Atrium Health Provides Medical Screenings at MLB Combine

06.21.2022 Atrium Health News | Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute

Medical team administers essential screenings to athletes pursuing professional baseball careers   

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 21, 2022 – Sports cardiologists from Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute and medical staff from Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute provided pre-participation screenings for top prospective competitive athletes who are hoping to pursue a career in professional baseball. These medical screenings occurred during the 2022 MLB Draft Combine in San Diego, June 14 through June 20, giving potential professional athletes a chance to receive routine cardiovascular screenings, along with an opportunity to make a final impression prior to this year’s MLB Draft.   

Sports cardiologists from Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute provided several screenings, including an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), which is a test that looks at the electrical activity within the heart and an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound test that looks at the structure and function of the heart.  

“These tests are crucial in ensuring athletes are healthy to play their sport as they pursue a professional career,” said Dr. Dermot Phelan, director of the Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Sports Cardiology Center. “In the thousands of medical screenings we have provided through our sports cardiology center, we have been able to provide medical guidance and advice to athletes so they can perform at their best during training or competition.” 

The Draft Combine experience in San Diego allowed attendees to participate in a series of medical and performance assessments and educational programming designed to prepare them for a career as professional athletes. All players participated in a pro-style showcase workout, as well as strength and performance assessments. Additionally, high school players had the option to participate in games against other high school Combine attendees.  

“It’s like we are taking elements of our sports cardiology center on the road,” said Phelan. “This is a team effort, bringing together a variety of providers in a unique environment where we can make a difference in the lives of amateur players who are hoping to reach the next level and begin professional careers; it’s a win-win.”   

As director of Atrium Health’s Sports Cardiology Center, Phelan runs a busy clinic for the cardiovascular care of athletes in the Charlotte region. The Sports Cardiology Center is the first and only of its kind, bringing together experts from Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, and Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute for multidisciplinary care. It’s where patients can see providers who specialize in diagnosing and managing heart health in athletes, and where athletes can learn lifestyle and nutrition skills that can help them maintain optimal heart health needed to excel in their sports.  

Phelan is the team cardiologist for the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Football Club and serves as a cardiology consultant to the NFL, in addition to the MLB Draft Combines each year. He is a member of the Cardiac Screening Advisory Committee for both the NFL and the NBA.  

About Atrium Health  

Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education, and compassionate patient care. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Atrium Health is an integrated, nonprofit health system with more than 70,000 teammates serving patients at 40 hospitals and more than 1,400 care locations. It provides care under the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist name in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, region, as well as Atrium Health Navicent and Atrium Health Floyd in Georgia and Alabama. Atrium Health is renowned for its top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. A recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research, Wake Forest University School of Medicine is the academic core of the enterprise, including Wake Forest Innovations, which is advancing new medical technologies and biomedical discoveries. Atrium Health is also a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine, providing care close to home and in the home. Ranked nationally among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals in eight pediatric specialties and for rehabilitation, Atrium Health has also received the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize and its 2021 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award, as well as the 2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Equity Award for its efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all, providing more than $2 billion per year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.