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On Wednesday, October 2nd, sports industry experts from Chicago and around the country will discuss topical issues in sports at the 4th annual Chicago Sports Summit, hosted by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, the team physicians for the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Fire, and Joffrey Ballet. In addition to providing a compelling program, the Summit raises funds for the Chicago Sports Summit Foundation, an organization supporting Chicago-area youth through partnerships with local organizations sharing the same vision. Chicago Run, Girls in the Game, and Big Green are all this year’s beneficiary organizations, and will receive a portion of all proceeds. We are excited to be participating and invite you to learn more and attend.

We connected with founder Dr. Brian Cole about the impetus behind launching the Foundation, and the future of sports medicine.

Dr. Brian Cole

Dr. Brian Cole

What sparked your career interest in orthopedics and sports medicine?

While I pretty much knew I wanted to be a doctor in eighth grade, I did not choose orthopedics and sports medicine as a specialty until my last year of medical school. Being committed to health and wellness myself for my entire life and my interest in the opportunity to help otherwise healthy people with specific musculoskeletal problems that keep them from being active without pain was especially appealing. Ultimately, it was the opportunity to become an expert in a field where research and technology tie directly into how we manage patients that peaked my interest in academic orthopedics and sports medicine.

What prompted you to launch the Chicago Sports Summit?

As sports medicine physicians at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush here in Chicago, we are fortunate to have great relationships with athletes of all levels (professional, college, high school and even elementary school), coaches, sports agents and other professionals involved in the care of some of the top athletes locally and from across the country. I’m also a Chicago resident and dad to three great kids. My wife and I have loved raising our kids in this city and thankfully have had the resources to provide them with activities and sports that have helped them develop and choose healthy behaviors. For years, I’ve wanted to create an opportunity where the people I practice with (my partners) and the wonderful people we know and treat in sports, business and healthcare work together to benefit our youth in Chicago who don’t have opportunities to learn and remain active in a safe environment. The first Chicago Sports Summit held four years ago was a raging success. With the help of some wonderful, high level participants like Joel Quenneville and Michael Reinsdorf, and generous sponsors like Athletico and Glanbia, we raised money for some incredible Chicago programs that support our youth, potentially reducing violence by keeping them involved in sports and activities. This year’s 4th Annual Summit is on target to more than triple the money raised at the first one and has expanded to benefit three Chicago youth after school programs. I’m very proud of what we are able to do with this event.

Each year at the Summit, panels of experts cover topical issues in sports. Which topic(s) are you most excited about discussing at this year's Summit?

I’m a big sports and sports business fan so I’m really excited about all four of our panel topics: Should college athletes be paid?, How top sports agents sign the big deals, The future of legalized sports betting in Illinois, and Latest techniques keeping pro and amateur athletes healthy. I’m moderating the ‘keeping athletes healthy’ panel and am very interested in hearing from my friend Dr. James Andrews from The Andrews Institute in Alabama, probably the most well-known physician in this area. I’m a perennial student in the area of sports medicine, so the science behind new nutritional supplements from Glanbia Nutrition and physical therapy break-throughs from Athletico fascinate me. I’m also very impressed with the line-up we have on the sports betting panel, including Darren Rovell, one of the most knowledgeable influencers on this topic, and Illinois Senator Napoleon Harris who was instrumental in legalizing sports betting in Illinois.

Why was it important to you to include a philanthropic component through the Chicago Sports Summit Foundation?

The impetus for the Summit was always to create a philanthropic platform for the kids in the city we love. Our main clinic location on the Rush University Medical Center campus is on the west side of Chicago and I feel that it is our responsibility as healthcare providers to take care of our neighbors.

How does Chicago Run's work align with the Foundation's mission?

We have been very impressed with Chicago Run and its mission to encourage and develop children and young adults through running. It’s exactly the type of organization our city’s youth so badly needs and we are thrilled to support it.

Outside of attending the Summit, what are other ways people can get involved?

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The Chicago Sports Summit is a benefit for the Chicago Sports Summit Foundation, a 501(c)3. We welcome donations at any time and they are much appreciated. Donations can be made at www.chicagosportsfoundation.org. We also completely staff the Summit with volunteers and welcome any new faces who want to help us out that day.

Learn more about the program and purchase tickets at www.chicagosportssummit.com.

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