UofL Athletics puts emphasis on mental well-being with new healthcare deal

UofL Athletics puts emphasis on mental well-being with new healthcare deal
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 3:29 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - University of Louisville Athletics announced Thursday they entered into a deal with UofL Health that would make UofL Health the official healthcare provider of the Cardinals.

”We’ve been working for three years to try to put together a team to make a difference in the care of these student athletes,” said UofL Health CEO Tom Miller.

Miller says he wants to set the bar when it comes to caring for student athletes.

Miller said millions of dollars of resources are being allocated annually.

Those resources include sports health physicians, orthopedic surgeons, neurologists and primary care providers.

While they’ll be treating physical ailments like injury, there will be forward focus off the field as well.

Ten mental health professionals will be available for student athletes across all 23 UofL sports programs.

”Those professionals can really dig into one team, can really be present, and more importantly build relationships,” said UofL Director of Mental Services Kate O’Bryan.

There were previously just two people in those mental health positions.

”That is really just how we had set it up in past because we thought that was sufficient,” said UofL Athletics Director Josh Heird. “I think the pandemic really exposed some of those cracks.”

Kate O’Bryan said her small team was being stretched thin, but UofL’s commitment to these services gives her hope they’re in the right place.

”Two of us were covering 600 athletes, so I think we’re there,” said O’Bryan. “I think we’re catching up to the services that are needed for young people.”

The deal between UofL Athletics and UofL Health will last eight years. UofL Health’s annual commitment amounts to about $3 million.

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