St. Vincent Sports Unveils Research Effort

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Indianapolis-based St. Vincent Sports Performance is launching a research initiative. The program will involve studies on topics including concussion treatment, hydration and heat illness.

May 8, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- An Indianapolis-based destination for elite athlete performance is tackling its next challenge – the sporting community as a whole. Through a new research initiative, St. Vincent Sports Performance (SVSP) Science, SVSP will explore the latest techniques in performance improvement and examine the pressing issues in injury prevention and treatment.

This comprehensive program will support a variety of projects, including peer-reviewed research, retrospective studies and validation of cutting-edge technologies in SVSP's four key service areas: performance training, performance medicine, performance nutrition and performance psychology.

"Our programs and services have always been evidence-based, but now we're looking to expand on those and share best practices both within our industry and the active community overall," said Ralph Reiff, M.Ed., A.T.C., L.A.T., executive director of SVSP. "With so many touch points in the sporting world, we have a unique opportunity to really advance our scientific understanding of athlete performance."

Through direct clients and partnerships with schools, teams and national governing bodies, SVSP works with youth and professional athletes in a multitude of sports, including football, hockey, soccer, motorsports and running, just to name a few. In central Indiana alone, the organization serves around 36,000 youth athletes through its 33 partnerships with middle schools and high schools.

"Our program is different in that we're the ones doing the research and providing the services, so we can put what we learn into practice immediately, offering tangible, real-time benefits," Reiff said.

Initial areas of study include concussion diagnosis and treatment, hydration, sweat testing, foot strike patterns and runners knee, heat illness and prevention, and return to play from injury. The research team will also collaborate with its parent organization, St.Vincent, to expand the understanding of exercise among other populations, such as cancer patients and survivors.

"A lot of our research will, by nature, be technical and targeted to small, defined populations – like football players preparing for the NFL Draft, for example," said Vincent Nittoli, M.S., L.A.T, A.T.C., SVSP researcher. "But it also has broader applications. How do reaction times affect injuries? How does nutrition enhance activity? How can an average person prepare for a half marathon in a way that will prevent injury and reduce soreness and recovery time?"

Nittoli will manage the day-to-day operations of research projects and publications, relying on the expertise and guidance of the SVSP associates and partners who together form the SVSP Science team:

• Todd Arnold, M.D. – Sports medicine physician at SVSP, USA Track and Field

• Joel Kary, M.D. – Sports medicine physician at SVSP, Butler University

• Patrick Kersey, M.D. – Sports medicine physician at SVSP; Medical director of USA Football

• Aaron Feldman, C.S.C.S. – Strength and conditioning coach at SVSP

• Jamey Gordon, D.P.T., L.A.T., A.T.C., C.S.C.S. – Athletic trainer and physical therapist at SVSP

• Lindsay Langford, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D. – Sports dietitian at SVSP

• Chris Carr, Ph.D., H.S.P.P. – Sport and performance psychologist at SVSP

• Erin Snook, Ph.D. – Chief science officer at Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention

• Robert Chapman, Ph.D. – Assistant professor at Indiana University (IU) School of Public Health

• Tracy A. Dierks, Ph.D. – Associate professor at IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

• Michael D. Justiss, Ph.D., O.T.R. – Associate professor at IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

• Scott Lawrance, D.H.S., L.A.T., M.S.P.T., C.S.C.S. – Assistant professor at the University of Indianapolis College of Health Sciences

• Gary Wilkerson, Ed.D., A.T.C. – Professor at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga College of Health and Human Performance

Nittoli and SVSP Science members will present new research at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, later this month and at the National Athletic Trainers Association Clinical Symposia and Athletic Trainers Expo in Indianapolis in June.

Source: St. Vincent Sports Performance