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Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt creates new Vanderbilt Youth Sports Health Center

Aug. 1, 2022, 4:45 PM


by Jessica Pasley

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt recently launched an innovative program geared to treat pediatric and adolescent athletes.

The Vanderbilt Youth Sports Health Center, the only one of its kind in the region, opened through a partnership between Vanderbilt Sports Medicine and Children’s Hospital.

“The same specialists who care for our elite sports teams like Nashville SC, Predators, Sounds as well as Vanderbilt athletics and the TSSAA, have joined together with the nationally and internationally recognized care teams from the No. 1 children’s hospital in Tennessee and the entire Southeast to offer a holistic approach to care for young athletes in an effort to maximize their health and compete at their best,” said Alex Diamond, DO, MPH, associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Pediatrics and Neurological Surgery at Children’s Hospital and team physician for Vanderbilt University and the Nashville Predators.

“In addition to pediatric orthopedics, we have physicians and surgeons from more than 25 different specialties represented in the Center. All team members involved understand the unique nature of kids and teens as well as the special needs of athletes, whether the injury or illness is a result of sports involvement or an underlying condition.”

This has been a long-time vision of Diamond’s, who will serve as the director of the Center. With a focus on sports-related population health issues and community-based interventions, the Center was a logical next step to impact both current and future generations of children’s physical, mental and social-emotional well-being, he said.

“I love collaborations,” he admitted. “There are really amazing people here at Vanderbilt and tremendous power as to what can be accomplished when we harness all of that evidence-based clinical expertise, research curiosity and academic prowess into one room while looking at the same problems together but with different vantage points.

“We will be able to develop treatment pathways, diagnostic evaluations and an overall health and wellness model that are better for our patients and their families.”

The Center’s comprehensive approach to care will assist in its aim to provide an advanced level of personalized care. As part of a best-practice model, the teams will also engage in community advocacy work to help impact the future health and safety of young athletes.

“Sports matter to kids and it also matters for kids,” said Diamond. “We know that sports offer a pathway for children to engage in physical activity. We know that physical activity affects morbidity, mortality and quality of life. Kids who are physically active, tend to become adults who are also physically active.

“Sports is a steppingstone to healthier lifestyles, and I believe a fundamental part of child development.”

The Vanderbilt Youth Sports Health Center will offer multiple access points for convenience for families and referring providers.

Families interested in services through the center can call 615-421-8900 or visit the website for more information at:

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