Story by: Norton Healthcare on April 29, 2022
Norton Healthcare and Churchill Downs announced today that Norton Healthcare will be the official medical provider of the world-renowned race track.
As part of the agreement, Norton Sports Health will provide medical support for jockeys. Norton Healthcare will hire two sports medicine-trained physicians to be on-site for the spring and fall meets, including the Kentucky Derby. Norton Healthcare also will outfit Churchill Downs’ jockey first-aid space with medical equipment for the triage and evaluation of possible injuries.
“When Norton Healthcare’s first hospital opened its doors in 1886, Churchill Downs was running its 12th Kentucky Derby,” said Russell F. Cox, president and CEO, Norton Healthcare. “It only makes sense for these two long-standing organizations to work together to provide the best care for these top-notch athletes. We look forward to working with Churchill Downs and supporting this part of our community.”
In addition to offering its team of health providers, Norton Sports Health also will provide annual physicals for jockeys, including baseline concussion testing, lab work and other preventive care. In addition, the athletes will have access to Norton Healthcare’s vast specialty services and providers to ensure quick, convenient care for any medical needs.
“This exciting partnership will truly deliver some of the best sports medicine healthcare in the nation to our jockeys, and we’re truly appreciative of Norton Healthcare for providing this invaluable service to our athletes and Churchill Downs,” said Josh Ball, Churchill Downs racetrack’s senior director of security, safety and first aid.
“Norton Healthcare is here to support all athletes, whether it’s your profession or you’re trying to live a healthy, active life,” said Steven T. Hester, M.D., division president, provider operations, and system chief medical officer, Norton Healthcare. “Our Norton Sports Health team is uniquely positioned to provide the medical expertise and resources to stay in the race.”
Norton Healthcare physicians have provided various levels of support to Churchill Downs over the years. With Norton Audubon Hospital the closest hospital to the track, it has treated jockeys and racing fans for a variety of injuries for years.
The two organizations have supported each other beyond the track. Norton Cancer Institute continues as a key partner with Churchill Downs as the beneficiary of Oaks Day events. In 2019, the Norton Healthcare Foundation named Churchill Downs its Philanthropist of the Year – Organization for fundraising efforts that supported breast health programs at Norton Cancer Institute through Derby Divas, specifically funding a 3D tomography machine for the Norton Prevention & Wellness Mobile Prevention Center.
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