Baptist Health Sports Medicine to partner with Spalding University

September 14, 2022

Baptist Health Sports Medicine has been named the official sports medicine provider.

LOUISVILLE, KY. (Sept. 14, 2022): When Spalding University Athletics kicked off its 2022-23 season earlier this month, it did so with the support of Kentucky’s largest healthcare system.

Baptist Health has now become the official sports medicine provider for Spalding University. Baptist Health Sports Medicine will provide Spalding University Athletics with a dedicated team physician, athletic training, and access to comprehensive, multidisciplinary services to prevent and treat injuries.

“The health and well-being of our student-athletes always comes first, and our partnership with Baptist Health allows us to better serve their needs,” said Spalding University President Tori Murden McClure. “Our student-athletes are going to be receiving the best sports medicine support in the region from an excellent local partner. This partnership not only elevates our department, but more importantly, adds to the student-athlete experience.”

Isaac J. Myers II, MD, chief health integration officer for Baptist Health and president of Baptist Health Medical Group, and a Spalding University board member, said he is pleased about the partnership and values the opportunity to work with the university’s high-quality athletic programs.

“It is a privilege for Baptist Health to care for Spalding’s student-athletes. By helping them stay strong and healthy, we can help them put their best foot forward on and off the field and court,” Dr. Myers said. “When long-standing, vital organizations such as Baptist Health and Spalding work together, it benefits the entire Louisville community.”

Spalding University, an NCAA Division III school, is home to more than 1,500 students and more than 260 student athletes who compete across 18 men’s and women’s varsity sports. As the student-athletes took the court and field for the first time this year, they did so with the added support of a Baptist Health athletic trainer who can evaluate athletes’ conditions, provide treatment, and make recommendations for further diagnosis and treatment.

Kathleen Naylor, MD, serves as the primary team physician, and Mark Puckett, MD, serves as medical director of Baptist Health Sports Medicine. Dr. Naylor will see players off and on the court and field. Student athletes will also have easy access to appointments with Baptist Health Medical Group physicians when conditions require further in-depth examination and treatment.

“The Baptist Health Sports Medicine team has always been dedicated to helping athletes of all ages overcome injuries while giving them support to perform their best and prevent future injury,” said Dr. Naylor. “Through this partnership, we will have the opportunity to provide comprehensive medical care for the student athletes at Spalding University and hopefully play a small role in helping them have successful seasons. I feel honored to be a part of the Golden Eagle team.” 

Baptist Health Sports Medicine had been looking to expand its services just as Brian Clinard was taking the helm as Spalding’s new director of athletics. Clinard said the objectives and paths of both organizations are well-aligned, making the partnership feel like the perfect fit at the right time.

“I am excited about this partnership with Baptist Health,” Clinard said. “This agreement allows us to serve our student-athletes with a higher standard of care. Over the past decade, Spalding Athletics has been in a growth period, and with that growth comes new challenges to rise to. We believe this partnership will allow us to provide top-notch sports medicine coverage to our student-athletes.”

According to Clinard, partnering with Baptist Health will not only help maintain and promote good health for student-athletes, but also contribute to monitoring and pacing athletes who might otherwise push themselves too hard or too fast.

"This partnership with Baptist Health is a huge asset to our student-athletes and our athletic training staff,” said Kaitlin Niemiec, Spalding University’s head athletic trainer. “Baptist Health provides excellent care to our community, and this will aid in the standard of care for our student athletes. With this partnership, the athletic training department can continue to give top-notch care even as the athletics department grows.

Spalding’s athletic schedule can be found at