INDIANAPOLIS – Butler University's highly respected athletic program has new team members to assist in providing student-athletes with comprehensive medical care. Franciscan Health and Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics (formerly Methodist Sports Medicine) – long recognized as national leaders in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine – are joining their expertise and award-winning care processes to provide care for Butler University's athletic program. 

Philip A. Blaney, MD, MBA, MS, medical director of Franciscan Physician Network Sports Medicine Specialists, has been appointed head team physician for Butler University. In that role, he will provide both primary care and sports medicine services to Butler's student-athletes. Dr. Blaney completed a sports medicine fellowship with Intermountain Healthcare-Utah Valley Orthopedic Center in Provo.  Dr. Blaney was a head team physician for various high school teams and has served as a team physician for Purdue University. Currently, Dr. Blaney is also the head team physician for the Indianapolis Indians, the AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Franciscan Health will also provide full-time athletic trainers to augment the current Butler staff, allowing for enhanced coverage of practices and events. 

"Butler University has a storied history in sports and continues to promote excellence both on the playing field and in academics," said James Callaghan, MD, president and CEO for Franciscan Health Central Indiana. "We're honored that Dr. Blaney will lead a team of clinicians who will provide stellar care to students." 

Dr. Blaney will be joined on the sidelines by orthopedic surgeon Michael Bender, MD, of Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. Dr. Bender is a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder and elbow disorders, with prior experience taking care of athletes as a team physician at Park Tudor and Indiana State University. Dr. Bender is a member of the prestigious American Shoulder & Elbow Surgeons (ASES) society. He performs all forms of minimally invasive and open shoulder and elbow procedures for patients of all ages.  

Drs. Blaney and Bender will be supported by over 25 orthopedic surgeons from Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics who have sub-specialty training in foot/ankle, knee, hip, spine, hand/wrist, elbow shoulder and sports medicine. Franciscan Physician Network specialists will also support the team as needed, including providing comprehensive concussion care. 

"With the addition of Franciscan Health and Forté's talented and dedicated physicians and staff, our student-athletes will receive high-level, comprehensive medical care," said Butler Vice President/Director of Athletics Barry Collier. "We are excited for this partnership that will add even more resources to Butler's sports medicine and sports performance staff under the direction of Ralph Reiff." 

Butler University athletes will also have access to the new Franciscan Orthopedic Center of Excellence, to be located at 106th and Illinois streets in Carmel. Franciscan Health and Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics are partners in this venture which is set to open in early 2022. This facility will offer Butler athletes and active adults across Indiana and beyond, access to a highly focused orthopedic center of excellence for inpatient and outpatient surgery, specialty rehabilitation services and more. 

CARMEL, Ind.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The physicians and team members of Methodist Sports Medicine announced today they have changed the name of the physician group to Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. The practice underwent a rebranding process to find a name that would highlight its brand promise and position the practice for future growth. Forté, which is a French and Italian word for strength, refers to a person’s strong suit or something that shows one’s special ability. The practice, which is trusted by top athletes and sports teams such as the Indianapolis Colts, is recognized as one of the region's most respected orthopedic groups. 

“This rebranding is about more than just a new logo or colors,” stated Dr. Mark Ritter, Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics president and a fellowship-trained orthopedic knee and shoulder surgeon. "The name Forté was chosen because it not only allows us to highlight our forté, which is providing great clinical outcomes and an elevated patient experience, but also allows us to highlight how we help our patients get back to what they do best and live their lives fully." 

Founded in 1983 as one of the country’s original sports medicine practices, Forté has grown to include 29 physicians and 237 team members who provide comprehensive, specialized sports medicine and orthopedic care to patients of all ages. The rebranding comes in advance of the opening of a new state-of-the-art orthopedic specialty hospital in March 2022. Located near 111th and US-31 in Carmel, the hospital is a result of a collaboration with Franciscan Health and greatly expands orthopedic services to patients throughout Indiana and much of the Midwest. 

"I’m very proud of the group of physicians and staff we’ve assembled who comprise one of the most skilled and integrated practice groups in the area,” said Dr. Ritter. “While our name is changing, our tradition of focusing on our patients does not. We will continue to strive each day to be the best place to give care and the best place to receive care.” 

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