Washburn Athletics partners with Stormont-Vail

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Washburn Athletics Department announced a partnership with Stormont-Vail Tuesday afternoon.

The partnership, which provides Washburn with full-time athletic training services, relationships with surgeons and physicians, and timely access is for five years, with options for extension.

"We want to make certain that our students have the best opportunity, that is possible, for them to succeed," Washburn President Dr. Jerry Farley said. "Unfortunately, sometimes, that means that they need some help with that."

Washburn and Stormont-Vail will work together to provide resources to students when dealing with injury.

Cotton O'Neil Orthopedics & Sports Medicine will be the exclusive team physicians. This will include Drs. Ryan Tomlins, Matt Bohm, Brian Wilson, Brad Poole and Peter Lepse.

"The biggest thing that this partnership does is it really creates a unified team and really improves the communication," Washburn athletic trainer John Burns said. "[It helps] the athletic training on the field aspects all the way through medical care, surgical care, return to play, all of those things."

"There's two things in this town that are really really good: that's education and health care," Stormont-Vail CEO Randy Peterson said. "I think it's just ironic today that those two pillars of this community are coming together in this kind of partnership. "

Another advantage, according to Burns, is the academic impact it could make.

"It allows our students the opportunity to go in and observe with physicians, to observe surgeries, and to learn in the classroom," Burns said.

"I really look forward to giving back more than just financially to an institution, helping other people reach their goals and dreams, whatever that may be," Tomlins, a former Washburn basketball player. said.