Executives from the Dallas Cowboys and Baylor Scott & White Health on Wednesday broke ground in Frisco on a new sports medicine facility at The Star, the NFL organization’s upcoming mixed used development. The 300,000 square foot center will offer treatment, research, and wellness services for athletes of all ages when it opens in 2018.
After Frisco Mayor Maher Maso opened the proceedings, Baylor Scott and White CEO Joel Allison took the podium and laid out the vision for the project. It’s said to be the first collaboration between an NFL team, a health system, and a school district.
“This facility is designed to support the communities we serve by helping them get active, stay active and take care of themselves. By partnering with the Cowboys and Frisco ISD we hope to make North Texas the safest place in the country to play sports,” said Allison.
The facility will house an urgent care center, an outpatient rehab clinic, and a research center that will focus on helping athletes prevent injuries and recover from them quickly when they do occur. With the specter of concussions and degenerative brain diseases like CTE looming large over the NFL, Baylor Scott and White hopes that the brain injury program at the Star will lead the region in research.
“The problem with the concussion issue right now is that it’s based more on emotion than facts,” said Mickey Morgan, a surgeon and chairman of Baylor Medical Center at Frisco. “This facility will provide us the opportunity to study more athletes and we’re hoping that the new diagnosis protocols we develop will spread out from here to the rest of the world.”
As part of the partnership, Frisco ISD football teams will play home games on the Star’s indoor field. Baylor Scott & White will staff a concussion specialist on the sideline for every game. And part of the facility itself will be a program dedicated solely to brain injuries, providing concussion assessment and management. General Electric (GE) will provide imaging equipment for the MRI suite as part of its GE-NFL Head Health Initiative.
“Health and safety is something that most concerns us, not just for our athletes but for players of all ages,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, the Cowboys’ executive vice president and brand manager. “This facility will allow us to help athletes at every stage of the game.”
When Jerry Jones took the podium, he praised his partners and looked ahead to the future.
“We’re excited to partner with Baylor Scott and White. When I first started here, being a part of the Cowboys energized me and made me into something I never could have been otherwise. That’s how I feel about this partnership too. [It] energizes me,” said Jones. “We are paving the way for a new age in health and safety for athletes.”
The partnership allows Baylor Scott & White to enter into the sports medicine market, much in the way Children’s Health System of Texas has. Last year, Children’s announced that it would be opening its own sports treatment and research institute in Plano. That 96,000 square foot facility will open in 2017 and is a dual partnership with renowned surgeon to the (star) athletes Dr. James Andrews. It, too, will focus extensively on concussion diagnosis, treatment, and research.