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Maryland Athletics to Transition to Autonomous, Integrated Model for Student-Athlete Health Care

By Maryland Today Staff

The University of Maryland Athletics Department announced today that it will transition to a model where its athletic medical staff, including the head team physician, athletic trainers, nutritionists and mental health practitioners, will be employed outside of the athletics department, as part of the Division of Student Affairs in the University Health Center (UHC).

The implementation of this new model fulfills the final of the 20 recommendations made in an external safety review by sports medicine expert Rod Walters, completed last fall following the death of Jordan McNair, a sophomore offensive lineman. The Athletic Department convened a panel of national leaders in sports medicine to develop specific recommendations on the model to enhance the well-being and safety of Terp student-athletes across all sports.

“Our priority in the last year has been implementing the recommendations from the external safety review to safeguard the health and well-being of our student-athletes,” said Athletic Director Damon Evans. “This plan will further enhance the physician-directed, autonomous care our student-athletes receive and advance our efforts to provide comprehensive, integrated, patient-centered care for our student-athletes.”

The University of Maryland is launching a national search for a head team physician who will be a full-time employee of Maryland within UHC. During the search, current care will remain in place where athletic trainers are overseen by physicians at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Once the position is filled, sports medicine staff will report to the new head team physician and be employed autonomously from Athletics within UHC.

Maryland will be one of a handful of Power 5 institutions that have medical staffs housed outside of athletics.

To learn more about the reforms made to policies and procedures following Walters’ recommendations, visit https://umd.edu/commitment.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.