Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

November 2020

Sports Medicine Experts to Address COVID-19 and Athlete Care

From little league players to Olympic athletes, competitors at all levels have felt the impact of COVID-19. As sports and athletes rebound, team physicians, athletic trainers and physical therapists now face unique challenges caring for athletes. To help, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) have collaborated to bring together top sports medicine experts, along with Deborah Birx. M.D., from the White House and Paul Offit, M.D., from the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, to address some of the key issues surrounding the care of competitive and recreational athletes. The "2020 Advanced Team Physician Course" will take place on Dec. 5, 2020, online.

"Athletes of all ages and abilities have been confronted by unprecedented mental and physical challenges thanks to the pandemic," said ACSM Fellow Carrie Jaworski, M.D., who is leading the planning for the course. "The long-term effects of COVID-19, including risks to heart and lung health, are still unknown, which adds additional challenges for those caring for athletes. As leaders in the sports medicine field, ACSM, AMSSM and AOSSM understand the critical need to share up-to-date information and best practices during the most challenging medical environment of our time."

Fourteen experts are scheduled to present during the virtual three-hour course. Birx will deliver a keynote on the topic of COVID-19 and where we've been, where we are and where we need to go. Offit will address the COVID-19 vaccine and considerations for athletes and team physicians. Additional sessions will focus on cardiopulmonary considerations and complications. Experts will discuss American College of Cardiology guidelines for cardiac testing to determine which tests, if any, athletes need prior to returning to physical activity and competition after a COVID-19 infection. The course will conclude with a town hall discussion among experts from Olympic, professional, collegiate and youth sports organizations on the safe return to play for all athletes after a COVID-19 infection.

"The good news is that we live in an age where scientific and medical advances should allow us to defeat this virus," Offit said. "If we can eliminate smallpox from the face of the earth with a vaccine, we have every reason to believe that we can eliminate SARS-CoV-2."

"Anyone involved in the care of athletes will benefit from the information shared by this all-star team of physicians who are actively caring for athletes during COVID-19," added Carrie Jaworski, M.D., of NorthShore University Health System.

To learn more about the virtual event and register, visit

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