Premier dance company begins medical care coordination with Rush on Jan. 15

Newswise — (Chicago) The internationally-acclaimed Joffrey Ballet has chosen Rush University Medical Center as the Company’s preferred medical center for treatment. 

“The Joffrey Ballet is comprised of artists that are also elite athletes, whose health and fitness are paramount to the success of the company both on the stage and off,” said Joffrey Executive Director Greg Cameron. “Selecting a medical team that fits the unique needs of professional dancers was of the utmost importance. We are confident the staff of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and Rush University Medical Center will provide our organization with the best health care available in Chicago.”

The partnership between the two organizations stems from Rush University’s industry-leading approach to holistic health and wellness, including behavioral health. Rush has also demonstrated a commitment to education and injury prevention, components that the Joffrey believes are central to the rehabilitation and long-term well-being of its dancers.

Dr. Simon Lee, a foot and ankle specialist and orthopedic surgeon and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Rush; and Dr. Leda Ghannad, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Rush who is a primary care sports medicine specialist, will serve as head physicians for The Joffrey Ballet. Colleagues Dr. Johnny Lin and Dr. Kamran Hamid, also foot and ankle orthopedic specialists, will round out the medical team caring for the company.

All are members of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, a private orthopedic specialty physician group. The Rush Department of Orthopedic Surgery is the highest ranked orthopedic program in Illinois in U.S. News &World Report’s “Best Hospitals” issue. Rush also has one of the top sports medicine/orthopedic residency and orthopedic specialty fellowship training programs in the country.

“We’ll work with the dancers on site as well as the ballet therapists to help the dancers perform in optimal condition, and if an injury does occur, we can provide a physical examination, diagnosis and continuity of care to minimize time away from performing,” said Ghannad.

One of the physicians will monitor the Joffrey’s on-site training room once a week and attend each of the Chicago performances. The Joffrey “team” physicians may also provide care for Joffrey staff members.

“Ballet dancers are a tough breed of elite athletes performing at a high level with rigorous and lengthy daily practice sessions,” said Lee. Approximately 70 percent of injuries involve the lower extremities, which are typically overuse injuries.

“While there may be few acute injuries, a dancer’s lower extremities and feet can be chronically sore with inflammation,” Lee said. If a higher level of medical assessment is needed, a dancer would come to the Rush offices to be further evaluated.

Lee completed his fellowship in foot and ankle surgery at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2003. He also served as a physician/consultant for the Chicago Marathon from 2001 through 2005, and the Chicago Triathlon from 2004 through 2011.

Presently Lee serves as the foot and ankle consultant for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In addition, Lee serves as one of the team physicians for the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, and the Chicago Fire.

About The Joffrey Ballet

Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its company, audiences, and repertoire which includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces and contemporary works.

The company’s commitment to accessibility is met through an extensive touring schedule, an innovative and highly effective education program including the much-lauded Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations.

Founded by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey in 1956, guided by celebrated choreographer Gerald Arpino from 1988 until 2007, The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under internationally renowned Artistic Director Ashley Wheater and Executive Director Greg Cameron.

For more information on The Joffrey Ballet and its programs, visit Connect with the Joffrey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.