UofL Athletics focus on mental wellbeing with new healthcare deal
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) — The University of Louisville Athletics announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement with UofL Health that would make UofL Health the official healthcare provider for the Cardinals.
“We’ve been working for three years trying 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 taking care of student-athletes.
Miller said millions of dollars in resources are allocated each year.
These resources include sports physicians, orthopedic surgeons, neurologists and primary care providers.
While they will deal with physical ailments like injuries, there will also be a forward focus off the pitch.
Ten mental health professionals will be available to student-athletes in UdeL’s 23 sports programs.
“These professionals can really fit into a team, can be really present and, most importantly, build relationships,” said UofL director of mental services Kate O’Bryan.
Previously, there were only two people in these mental health positions.
“It’s really how we’ve set it up in the past because we thought it was good enough,” said UofL director of sport Josh Heird. “I think the pandemic has really exposed some of those cracks.”
Kate O’Bryan says her small team is stretched but the UofL’s commitment to the services gives her hope they are in the right place.
“Two of us were covering 600 athletes, so I think we’re there,” O’Bryan said. “I think we are catching up with the services young people need.
The agreement between UofL Athletics and UofL Health will run for eight years. UofL Health’s annual commitment is approximately $3 million.
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