Southeast Missouri State University will now receive support for student athletes and performers in a new partnership with SoutheastHEALTH.
During a press conference on Wednesday, the healthcare system's CEO Ken Bateman said they will also provide athletic training, physical therapy services, diagnostic equipment, and athletic training supplies to students.
“We’re honored and excited for this opportunity to deliver world-class orthopedic care and sports medicine close to home to Southeast Missouri State University,” said Bateman.
Serving Southeast’s students will be orthopedists Anthony McPherron, Matthew Baker, Charity Jacobs, and sports medicine physician Andrew Lawrence.
The partnership will start with the 2019-2020 school year and last for 5 years, but McPherron said he hopes it will last much longer.
“One year ago this month, I signed my contract to come to SoutheastHEALTH, and at that point in time, they did not have an orthopedic program,” he said.
He added he would not have imagined having a team as large as they do now, nor did he foresee them completing a partnership like this with the university.
They will also offer three $1,000 scholarships to student athletes, performers in the Holland College of Arts and Media, and students in the athletic training program.
Southeast athletics director Brady Barke said they believe the sports-medicine program will be the largest in the Ohio Valley Conference, likely rivaling any other athletic program of their size.
“There’s such a small window of time for [performing] students and our student athletes to compete and perform for us at this university, and the only way that we can ensure that they are having the experience that we all want them to have is to ensure that they remain healthy,” Barke said.
Barke says the emphasis not only needs to be on rehabilitation, but on preventative care to keep performers and athletes moving.