The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is opening a new field of research to improve sports medicine practice.
Dr. Andrew M. Hwang, the department’s director of the Sports Medicine Program, announced Tuesday the opening of a new Center for Sports Medicine Excellence (CSME) to further advance sports medicine.
The CSME will focus on research and development to identify key challenges, identify potential solutions, and provide resources to help accelerate change.
It will also be responsible for recruiting, training, and managing its staff and contractors.
Higgs, who heads the CSME, said the center is aimed at helping physicians, researchers, and trainers work more effectively and to improve health outcomes.
Hwang is the first head of the department to lead a sports medical office.
He has been in the role since July 2014 and is also an associate professor of sports medicine at the University of Minnesota.
His appointment is one of four announced by the department.
The department has more than 1,300 sports medicine faculty members, including more than 3,300 at U of M. It has an active research program, which includes training the next generation of doctors in sports medicine and is leading research on a variety of topics.
The center will be led by Dr. Mark P. Kastel, who previously served as the chair of the Department of Medicine.
Kasterle said the CSMA will focus primarily on the prevention and management of chronic diseases, including chronic lower back pain, neck pain, and hip, knee, and shoulder pain.
The institute will also work to develop new tools for diagnosing, treating, and preventing sports-related injuries, according to the department announcement.
The institute will help improve access to care for athletes and provide services to their families.
Kastel said the institute will collaborate with other departments and other entities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers of Disease Control, and the National Institutes of Health, to identify research and training opportunities for physicians and researchers.