49ers and UCSF Sports Medicine Doctors Team Up to Support High School Athletes

October 16, 2003
News Office: Eve Harris (415) 885-7277

San Francisco 49ers trainers and alumni are joining forces with UCSF Medical Center sports medicine specialists to provide training and safety tips, as well as game expertise, for San Francisco Unified School District football players.

The partnership is the newest component of the UCSF Medical Center PlaySafe Program, which has provided, since last Fall, practice and game-day medical services to high school football players, pre-season doctors for football athletes, and a free weekend drop-in clinic for all Bay Area student athletes.

To kick-off the partnership, former San Francisco 49ers head athletic trainer Lindsy McLean will attend two of the drop-in clinics to converse with student athletes about staying healthy and preventing injury. The clinics are Saturday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 1 and will be held at the UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion, 1600 Divisadero St., in the third floor conference room.

McLean was an athletic trainer for 40 years and spent the last 24 years of his career, until his 2002 retirement, with the San Francisco 49ers. Mclean and his staff drew praise for treating and rehabilitating Garrison Hearst's career-threatening ankle injury.

"PlaySafe gives local public high schools access to physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists and mentors. This means more than 1000 local athletes playing football each year have the benefit of experts uniquely qualified to advise student athletes about how to stay healthy and thrive in their athletic endeavors," said Dr. Marc Safran, director of the UCSF Sports Medicine Program.

"We hope that by providing physicians, trainers and mentors at practices, games and UCSF-sponsored clinics we can prevent injuries. If injuries occur, we want athletes to return to play as soon as possible and avoid re-injury."

The UCSF PlaySafe Program Saturday morning drop-in clinics, which are open to all Bay Area high school student athletes, are held Saturdays through the end of November from 8 10 a.m. at 1701 Divisadero, suite 240. UCSF doctors, athletic trainers and physical therapists offer expertise in treating injuries to the shoulder, knee, elbow, hand, foot, ankle and spine.

Safran has been a team doctor or assistant team doctor for many high school, college and professional teams. He has a keen interest in sports injuries of the elbow, shoulder, knee, ligament injuries of the elbow, meniscus transplantation, knee ligament surgery, and shoulder surgery. Additional UCSF doctors who contribute to the PlaySafe program include: Dr. Benjamin Ma, orthopedic surgeon; Dr. Anthony Luke, primary care sports medicine specialist; Dr. Christina Allen, orthopedic surgeon; and Dr. David Baillargeon, a fellow in the UCSF Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

PlaySafe is funded by a grant from the Mount Zion Health Fund. The Fund provides support to programs that improve the physical, emotional and spiritual health of vulnerable populations. Formerly Mount Zion Hospital's corporate parent, today the Fund preserves Mount Zion's historical Jewish values and traditions through its philanthropy. In the fiscal year 1999 to 2000 the Fund donated about $3.9 million to programs at Mount Zion for patient care, education and research.

For more information about the PlaySafe program, contact Pamela Davenport at (415) 353-7558. To schedule an appointment with a UCSF sports medicine specialist, contact the UCSF Sports Medicine Clinic at (415) 353-7566.

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