WILLIAMSPORT – A new player wellness center will serve as a medical center next month when hundreds of players from around the world arrive in Williamsport for the Little League Baseball World Series.
Little League International and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) North Central PA held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday afternoon inside the Dr. Creighton J. Hale International Grove on the Little League International Complex. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s World Series.
“No one saw COVID coming. As disappointing as it was last year to have to cancel the Little League World Series and all of our top-tier tournaments, we said we would do everything we can in 2021 to bring the kids back. here and have a World Series, “said Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener.” One of the things we felt was important to do in the safest and most responsible way possible , we really needed independent outside expertise to guide us in our plan and the UPMC got involved.
The 16 teams arriving in less than a month will have “access to world-class care provided by UPMC,” Keener added.
The hub, which will serve all players, coaches and managers during their stay, was built in the summer of 2020 to replace the former Little League infirmary with a modern facility to accommodate the expansion of the World Series of 16 teams of 20 teams. , from 2022.
Designed as an on-site medical clinic, the new center is available 24/7 for players, coaches and managers during their time at Williamsport and includes a waiting room, two examination rooms, three rooms for patients and an additional fully equipped patient room with bathroom and overnight accommodation in the event of the need for medical isolation. The facility is also accessible by the ADA and provides easy access to emergency personnel in the event of an emergency transport situation.
The old facility was an old two-story house converted into a medical facility. The new facility is a permanent location with state-of-the-art equipment, about three times the size of the old location, Keener said.
Each summer, UPMC North Central PA provided support to the Little League and the World Series, including medical services for fans and visitors, exclusive medical care for World Series participants, as well as staff and services. to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants. The center will be staffed by UPMC medical staff.
“We are very proud to be a part of it,” said Steve Johnson, president of UPMC in north-central Pennsylvania. “For us, we see this relationship as an investment with a community partner, but also in the lives of young men and women who learn leadership, learn teamwork and learn to win and lose, in a way where children are still children and still show the respect and love for one another that the world needs most. “
Johnson said a facility like this to help in today’s environment as healthcare professionals continue to fight COVID “cannot be overstated in terms of value and importance.”
“This is a state-of-the-art facility capable of handling virtually any medical emergency that we may face,” Johnson said. “It’s like walking into your primary care doctor’s office. What you would expect to see in a primary care physician’s office, you will see it here. You will see examination rooms with typical equipment available to our doctors and medical assistants to help them in the care of anyone who might need this facility.
The Little League World Series begins August 19 and ends August 29.