HISA, Sports Medicine Concepts Launch Comprehensive Emergency Preparedness Initiative

Sarah Andrew

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) has partnered with Sports Medicine Concepts, Inc. (SMC), a provider of sports emergency care training and emergency action planning services, to develop emergency action plans across Thoroughbred racetracks operating under HISA's rules.

The program is set to commence in the second quarter of 2024 and will continue with a series of strategic implementations throughout 2024 and 2025.

“Medical emergency preparedness planning has become essential to any sport,” said SMC CEO and Director of Operations Michael Cendoma. “An effective response plan reflects a multifaceted approach that combines training and education, technological innovation, science and evidence-based practices, and collaboration. We look forward to working alongside HISA and its racetracks across the U.S. to implement best practices that will ensure swift and effective responses to medical emergencies.”

Through the partnership with SMC, HISA will help improve each racetrack's emergency preparedness by supporting the development of an emergency action plan (EAP) template, identifying weaknesses in any existing EAPs and providing an opportunity for tracks and first responders to collaborate further on how to prepare and train for, and respond efficiently to, emergencies.

The partnership with SMC is the latest in a series of steps undertaken by HISA toward promoting health and safety initiatives in U.S. Thoroughbred racing. This initiative aims to bring all tracks up to a best-practice standard through structured policy implementation.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with SMC in what represents a significant step forward in our commitment to the wellbeing of all racing participants,” said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. “By adopting a holistic and elevated approach to emergency preparedness, we aim to ensure all stakeholders are equipped to handle emergencies with skill and coordination. Together, we are working towards a safer sport for everyone involved.”

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