A-Rod puts spotlight on Vail | VailDaily.com

A-Rod puts spotlight on Vail

Chris Outcalt
** FILE ** This is a 2008 file photo of Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees baseball team. Rodriguez has undergone arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip, and his projected timetable for recovery remains six-to-nine weeks. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

VAIL, Colorado ” The phones at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic ring a little more often when someone like New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez checks in.

The attention is great, said clinic CEO Lyon Steadman. But it’s also a bit of a balancing act, he said.

“It’s a fine line to walk,” Steadman said. “We have to be careful to make sure that we handle the confidentiality, security and safety correctly ” No. 1 is to make sure the patients’ treatment and care is the best.”

Rodriguez arrived in the Vail Valley last week to have his right hip checked by Dr. Marc Philippon of the Steadman Hawkins Clinic. Over the weekend, Rodriguez decided to have surgery to repair torn cartilage in his hip. The procedure, done Monday morning, went smoothly and Rodriguez was expected to be released from Vail Valley Medical Center Monday afternoon, officials said.

“The surgery went exactly as we planned,” Philippon said. “No surprises.”

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There’s been all kinds of people interested in Rodriguez’s visit, Steadman said.

“Obviously, the more well known the athlete, the more people are interested,” he said. “It’s always going to benefit us. It creates more awareness in the public and lets them know who we are and what we do.”

The clinic specializes in sports medicine and orthopedic surgery.

Some residents have suggested making Vail more of a medical destination by holding clinics and other educational programs that would attract doctors and nurses to the valley year-round. The national attention Rodriguez brings to the medical community in Vail can’t hurt that, Steadman said.

“I think certainly any time you get public relations of this kind, it can lead to all kinds of things ” it creates a lot of awareness out there in the medical community.” he said. “With respect to ourselves, we like to focus on what we do best. We feel very fortunate and blessed to have these surgeons that we have working with us.”

Vail Mayor Dick Cleveland isn’t sure having Rodriguez in town necessarily has any direct benefits, but there are plenty indirect ones, he said.

“Anything that mentions Vail and has a positive spin to it is good,” Cleveland said. “The fact that we get mentioned when a high-profile athlete comes here to get treated is good for us.”

And if anyone Rodriguez knows has an orthopedic injury, maybe they’ll come to Vail, too, Cleveland said.

“When they come here, they stay in hotels and eat in restaurants, and that’s good for the community,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or coutcalt@vaildaily.com.

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