Newswise — UC San Diego Health and the San Diego Padres reached an agreement on a multi-year partnership to become the Major League Baseball team’s Official Health Care Provider.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Padres and look forward to providing them with the expertise in the key components of elite athlete care and fitness that we’ve honed over 50 years of caring for all athletes,” said Patty Maysent, CEO of UC San Diego Health. “What we will bring to the game is a combination of clinical care, research and innovation, designed to help the players compete at their best and be their healthiest.”

New head team physician Catherine M. Robertson, MD, will coordinate a multidisciplinary team of UC San Diego Health clinicians and staff members caring for the Padres at UC San Diego Health hospitals and clinics, as well as throughout Spring Training and during the season at Petco Park. Robertson has previously acted as team physician for the San Diego Chargers and lead physician in a partnership between UC San Diego Health and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Through this new partnership, Padres athletes will have access to advanced surgical and medical diagnostics and procedures, including emerging technologies in cartilage restoration and transplantation, regenerative medicine, advanced imaging techniques and other areas of translational research. The team will also benefit from UC San Diego Health’s expertise in family medicine and numerous specialties.

“This is the first time in more than three decades that the Padres have changed health care providers, so it was a decision we took very seriously,” said Padres Executive Vice President/General Manager A.J. Preller. “We ultimately chose UC San Diego Health because of their pioneering work in research to help prevent injury and re-injury. As we continue to look into innovation in different areas of baseball operations, including player care, we thought the combination of their clinical care and research would serve us well.”

As partners, UC San Diego Health and the Padres will also collaborate on outreach and awareness efforts to promote healthy living and disease prevention in the local community. UC San Diego Health clinicians will provide free wellness screenings to the public at select Padres events, including the Celebrate San Diego Rally on February 11 at Petco Park. The partners will also team up to provide educational programs, including tours of the ballpark and Q&A opportunities with Padres front office staff, for San Diego high school students from historically underserved communities who are interested in pursuing careers in health care.

UC San Diego Health is consistently ranked the No. 1 health care system in San Diego and UC San Diego Health orthopedic surgery is consistently ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. UC San Diego Health is also home to the 8th highest National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded orthopedics program in the U.S.