New Sports Performance Center: Helping Clients Achieve Their Personal Best Following Injury

NEW YORK CITY—April 25, 2008 

How are the weekend warrior, early morning runner, health club enthusiast and professional athlete going to return to their routine without risking injury again? This is the No. 1 question most people ask after a sports-related injury.

“We support the idea of getting back on your bicycle or skis, slamming a tennis racket, swinging a golf club, running a marathon or swinging a bat,” said Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Barry Heyden of Hospital for Special Surgery's Sports Performance Center. “A personal training program based on a comprehensive evaluation allows clients to go on safely for their personal gold--their ultimate level of mobility.”

While the goal of sports rehabilitation is to restore function and mobility, relieve pain and prevent or limit physical disabilities, the goal of sports performance is to help clients reach ultimate performance levels while reducing the risk of sport-related injury.


Barry Heyden (kneeling) and Polly de Mille demonstrate the Power Plate with the assistance of Anthony Harrelson in the new Sports Performance Center.

“For athletes at any level, the HSS Sports Performance Center goes even further,” said Exercise Physiologist Polly de Mille, who also staffs the HSS Sports Performance Center. “It takes into account both the importance of physical recovery and the client’s psychological need to get back to—and even exceed—pre-injury levels of sports performance to feel fully recovered.”

From adolescents to adults, clients of the Sports Performance Center receive care that calls upon the skills of an exceptional team of seasoned professionals: physical therapists, exercise physiologists, strength and conditioning specialists, athletic trainers, massage therapists, nutritionists and sport psychologists. Prior to training, a comprehensive fitness assessment is performed by the exercise specialist.

The Sports Performance Center’s program is composed of three related services focused on enhancing sports performance and minimizing the risk of injury:

  • Personal Fitness Profile and Performance Plan (2 one hour-long sessions): Clients receive a thorough assessment of overall fitness, including aerobic capacity, body composition (percent body fat), strength and flexibility. Based on the comprehensive evaluation, a personalized blueprint is designed.
  • Testing of Individual Fitness Parameters (15 minute increments):  Clients can also be tested on a number of individual fitness parameters, including body composition, aerobic capacity, lactate threshold, flexibility, muscular strength, strength and agility, and resting metabolic rate.
  • Individualized Training Session or Small Group Sessions (on-going): Training sessions with an HSS exercise specialist educate clients to help them reach their goals and desired outcomes.

Complementing the Sports Performance Center’s services is Dartfish analysis. This state-of-the-art computerized video analysis system can be incorporated to further enhance the assessment of a client’s personal fitness profile.

A world leader in the field of orthopedics and rehabilitation, HSS has served professional sports teams for many years. “As we have evolved to provide the broadest continuum of care, the Sports Performance Center was created to meet the needs of the growing numbers of seriously committed nonprofessional athletes and fitness enthusiasts who are taking on greater physical challenges. After our staff assists recovery to pre-injury levels, clients need to learn how to lower their risk for hurting themselves again,” said JeMe Cioppa-Mosca, PT, MBA, assistant vice president, Department of Rehabilitation.

Mr. Heyden and Ms. de Mille have complementary interests and skills.

Ms. de Mille holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and is also a registered nurse. She is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a registered clinical exercise physiologist, exercise specialist, and exercise test technologist. Additionally, she is a certified USAT level 1 triathlon coach, as well as a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Her experience includes years of critical care nursing, as well as more than 15 years managing a corporate fitness program. Ms. de Mille has participated in numerous running events, adventure races, triathlons and open water competitions.

A certified strength and conditioning specialist, Mr. Heyden has spent the past 10 years focused on developing training regimens to realize the predetermined objectives of both the athlete and fitness enthusiasts.

Beginning his career in progression training methodology for major league baseball, Mr. Heyden worked for three years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Texas Rangers before serving as director of strength and fitness conditioning for the New York Mets from 1997-2001. He has also been a consultant with both the men’s ATP and women’s WTA Professional Tennis Associations in recent years, and between 2001-2006 was owner/founder of Athlete International in Greenwich, Conn. and Westchester.

Mr. Heyden was a key participant in developing sports specific and functional training regimens that are widely considered a standard for training programs. He is a popular international speaker and author of Conditioning for Baseball Done Right, an industry standard in Japan for training baseball players. Mr. Heyden has also served as a consultant for Bobby Valentine in developing the conditioning program for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan.

The Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center is located in the Belaire Building, Ground Floor, 525 East 71st Street (between York Ave. and the East River), New York.

For more information about the HSS Sports Performance Center, or to schedule an appointment, please call 646.797.8005 or write to SportsPerformance@hss.edu.

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics, No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2007), and has received Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In the 2006 edition of HealthGrades' Hospital Quality in America Study, HSS received five-star ratings for clinical excellence in its specialties. A member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, HSS provides orthopedic and rheumatologic patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center. All Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are on the faculty of Weill Medical College of Cornell University. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at www.hss.edu.

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