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A Day in the Life: Copa América Centenario 2016 Venue Medical Director

May 31, 2016

As chief of sports medicine at Orlando Health and the medical director for Orlando City Soccer Club, I’m fortunate to work with athletes every day to help them perform their best.

This summer, I’ll be lucky enough to watch the world’s best soccer players compete — and to give them the best care possible.

Copa América Centenario, the oldest international soccer tournament, will take place throughout 10 cities in the U.S. from June 3 to June 26. The tournament comes to our city on June 4, and I’ve been named venue medical director for Copa América Centenario in Orlando.

I will oversee onsite medical services during the tournament at the Camping World Stadium (formerly known as the Orlando Citrus Bowl) and coordinate with nearby trauma hospitals to ensure all the athletes competing get great medical care. I’ll also take a lead role in planning emergency medical care and will prepare detailed maps with directions to hospitals from the stadium, team training sites, team and delegation hotels.

We’ll have a network of local medical staff to provide on-field services such as stretcher crews and doping control chaperones and a network of local physicians to provide support to teams and delegations in specialties such as cardiology, orthopedics and dental. 

I won’t be doing all this alone. My colleague, Harrison Youmans, M.D., sports medicine specialist at Orlando Health, will serve as assistant venue medical director. Carol Kneller, MA, ATC, LAT, director of athletic training and outreach at Orlando Health, will be the venue medical liaison. In addition to the duties I previously mentioned, we will work together to ensure proper athletic training support for each training venue and that stadium medical rooms are fully equipped to handle any situation that may arise on the field.

As a sports fan, I can’t wait to see these athletes compete. As a doctor, I’m honored to be a part of this 100-year-old tournament and to support all the teams participating. Our goal is to give them comprehensive care — no different than what we do every day for Orlando City Soccer players and every one our patients at Orlando Health. 

We hope we can play an important role in helping these athletes perform at their peak. Here’s to a great tournament.


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