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Pittsburgh Pirates Extend Allegheny Health Network’s Role as Team’s Official Medical Provider Through 2025

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Highmark Health and AHN Employees Before First Pitch
Allegheny Health Network (AHN), a Highmark Health Company, and the Pittsburgh Pirates announced today the extension of AHN’s role as the team’s official medical provider through 2025. The 2018 Major League Baseball season marks the 20th year in which the physicians of AHN’s Orthopaedic Institute are overseeing the comprehensive sports medicine and other health needs of the Pirates players and staff.

“Fundamentally, our success on the field begins with our ability to put our players in a position to perform at their optimal level and to maintain that level of performance over a very long season,” said Frank Coonelly, President, Pittsburgh Pirates. “Elite performance starts with providing our players with the highest level of care in terms of their health, nutrition and physical fitness. The doctors and medical professionals of the Allegheny Health Network put our players in a position to excel in an incredibly demanding game where our athletes perform virtually every night over an eight-month season. We are thrilled that Drs. DeMeo, Snell, Frank and the entire team of highly talented medical professionals at AHN will continue to provide this industry-leading care to Pirates players and employees for many years to come.”

Patrick J. DeMeo, MD, Chair of the AHN Orthopaedic Institute and Medical Director of the Pittsburgh Pirates, said the long and successful relationship between AHN and the Pirates can be attributed to the shared values of the two organizations, and the highly specialized capabilities and expertise of the Network’s sports medicine team. 

“As the official medical provider of the Pittsburgh Pirates, our goal is to help assure these elite athletes are able to consistently perform at their highest level. Preventing injuries through effective health and fitness training is critical to our success, and when injuries do occur, our physicians provide the most advanced and comprehensive care available to help get players back on the field as quickly and safely as possible,” said Dr. DeMeo. “It has been an honor to be part of the Pirates organization for the past 20 seasons, and we look forward to continuing this great partnership in the years ahead.”

AHN’s sports medicine role with the Pirates is a year-round responsibility. Beginning with spring training, the Network’s physicians work alongside the team’s athletic training staff to conduct player health evaluations and develop individualized care and training paths, as needed, which extend throughout the season. At home games, an AHN physician is on-site to assess and treat injuries sustained by the Pirates’ and/or visiting teams’ players, coaches, or staff.

For injuries or health issues which extend beyond orthopaedics and sports medicine, the Pirates also have access to the many other clinical specialties available within AHN.

“Providing medical care to the Pirates requires not only a leading sports medicine team, but the  expertise of clinicians across nearly every clinical specialty at AHN. I am extremely thankful to all of my AHN colleagues who participate in the year-round care of the players, their families, and the employees of the Pirates organization,” said Dr. DeMeo.

Edward Snell, MD, serves as the head team physician for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Other AHN primary care sports medicine physicians serving as team physicians include Marco Alcala, MD, Todd Franco, DO, and Sarah Hagerty, DO. AHN orthopaedic surgeons serving as team physicians include Sam Akhavan, MD, Aaron Burgess, MD, Darren Frank, MD, Brian Kelly, MD, Brian Mosier, MD, Dennis Phillips, MD, Gregory Purnell, MD, Scott Schweizer, MD, and Robert Schilken, MD.

The AHN Orthopaedic Institute’s multi-disciplinary team specializes in the assessment and treatment of complex athletic injuries to the musculoskeletal system, with a special focus on hand, shoulder, elbow, knee and foot injuries. Its sports medicine program is one of the largest in the state, with more than 150 orthopaedic surgeons, primary care sports medicine physicians, athletic trainers and physical therapists, and more than 20 orthopaedic and rehabilitation centers located across the region.

In addition to the Pirates, AHN is the official medical provider of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Gannon University, the Community College of Allegheny County, and 19 Pittsburgh-area high school athletic programs. The Network is also one of the few select healthcare providers in the country designated as an official US Olympic Regional Medical Center.

AHN’s sports performance team offers advanced, individualized strength training, physical therapy, sports nutrition, sports medicine services for developing youths, performing athletes and active adults. These programs follow proven, industry-leading protocols and are supported by highly advanced technologies, including an Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill, the Dynavision Reaction Board visumotor-training system (designed to improve reaction times), and the Makoto Functional Arena (a 360-degree, multi-planar simulator that provides a close approximation to real-time sports).

As home to the region’s only physician-led concussion program, AHN provides state-of-the-art concussion diagnosis and care management. The Network was the first health system in Western Pennsylvania to offer access to C3 Logix testing – a groundbreaking system that combines a computerized neurocognitive exam with a novel, tablet-based technology to determine the existence and/or severity of a head injury.   


About the Pittsburgh Pirates

Now in their 132nd National League season, the Pittsburgh Pirates own a history filled with five World Series Championships, legendary players and some of baseball’s most dramatic games and moments. The Pirates roots in Pittsburgh date back to 1876 when the Pittsburgh Allegheny’s brought professional baseball to the city by playing their first game at Union Park. The storied tradition of the Pirates includes 42 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame who have spent some of their professional career with the organization. During the 2015 campaign, the Club posted its 10,000th franchise win, becoming the fifth Major League Baseball club to record as many victories. Since 1887 the Pirates have had five ballparks throughout the Pittsburgh area and have called the beautiful PNC Park home since 2001. The organization has led countless community endeavors since its inception and since 2006 the team’s non-profit Pirates Charities has worked to give back in many areas including supporting local youth programs, military organizations and all of those affected by cancer.