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Via Christi releases statement on partnership between Freeman He - KOAM TV 7

Via Christi releases statement on partnership between Freeman Health System and Pittsburg State University

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Pittsburg State University and Freeman Health System recently announced the decision to team up when it comes to sports medicine, naming the Joplin based hospital as the university's official sports medicine provider. 

Randy Cason, Via Christi's senior administrator, sent a memo to hospital employees soon after Pittsburg State and Freeman announced their sports medicine partnership.

In part, the memo states, "Our state university's leadership decision to look outside of Pittsburg and the state of Kansas for sports medicine harms our community."

PSU defends their decision saying their loyalty lies with their long-time team physician, who has just recently become a Freeman employee.

"Dr. Zafuta has been our team physician for 14 years, so just like you with your personal doctor, when you have somebody that you know and trust, you want to follow that doctor," said Chris Kelly, associate vice president, university marketing.

The partnership not only named Freeman as the exclusive sports medicine provider, it also entailed branding rights for Freeman Health System, in exchange for Freeman's assistance in upgrading and purchasing equipment for new training areas.

Via Christi refused to comment on camera about the internal memo, but released a statement reiterating their disappointment with the university's decision.

The university says their first concern is for athletes.  

"It expands the opportunities and the areas that we have to help with our student athletes, and it really is a great move forward," Kelly said.

Freeman hospital was unable to accommodate our request for an interview about the memo created by Via Christi's administrator, but did send a statement saying it's important to remember athletes will still be cared for by the same doctor and in the same location as in the past.

To view a full copy of the letter sent to Via Christi staff, along with written statements from both Via Christi and Freeman Health System, visit http://tinyurl.com/net3nrn.
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