Emory adds a new branch to its sports medicine network Emory adds a new branch to its sports medicine network
Emory Healthcare has continued to expand its orthopedic and sports medicine services by opening a new clinic on its campus in Smyrna, a northwestern... Emory adds a new branch to its sports medicine network

Emory Healthcare has continued to expand its orthopedic and sports medicine services by opening a new clinic on its campus in Smyrna, a northwestern suburb of Atlanta.

The outpatient center follows Emory’s recent sports partnerships with the Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Braves and helps spread the organization’s orthopedic presence across metro Atlanta.

Emory-Adventist Hospital

And it’s a step in reviving the Smyrna campus, which formerly housed the Emory-Adventist Hospital.

Orthopedic and sports medicine services can help introduce patients to general Emory medical services, said Dr. Scott Boden, director of Orthopaedic Business Development and Strategy for Emory. “It is one of the front doors to the Emory Healthcare system,’’ he said Monday.

Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center has locations in five northeast Atlanta suburbs: Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Johns Creek, Tucker and Duluth (known as the Sugarloaf location). Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital in Tucker is Georgia’s only hospital dedicated specifically to orthopedic and spine treatment.

The affiliations with Atlanta sports teams help market the Emory brand, Boden said. Potential patients will see “that professional athletes are trusted with us.”

The Smyrna clinic will provide comprehensive care to Atlanta Braves team members.

Boden

Emory also has provided the team physicians for the Atlanta Falcons, and has worked with local colleges and high schools as well, Boden said. As a large sports medicine program that’s part of an integrated health system, he said, “we have attained a level of expertise and specialization that puts us in the ideal position to best service all the diverse and complex needs of professional sports teams.”

The Smyrna clinic will offer a full range of treatments and physical therapy services for orthopaedic and sports conditions, including injuries resulting in sprains, fractures, dislocations and tears, as well as spine conditions resulting in neck, shoulder or back pain. An MRI will be on-site for imaging services.

“The Emory strategy makes sense,’’ said Chris Kane, a consultant with Progressive Healthcare. “This is the equivalent of opening a new storefront in a franchise business.”

“Emory anticipates a positive halo effect for sports medicine from the Braves and Hawks affiliations,’’ Kane said.

Competition is significant in the Cobb County market, where Smyrna is located, with several large orthopedic physician groups (Resurgens, Pinnacle, OrthoAtlanta) as well as WellStar Health System, Kane said.

“Ortho is a growth opportunity because of the demographics and array of profitable service elements: inpatient and outpatient surgery, imaging, physical therapy and physician office visits,” he added. Sports medicine can bring in revenues from all kinds of groups, he said, from high school athletes to ordinary people who engage in sports in their time off.

Boden said Emory is also developing orthopedic locations in Stockbridge and in the Stonecrest area – south and east of Atlanta.

The Hawks partnership will feature a 90,000-square-foot facility containing both the official training and practice facility of the Hawks and the hub of Emory’s Sports Medicine program and Sports Science and Research division. Emory said it envisions the center as a national destination for athletes.

The Hawks center

Emory, meanwhile, is aiming to revive the Smyrna hospital campus. The former hospital shut its doors in the fall of 2014 after years of financial losses.

Boden said providing orthopedic services is the first phase of the Smyrna rebuilding. The second, he said, would be the reopening of acute care medical services and an ER.

“What we’re trying to do is become more accessible to patients in the region,’’ Boden said.

WellStar, which dominates the Cobb County hospital market, has appealed to state regulators about Emory’s plans to reopen the Smyrna hospital.


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Andy Miller

Andy Miller is editor and CEO of Georgia Health News

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