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USC transitions student-athlete care to Keck Medicine, announces partnership with WHOOP

Erik McKinney04/23/21
Article written by:On3 imageErik McKinney


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(Derek Marckel/USC Football)

USC made two announcements Friday dealing with student-athlete health, another step forward for a program that has repeatedly said it wants USC to have the most student-athlete centered athletic department in the country.

The first announcement from USC was that student-athlete healthcare will now be done through a full integration between Keck Medicine of USC and USC Student Health.

This new arrangement will begin July of this year.

“Successfully navigating the COVID-19 pandemic helped us facilitate an even stronger relationship with our medical partners at USC Student Health and Keck Medicine of USC,” USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn said in a statement from the school. “We are so grateful to University and Keck Medicine leadership for delivering this partnership. Our vision is to be the most student-athlete centered program in the country and providing world-class health care to our student-athletes is the very foundation of that mission. The opportunity to leverage the incredible talent, technology and innovation of Keck Medicine – a top-20 U.S. News & World Report ranked academic medical center – will further enhance the USC student-athlete experience.” 

According to the release, athletic medicine services will be overseen by USC Student Health, led by Sarah Van Orman, MD, chief health officer for USC Student Health. Seth Gamradt, MD, will be the director of athletic medicine. He is now an orthopaedic surgeon with Keck and director of orthopaedic athletic medicine for USC Athletics. And John Brodhead, MD, will transition from director of athletic medicine to associate chair of the Department of Medicine for Keck.

Head athletic trainer Russ Romano will continue in his role, managing all of USC Athletics' athletic trainers and physical therapists, reporting directly to Drs. Van Orman and Gamradt.

In a second announcement on Friday, USC is now partnered with WHOOP, a human performance company. USC student-athletes will be able to wear WHOOP straps, which "collect biometric data on strain, sleep and recovery and helps student-athletes understand their bodies and implement strategies to improve their performance."

Around 150 USC student-athletes are already using WHOOP straps.

"WHOOP has a very special technology to offer,"Ramano said in a statement from the school. "It's a really positive experience for a student-athlete who's serious about their health, well-being and performance."

According to Kristen Holmes, WHOOP's VP of Sports Performance, WHOOP technology is used by the NFLPA, the PGA and LPGA Tour and CrossFit, among other organizations.

"USC has a rich history of success and we are excited to support the school's student-athletes in their endeavors to unlock their full potential," Holmes said.