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Houston Methodist to open city’s first endurance athlete program Jan. 23

Houston, TX - 1/15/2014

Houston's endurance athletes soon will have access to a unique health care program designed to meet their specialized needs.

On Jan. 23, the Houston Methodist Endurance Medicine Program will open to provide injury prevention, evaluation and treatment specifically to runners, triathletes, cyclists, swimmers and other endurance athletes. The program will be held every Thursday afternoon and will rotate between Houston Methodist offices at the Texas Medical Center (6550 Fannin Street, Smith Tower, Suite 2600, Houston), Houston Sports Park (12131 Kirby, Suite 200, Houston), Baytown (4000 Garth Road, Suite 200, Baytown) and Willowbrook (13802 Centerfield Drive, Suite 300, Houston).

"There is a huge community of runners, triathletes and other endurance athletes in and around Houston, and we wanted to create a program focused on caring for their active lifestyles," said Dr. Joshua Harris, a Houston Methodist orthopedic surgeon and founder of the program. "From education and prevention to evaluation and treatment, this program is bringing together experts from several different fields to treat the whole endurance athlete."

Those experts include Dr. Vijay Jotwani and Dr. Scott Rand, Houston Methodist primary care sports medicine physicians; Mark Morrison, Houston Methodist exercise physiologist; Dr. Kevin Varner, Houston Methodist foot and ankle specialist and orthopedic surgeon; and Dr. Jason Karp, an exercise physiologist.

Karp, a nationally recognized running and fitness coach and author, said a multidisciplinary clinic focused on runners is long overdue.

"Injuries are so common, yet so unnecessary in runners," said Karp. "A program like this gives runners an opportunity to be educated by a number of professionals working together to address the multifaceted aspects of running injuries."

As the program grows, it will expand to include specialists in pediatric sports medicine, radiology, cardiology, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and nutrition. Through this program, endurance athletes can receive expert care for all of their specialized needs, including injury prevention and treatment, diet, performance and other medical conditions.

"Eventually, the program will build on our current research efforts in endurance medicine, and we plan to lead research efforts with other medical facilities in Houston, across the country and internationally," said Harris.

To make an appointment with the Houston Methodist Endurance Medicine Program, call 713-441-9000 and ask for an endurance medicine clinic appointment. Costs will be based on the patient's insurance.

Houston Methodist serves as the official health care provider for the Houston Texans, Houston Dynamo, Houston Astros and Rice University Athletics. For more information about Houston Methodist, visit www.houstonmethodist.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.