Campus Life

Sports medicine clinic to take Wellness Centre to next level

Construction is ongoing this summer on the creation of a news Sports Medicine Clinic

The University of Lethbridge is poised to become a hub for the delivery of orthopedic medicine and sports medicine to the southern Alberta area.

A lease agreement has been finalized that will bring Dr. Stephen Kwan and his group to campus to open a sports medicine clinic in fall 2012. It's a relationship that has been in the planning stages for years and has finally come together this spring.

"I've always wanted to do something in the way of a sports medicine clinic there," says Kwan, whose practice is currently located on Mayor Magrath Drive South. "We've talked about it for a long time and gone through a whole pile of iterations and models to try and make this work and finally came up with one that suits both our group and the University."

The clinic will be located in the PE100 space below the south end of the running track in the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness. Once complete, it will house up to four physicians and associated support staff. The space will feature physiotherapy and exam rooms, treatment areas and doctor's offices. Renovations of the area began in early May and are ongoing.

"When the building was built, this space had always been set aside for a sports medicine clinic because we felt that was a component that fit very well with our vision for the 1st Choice Savings Centre and could support everything from Horns athletics to our community membership to our staff and faculty," says Sandy Slavin, executive director of Sport and Recreation Services.

Kwan says the clinic will be similar to like models established at universities throughout the country.

"We're not reinventing the wheel. The models for this have been out in a variety of universities and we're just doing the same sort of thing here," he says.

"My orthopedic practice will now operate out of the centre. We've got two sports medicine people who will be working part-time out of the clinic, and we'll also have a full-time athletic therapy and physiotherapy clinic there. We're basically just centralizing the delivery of sports medicine to the community as well as to the University."

Nancy Walker, the University's vice-president (Finance and Administration), says the University wanted to ensure they found the right group to partner with for this venture.

"For us, Dr. Kwan is a longtime Lethbridge resident, he plans to continue here and we plan to have a long-term relationship with him and his group," says Walker. "We like this fit because they have a good vision for the future that matches our goals with the 1st Choice Savings Centre. Not only will we be able to provide support for the high performance athletes who train here, but we're able to lead the way in promoting a healthy lifestyle for our students, staff and faculty and the community at large."

Kwan is also interested in the possibility of establishing a joint intake clinic, a pharmacy and to support research opportunities with University departments in kinesiology and neuroscience.

"I'm very excited," he says. "I've been in Lethbridge 18 years and it's been a vision or a dream of mine since the very beginning."

This story first appeared in the May issue of the Legend. For a look at the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.