Major Health Care Wins With IMSA
Major health care is taking center stage in motorsport with national foundations focusing on IMSA and the opportunities the series and its teams provide as the 2019 race season kicks off with the 57th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Over the course of two weeks, five announcements have been made announcing health care partners in racing. Two announcements applauded partnerships made by IMSA and Sebring International Raceway while three were made in coordination with Performance Tech Motorsports and the No. 38 ORECA LMP2 entry. In Round One of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship the No. 38 will sport the logos of Centinel Spine, Be The Match and Orlando Health.
The partnership alignment comes behind the original sponsorship from the Masson Spine Institute. The institute belongs to the driver and world-class surgeon Dr. Robert Masson, of Windermere, who will make his debut in the twice-around-the-clock classic this Saturday, Jan. 26. Through his achievements both on and off the race track, Masson has obtained the attention of his peers and brought them a unique opportunity to educate the masses.
Centinel Spine, the largest privately-held spine company, focused on anterior column reconstruction, is continuing a 2018 partnership by becoming a title sponsor in 2019. They originally teamed up with Performance Tech to support the creation of a platform to educate the public on spinal disease and options that allow individuals to continue to function at a high level. This idea came in part from Masson who is a Centinel Spine Prodisc® C Total Disk Replacement patient and now is an athlete ambassador for Centinel Spine.
Be The Match, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding marrow transplant donors and matching them to blood cancer patients. It joins Performance Tech Motorsports for the first time this season to celebrate and support Masson. Last year the non-profit selected Masson as the doctor to re-invent the bone marrow biopsy, donation and transplant procedure, something that has not been rethought for over 20 years. Together Be The Match and Performance Tech plan to further education on donation and transplant in hopes of raising marrow donation.
Orlando Health joined in the opportunity to highlight the unusual accomplishment of one of their own. Masson serves as the medical director of the Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital Spine Center of Excellence. He is the first medical director in their organization to run the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Together they hope to increase awareness of the importance of spinal health though racing. Orlando Health has ties to the Daytona International Speedway as well; it is the areas only Level One trauma and burn center.
The organizations above join a host of others who have long been involved in IMSA including Camp Boggy Creek, the Austin Hatcher Foundation, Racing to End Alzheimer’s and The Children’s Miracle Network. Performance Tech and IMSA began supporting The Children’s Miracle Network through, Kyle Masson, Dr. Robert Masson’s son. Kyle Masson is the youngest sitting Board Member of Children’s Miracle Network and Arnold Palmer Hospital Foundation.
“I’m proud that we’re a leader in this push of health care sponsorships,” O’Neill said. “Racing is a very physical sport for everyone involved, crew and driver. I believe these companies and partnerships offer the racing community a chance to be better educated on the options out there so we can continue doing what we love for longer. I think in return the racing community offers a chance to get personal with potential clients and others in the medical field. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
IMSA is ripe for entertaining and educating the masses as major health care has discovered. The Rolex 24 At Daytona is set to air in more than 200 countries across the globe offering up new households to peak interest. As IMSA celebrates its 50th anniversary and continues to grow more health organization are sure to use its platform as a vessel for both name and messaging. It seems sure to be a golden anniversary for IMSA and its many series.
The father-son duo will be joined by IMSA Prototype Challenge Champions Cameron Cassels and Kris Wright in the No. 38 Centinel Spine LMP2. Their work begins Thursday, Jan. 24 with a day of practice and qualifying. Friday, Jan. 25 is an abbreviated day as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship turn the track over to the Michelin Pilot Challenge for a four-hour endurance race. Then, Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2:35 p.m. ET the green flag will fly for the 57th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Fans can tune in with NBCSN, NBC Sports and IMSA.tv.