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International Football & Sports Medicine Conference in L.A. Ends as Major Success


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Wednesday, March 27, 2002) - The leaders from the world of soccer and medicine came together over the weekend at the first ever International Football and Sports Medicine Conference being staged at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., from March 22-24.

“This was a landmark event for Sports Medicine and soccer,” said U.S. President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia, who served as the event’s Honorary Chair alongside FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.  “I would like to thank FIFA and President Blatter for their support in making this event such a success. These types of educational forums are critical for the development of the sport and for providing better environments for our athletes to perform consistently at the highest levels.”

With the world’s foremost experts addressing long-term health and safety issues for athletes worldwide at every level of soccer competition, the conference was an unqualified success and educational experience for those in attendance.

With assistance from AOSSM president-elect Dr. William Garrett (the chairperson of U.S. Soccer’s Sports Medicine Committee), Dr. Bert Mandelbaum and Dr. Don Kirkendall, the symposium’s program committee developed a conference curriculum with a broad interest within the soccer community.  The entire program included both presentations and discussion that created dialogue among all the attendees. Also assisting the weekend’s events from U.S. Soccer were Dr. Douglas Brown (orthopedics), Dr. Sheldon Jordan (neurology), Dr. Gary Green (doping control) and Dr. William Queale (infectious diseases). From U.S. Soccer’s sports dentistry team, Dr. Emilio Canal and Dr. Ray Padilla were on hand to discuss the latest issues regarding preventative facial injuries.

To broaden the appeal of the meeting, the program went beyond strictly medical and surgical treatment issues to include other topics such as performance and prevention, as well as age and gender related issues. To that end, the conference brought together a broad spectrum of soccer health care professionals, including orthopedists, medical specialists, athletic trainers, physical therapists, nutritionists and chiropractors, in an environment designed to maximize information sharing.  In addition, non-medical participants in organized soccer, including coaches and administrators who may be involved with health care, also took part.

The event was organized by the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), in conjunction with U.S. Soccer and FIFA, and was open to practicing professionals in the field of Sports Medicine, as well as to coaches and players at every level of the sport of soccer.  Based in Rosemont, Ill., just outside Chicago, and headed by Executive Director Irvin E. Bomberger, the AOSSM has previously worked with the NBA, the NFL and the NHL on similar sports medicine conferences.  For more information on the AOSSM, call 847-292-4900 or visit their website at www.sportsmed.org/soccer.

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