JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) is collaborating with Jackson State University (JSU) to provide medical services to athletes.

They will routinely staff all home and away football games and all home women’s and men’s basketball games. Some other school sports are being staffed, and UMMC providers are available to all of JSU’s 450 athletes.

“We believe comprehensive care from UMMC is what the athletes require,” said Dr. Kellie Leitch, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation. “It’s a great new opportunity for the department, but these athletes also need access to cardiology, ophthalmology and all specialties. Being injured on the field is not just about a broken bone.”

The partnership evolved because JSU “was looking for a comprehensive care model for their athletes, and the university system was best suited to help them meet their needs,” said Dr. George Russell, chief executive officer of University Physicians, the Medical Center’s faculty physician practice plan. Russell formerly served as the longtime Orthopaedics chair.

“The care of our student-athletes is of the highest priority at Jackson State University,” said Ashley Robinson, vice president and director of athletics at JSU. “When a young man or woman comes to campus as a freshman, we are watching over someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister and friend. The care they receive is a part of the student-athlete experience, and I believe we work with the best medical professionals in the country.

UMMC specialist care will be available for JSU athletes year round, from the first day of practice in the summer to the last baseball game in the spring, according to Dr. Jim Hurt, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery.