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AHN Named Official Medical Network Partner of USA Rugby National Teams

Friday, July 13, 2018

AHN Sports Medicine Professionals Join Team at First U.S. Hosted World Cup This Month

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Allegheny Health Network (AHN) has been selected by USA Rugby to serve as its official medical network partner with senior national teams.  AHN’s sports medicine program has provided comprehensive sports medicine and general health services to teams since 2012.

Sam Akhavan, MD, an AHN sports medicine physician who specializes in the treatment of knee and shoulder injuries, as well as injury prevention and concussion management, accompanied the USA Rugby Men’s Eagles to the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2015, and has served as a head match physician of the USA Rugby Sevens tournament for the last several years.

The Rugby World Cup Sevens will be held in the United States for the first time on July 20-22 in San Francisco. Dr. Akhavan will serve as the match physician and provide care for all competing teams.

In addition to traveling with USA Rugby throughout the season, Dr. Akhavan will also provide consultation and interventional treatment for senior national teams.

“I can think of no one better to provide care to our teams,” said Michael Keating, director, USA Rugby Medical Services. ”Dr. Akhavan is not only an exceptionally talented sports medicine specialist, he is a true rugby fan with a deep understanding of our sport and the health needs of our athletes.”

As team physician, Dr. Akhavan will provide immediate medical care for traumatic injuries commonly sustained during collisions, such as fractured bones, dislocations, sprained ligaments, or more serious injuries of the knee and shoulder joints. Because players do not wear any type of protective body pads or masks, cuts on the face and concussions are also common among rugby players.

“The most important role I play as a team physician is providing sideline emergency care at matches. Rugby is an extremely physical sport, especially at the higher levels,” said Dr. Akhavan. “Because the risk of injury is high, the quality of care provided on the sidelines needs to be leading-edge. At AHN, our experience and expertise in sports medicine and intimate knowledge of the game allow us to provide the best individualized care possible for these elite athletes.”

Dr. Akhavan also directs the orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship and orthopaedic research program at Allegheny General Hospital and is the medical director for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds soccer training academy.

Patrick J. DeMeo, MD, chair, AHN Orthopaedic Institute, said the relationship between AHN and USA Rugby is one that has continued to grow over the years due to the shared commitment of both organizations to prioritizing the health and well-being of athletes above all else.  

“Rugby is a uniquely intense sport which requires an intimate level of understanding and expertise in athletic orthopaedic care. Our goal as official medical network partner, is to ensure that players are getting the right care at the right time, so that they can return to play as quickly and safely as possible following an on-field injury. We look forward to continuing to build upon our partnership with USA Rugby and are honored to work with an organization that represents our country so well in the world’s second most popular sport,” said Dr. DeMeo.

Headquartered in Lafayette, Colorado, USA Rugby is charged with developing the game of rugby on all levels and has over 120,000 active members. USA Rugby oversees four national teams, multiple collegiate and high school All-American athletes, and an emerging Olympic development pathway for elite athletes.

In addition to USA Rugby, AHN is the official medical provider of the Pittsburgh Pirates, 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.


About USA Rugby

Established in 1975, USA Rugby is the governing body for the sport of rugby in America and a Full Sport Member of the United States Olympic Committee. Currently headquartered in Lafayette, Colorado, USA Rugby is charged with developing the game on all levels and has more than 120,000 active members, with more than 40,000 playing collegiate rugby and 35,000 playing senior club rugby. USA Rugby oversees four national teams, multiple collegiate and high school All-American sides, and an emerging Olympic development pathway for elite athletes. It also hosts more than 30 national playoff and championship events each year as a service to its members. In October 2009, the International Olympic Committee announced Rugby Sevens (the seven-a-side version of the game) would appear in the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, in which both the men and women qualified. Visit for more information.