgery, who is medical director for the league: “This partnership provides a unique opportunity to establish continuity of care for these athletes, and the first pairing of a professional league with a major academic medical center, dedicated to the complete health and wellness of the players, "

The NWHL will collaborate with NYU Langone to bring players to pediatric programs at the Medical Center and run three community ice hockey programs over the course of the 2016-2017 season. NWHL and NYU Langone will develop programs for girls’ youth ice hockey athletes that teach safe and healthy participation.

“Through this partnership, we hope to not only provide high quality medical care to the elite athletes of the NWHL, but also to develop research projects to inform medical guidance for all women and girls hockey players of all ages and levels of competition, ” said Laith Jazrawi, M.D., associate professor of orthopedic surgery and chief of the Division of Sports Medicine at NYU Langone.

Dr. Jazrawi, M.D. told OTW, “The evaluation of hockey injuries and its impact on female athletes is lacking. The ability to oversee medical care for the league provides us with the ability to determine injury incidence, determine what is unique to female athlete in relationship to hockey (i.e., do they have same number of increased ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] injuries as is seen in soccer compared to male athletes), track concussion incidence and impact is it different compared to male athletes, and find out if female hockey players are more prone to certain injuries (once we learn which ones are, then we can implement prevention strategies).”

Dr. Feldman told OTW, “This is a maiden voyage so to speak. This process has never been attempted before and many challenges await us. Most importantly is getting all teams ‘on board’ and systemizing protocols, team by team, in order to streamline the players treatment. Continuity of care will be a priority league wide so each team has the same systems and standards. This is the key to better management of player injuries.”

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