After a 2-and-a-half-year renovation and expansion project completed this month, the Kaiser Permanente Sports Medicine facility at the Richmond Medical Center has transformed into a state-of-the-art space offering high-level integrated care.
“The greatest aspect of the renovation is that we can deliver multidisciplinary care at multiple levels,” said Joshua Hatch, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the Richmond Sports Medicine facility who specializes in sports-related injuries to the shoulder and knee. “We now have an integrated facility with orthopedic surgeons, primary care providers, and physical therapists under one roof.”
Although the square footage of the Sports Medicine facility didn’t change, the space underwent a significant transformation. The waiting room was reconfigured to expand the gym where physical therapists work with patients.
New equipment was brought in, and cork flooring was installed that provides cushion and traction for patients. An entirely new outdoor space with turf and netting was erected.
“Before, it was difficult to run, jump, or perform other activities with patients because we simply didn’t have the space,” Dr. Hatch said. “Now, we can be outside observing our patients in real-time; how they throw a ball or kick, and then work on improving and correcting their mechanics.”
“Sports are very important to the community of Richmond. It’s a healthy and great outlet for the youth of Richmond and it’s really great to open this new space to them.”
– Ryan Bennett
The space also includes 4 exam rooms, 2 offices, and a reception area. The new aesthetic gives an entirely different feel to the department.
“The revamp has really changed the patients’ perspective of what coming in for care means,” said Ryan Bennett, 1 of 2 physical therapists stationed at the Richmond Sports Medicine facility.
“They no longer feel like they are going to the hospital, but instead to a space that is exciting and feels like a gym, training room, and physical therapy center all in one.”
This is especially important, Bennett said, for the facility’s collegiate and high school level athletes who are used to training rooms and gyms.
A better care experience
The collaboration among the facility’s staff and physicians who service around 200 referrals a month has improved in the new space, due to its ability to accommodate more staff.
The department will be able to provide a higher level of care and increase the number of patients it sees, which includes active individuals and athletes of every level, from youth to professionals.
Services include comprehensive sports evaluations, treatment of acute and chronic athletic injuries, musculoskeletal ultrasound, sports-related concussion care, return-to-play rehabilitation, and management of acute and chronic sports injuries.
“If a patient hurts their knee and has a surgical issue, they can be seen by a surgeon, but they may also need physical therapy to prepare for surgery,” Dr. Hatch said. “We have a therapist on hand who can see that patient immediately and start care that day rather than them getting a referral and delaying care.”
Serving the underserved
The community of Richmond’s population is more than 60% minority and has historically been underserved in education, housing, and economic opportunity. More than 13% of the population live at or below the national poverty line.
The ability to provide higher level sports medicine care ensures that young people across the community have an equal opportunity to fulfill their athletic aspirations.
“Sports are very important to the community of Richmond,” said Bennett “It’s a healthy and great outlet for the youth of Richmond and it’s really great to open this new space to them.”
Visit East Bay Service Area’s Sports Medicine website for more information.
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