September 3, 2020 — COVID-19 has caused the delay and cancellation of many professional sports and their seasons this year. Fortunately, the 2020 US Open Tennis Championships has pressed forward thanks to prevention strategies to decrease the risk for transmission of COVID-19 from a team of infectious disease experts, orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physicians and musculosketal radiologists at Mount Sinai Health System who have collectively helped create a comprehensive health plan to guide athletes in safely playing at this year’s tournament. Mount Sinai will serve as the official medical services provider for the eighth consecutive year at the tournament, which begins on Monday, August 31, and run through Sunday, September 13. The Mount Sinai team is providing around the clock care for athletes onsite at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Grounds in Flushing, New York. Through the relationship with the United States Tennis Association (USTA), Mount Sinai also treated athletes during the 2020 Western & Southern Open, a tournament usually held in Cincinnati that was relocated this year to New York in order to limit player travel and minimize risk of infection.
As Chief Medical Officer of the US Open Alexis Chiang Colvin, M.D., Professor in the Leni and Peter W. May Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and team physician for the U.S. Fed Cup Team, will lead care for the athletes during the US Open.. Due to unprecedented times during the COVID-19 pandemic, the championship games are moving forward without on-site spectators for the first time ever.
“I’m proud to lead a team of Mount Sinai physicians who are not only sports medicine specialists, but many of whom also served on the frontlines of the pandemic,” said Colvin. “Mount Sinai’s team of multidisciplinary sports medicine experts look forward to continuing the tradition of providing exceptional care for professional athletes during the tournament.”
In addition to orthopedic, radiology, dermatology, acupuncture and sports medicine services, Mount Sinai physicians are providing guidance to the USTA on infection control in efforts to create a safe and physically-distant environment for players and staff. Mount Sinai is providing COVID-19 testing for USTA employees traveling from out of state.
“A herculean effort has been put in by everyone involved to create the controlled environment for all the athletes and their support teams. The first requirement was for the New York Region to be in phase 4 of reopening and so the residents of New York helped in making this possible. We also are grateful to all the public health officials who have assisted and advised us on our protocols,” said Bernard Camins, M.D., Medical Director of Infection Prevention, Mount Sinai Health System; and Professor of Medicine (Infectious Disease), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The USTA staff has accomplished an incredible feat in just a few months. Being an avid tennis fan, I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with such an outstanding organization.”
New this year, Ralph Lauren, the Official Outfitter of the US Open, will honor 150 frontline workers from the Mount Sinai Health System by featuring their names on the backs of each ballperson’s uniform during match play. Profiles and stories of Mount Sinai health care workers will be spotlighted on Ralph Lauren’s website and social media channels. Each Mount Sinai hero who is represented on a uniform throughout the tournament will receive a uniform polo shirt of their own.
The USTA will also recognize frontline workers from across the world as “Healthcare Champions,” including heroes from Mount Sinai. These frontline workers will be featured during the Virtual Coin Toss before the start of the first match of each evening session, which will air on ESPN to 200 countries around the world.
This is the sixth consecutive year the Department of Radiology at Mount Sinai is offering diagnostic ultrasound examinations to players to evaluate musculoskeletal injuries, expanding the service to two remote units at the US Open to accommodate growing requests from athletes. Mount Sinai radiologists use the latest in technology during imaging consultations including the GE LOGIQ e ultrasound device to diagnose injuries, and the Carestream DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray System, a portable machine that obtains X-rays of the chest, pelvis, spine and extremities. If MRIs are needed, the players will be sent to The Mount Sinai Hospital and images will be directly reviewed at the US Open with a remote radiology workstation.
Mount Sinai goes beyond providing onsite medical care at the US Open. Physicians have worked with the USTA since 2013 to develop programs in injury prevention, community tennis, and diversity, and to conduct educational outreach on tennis and health.
For more information: www.carestream.com