Newswise — (New York, NY – July 20, 2021) – For the first time, Mount Sinai Health System has been named the official medical service provider for USA Fencing.  Physicians from the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance are playing a key role in preparing athletes in the USA for national and international competitions, including the upcoming 2021 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“COVID has changed the world of sports, and sports medicine, and we experienced it firsthand as a team. It has been a privilege seeing these athletes through COVID exposures and infections and being able to clear them to compete again. I have seen them overcome the struggles of a global pandemic alongside their athletic injuries, and I could not be more proud to have been part of this journey with them,” says Mariam Zakhary, DO, Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Their determination to work with us to get better is unlike anything I have experienced before, and I have no doubt this same resilience will bring them success in Tokyo.”

Under the partnership with USA Fencing, Mount Sinai Physicians travel with the team to most national and international competitions.  They provide medical advice to athletes and coaches by collaborating with team trainers on treatment of sports injuries, injury prevention, and ways to enhance athlete’s sports performance.  Additionally, Mount Sinai experts, including infectious disease doctors have helped guide new safety measures to protect the health and safety of participants at competitions sanctioned by USA Fencing during COVID-19. This includes masking guidelines, limiting of screaming during matches, and saluting after a match instead of handshakes.  Additionally, Mount Sinai physicians are working with USA Fencing to collect data and design new protocols to keep athletes safe and healthy so they can achieve extraordinary outcomes.

“We are excited to partner with USA Fencing and offer world class, comprehensive care and expert guidance to these incredible athletes and we can’t wait to watch everyone’s hard work pay off at the Olympics,” says Joseph Herrera, DO, the Lucy G. Moses Professor and System Chair for the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance for the Mount‚Äč Sinai Health System. “Our talented staff have been providing onsite medical care at national and international events for these competitors.  Besides caring for the athletes, our team has been integral in safe event management during the pandemic. We have been involved with the USA Fencing administration in Colorado Springs to discuss everything from the use of masks, pre-competition testing, vaccinations, and disinfecting equipment to keep our athletes, and officials safe.” 

"USA Fencing is excited to have Mount Sinai as a partner," said USA Fencing CEO Kris Ekeren. "Keeping our fencers safe and healthy is important to the organization. The expertise of Mount Sinai's physicians is an incredible benefit to our athletes and fencing community."

USA Fencing’s partnership with Mount Sinai runs through December, 2021.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Health System includes more than 7,200 physicians and features a robust and continually expanding network of multispecialty services, including more than 400 ambulatory practice locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. Mount Sinai Heart at The Mount Sinai Hospital is the nation’s No. 6-ranked heart center, and The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the Top 20 Best Hospitals in the country and the Icahn School of Medicine as one of the Top 20 Best Medical Schools in country. Mount Sinai Health System hospitals are consistently ranked regionally by specialty and our physicians in the top 1% of all physicians nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

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