Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam donate $20 million to establish University Hospitals Haslam Sports Innovation Center

Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam donate $20 million to establish University Hospitals Haslam Sports Innovation Center

The center will be led by Dr. James Voos, president-elect of the NFL Physicians Society and head team physician for the Browns.

CLEVELAND — Jimmy and Dee Haslam know a thing or two about investing, and considering they run three sports teams — the Browns, the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and MLS’ Columbus Crew — keeping athletes in the game is just good business and common sense.

Now, the couple is donating a $20 million gift to create the University Hospitals Haslam Sports Innovation Center. The facility will be led by Dr. James E. Voos, chair of UH’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery, president-elect of the NFL Physicians Society, and head team physician for the Browns.

The new center will identify, support and invest in the world’s best innovations in sports medicine. It will be able to identify ideas that may have been passed over, and there’s a potential for spin-off companies coming out of the research.

The ultimate goal is to improve performance, reduce injury risk and promote healing for stronger, healthier professional and recreational athletes.

“Ultimately, we want these innovations to be utilized on any active person and even people who may be recovering from another type of surgery, who may have had a joint replacement or a spine surgery,” Voos explained. “[The question will be] can we use those same technological advancements or wearable technology to help you recover?”

The UH Haslam Center’s collaborative approach, along with the Haslams’ deep industry relationships and experience as investors, will accelerate progress and bring exposure to new technologies and research that will lead to success in sports across the country.

Voos’ innovative research includes creating a return-to-play assessment after ACL reconstruction using wearable technology. He has led the way in regenerative medicine, as University Hospitals’ Drusinsky Sports Medicine Institute at Ahuja Medical Center is one of the few U.S. institutions to obtain FDA approval to multiply and grow stem cells for arthritis treatment.

Currently, there are 16 patients in the phase one safety trial, and Voos says all are showing improvement. Results should be published in about six months, and then the trial will open to other individuals dealing with arthritis who may benefit from this research.

Voos and strategic partners have participated in research and developed innovations, including Collamedix, which is focused on the development of collagen scaffolds to improve orthopedic procedures such as rotator cuff repair, ACL reconstruction and Tommy John elbow surgery. Another company is Lazurite, which designs medtech devices, and its “ArthroFree” system is the first wireless surgical camera with FDA clearance for use in broad endoscopic applications including arthroscopy.

“We’re launching the innovation center because we really care about the health and safety of the professional athlete and the recreational athlete,” Dee Haslam said.

As president-elect of the NFL Physicians Society, Voos says his position will also give him access to ideas.

“We’re in a really unique position of leadership role with the NFL Physician Society, having a great group of academic doctors across the country of which we can all share ideas and and bring those thoughts and new technologies to the forefront,” he stated.

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