SARASOTA, Fla. — Dr. Sara Simmons, a hand and wrist specialist with Coastal Orthopedic Sports Medicine & Pain Management, served as the head medical doctor for Suncoast Aquatic and Nature Center Associates, Inc.’s (SANCA) medical coverage during the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park.
During the weeklong event, which was held Sept. 24 through Oct. 1, Dr. Simmons acted as a liaison between SANCA and the doctors for the 69 different rowing teams participating in the competition.
As a former collegiate rower and U.S. National Team member, Dr. Simmons, who won a gold medal in the Lightweight Women’s Four at the 1995 World Rowing Championships in Finland, was able to bring insight as a medical professional and a former athlete.
“I think as a regular spectator, you don’t realize how many hours these athletes put into their sport,” Dr. Simmons said. “They spend their whole lives training, and in the end, it all comes down to one race. It makes me appreciate it more because I know this moment is really special for these athletes, so to be able to be a part of it is great.”
Dr. Simmons spent the majority of the time making sure the athletes remained hydrated and made it safely across the finish line while also coordinating any issues that arose between SANCA and the medical teams.
Dr. Simmons first got involved with SANCA 18 months ago after approaching the not-for-profit business, which was created to manage Nathan Benderson Park, a community asset and world-class, multi-use sports venue, about serving on Nathan Benderson Park’s sports medicine team.
Last year, Dr. Simmons served on SANCA’s World Rowing Championships task force team as the medical point person.
“I was so happy to be involved,” Dr. Simmons said. “It was a really fun opportunity, and rowing is such a great sport. Everyone involved in running the event from the trainers to the massage therapists were wonderful to work with. Rowing is one of those sports where people keep coming back to it.”
About Coastal Orthopedics Sports Medicine & Pain Management
Founded in 1973 and based in Bradenton, Fla., Coastal Orthopedics is home to 18 orthopedic surgeons and pain management physicians who maintain hospital affiliations with Blake Medical Center, Manatee Memorial Hospital and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. In addition to three offices and two ambulatory surgery centers each serving Florida’s West Coast, Coastal Orthopedics’ board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians and surgeons provide patients with the very latest in pain and orthopedic treatment technology. The company strives to repair and heal injuries relating to the entire musculoskeletal system. For more than 40 years, our highly skilled staff of physicians and surgeons has treated patients in specialty care including sports medicine, joint replacement, pain management and rehabilitation. Patients can experience restoration of function both surgically and non-surgically through the use of physician-guided strengthening, therapy, medications, injections and stretching. For more information, please visit CoastalOrthopedics.com or call 941-792-1404.