Diane Dunn, a physical therapist for CJW Sports Medicine, performs a hamstring stretch on a patient at the sports medicine and rehabilitation facility opened by OrthoVirginia and the HCA Virginia Health System in October. Photo courtesy HCA Virginia Health System
After the last fan leaves the bleachers and the last Redskin boards the bus back to Washington, don't expect to see tumbleweeds sweeping across the new football fields behind the Science Museum of Virginia.
"We're going to be providing rehab to patients that have injuries — weekend warriors to high school and college athletes," says John Turner, vice president of the Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute.
A couple of weeks after the Redskins leave in late August, and just in time for the start of the high school sports season, the Bon Secours Redskins Training Center will open to the public. The 10,000-square-foot sports medicine facility, included in a nearly
$10 million development project involving Bon Secours, the Redskins and the city of Richmond, will employ exercise physiologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists and other health professionals.
"Each patient will receive an individualized treatment plan designed to decrease pain, strengthen their body and restore their movement," Turner says. The center will provide therapy for people of all ages and performance-enhancement programs for athletes. The two-story building will include exam rooms, treatment areas with athletic equipment and an education resource center for community seminars, as well as easy access to the two professional-quality football fields.
When the Redskins return to Richmond the next year, Bon Secours will suspend treatment at the facility for the three-week training camp and then resume activities after the football team goes home.
The Bon Secours project comes at a time of significant growth for sports medicine services in the Richmond region. OrthoVirginia and the HCA Virginia Health System just opened a $25 million, 70,000 square-foot medical facility specializing in orthopedic and sports medicine treatment and rehabilitation on Oct. 24.
"Increased levels of activity among people of all ages mean athletic and sports injuries have become more common," Turner says, noting that as the bulk of the population ages, more people are experiencing pain. "We are a more active population, and there's more people conscious of trying to prevent injuries." The sports medicine facilities help with prevention and treatment, as well as assisting athletes in stepping up their performance, he adds.
According to the Illinois-based health care think tank Sg2, the aging population will drive the growth in demand for orthopedic procedures. Health coverage expansion, along with a heightened emphasis on nonsurgical treatments, will spur significant growth in the orthopedics industry during the next 10 years.
The OrthoVirginia facility at 1115 Boulders Parkway off Jahnke Road brings orthopedic specialists in hand, knee, hip and spine together with pediatric services, sports medicine doctors and an outpatient surgery center.
"It's a great partnership between the sports medicine doctors and the orthopedic group under the same roof," says Jack Jackson, vice president of orthopedics at HCA Virginia.
The sports medicine facility, dedicated to musculoskeletal diagnosis and repair, houses the privately owned orthopedic surgery practice OrthoVirginia along with HCA's CJW Sports Medicine program and a jointly owned surgical center.
"Over the years, it just started to make more sense to do this together rather than in separate silos," Jackson says. Built with different kinds of athletes in mind, the facility features an aquatic therapy area, rubberized shock-absorbing flooring and large exam rooms with space to simulate swinging a bat or kicking a ball.
"Sports medicine starts and finishes on the field," Jackson says. With that in mind, the Richmond-based developer, Lingerfelt Companies, designed a small outdoor sports-assessment field behind the clinic along with a half-court basketball court, a sandpit for strength and conditioning exercises, and an outdoor track.
"When everything is coordinated and centrally located, the athlete can get the treatment and services they need, and they can get back to their sport quicker, which is really our main goal," Jackson says.