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U.S. Olympic Committee Creates Infectious Disease Advisory Group

By United States Olympic Committee | March 04, 2016, 4:38 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the formation of an Infectious Disease Advisory Group to be chaired by Dr. Carrie L. Byington, MD, from the University of Utah Health Care. Dr. Byington will be joined on the advisory group by Dr. Randy Taplitz, MD, from the University of California, San Diego, and Capt. Martin S. Cetron, MD, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The group will assist the USOC in identifying and establishing best practices regarding the mitigation, assessment and management of infectious disease, paying particular attention to how issues may affect athletes and staff participating in the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“The health and safety of our athletes, and our entire delegation, is our top priority,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “I’m grateful to the diverse group of medical experts that have agreed to provide Team USA with the information and resources necessary to stay healthy and compete successfully.”

In addition to establishing best practices for Team USA, the advisory group will assist the USOC in developing educational material for athletes and staff, be available to answer individual questions from delegation members, monitor and share updated scientific literature on relevant issues, and provide insight to support athlete-centric care should an individual become ill.

“All three doctors are world-class physicians and experts in the field of infectious disease,” said USOC Managing Director of Sports Medicine Dr. Bill Moreau, DC, DACBSP. “Our in-house medical team are some of the best in the world at what they do, but having access to, and relying upon, the kind of outside expertise represented by this advisory group is just another way we can make sure our athletes and staff have what they need to be well and compete at a high level.”

Participants in the USOC’s Infectious Disease Advisory Group are all doctors of medicine, as well as Board Certified and/or Fellowship-trained in infectious disease. Additionally, each has experience with the management of infectious disease in patient populations that frequently travel internationally, and have the ability to leverage emerging knowledge to the benefit of USOC-designated patient populations. All are participating on a volunteer basis.

“It is a true honor to chair this advisory group with some of our nation’s most experienced infectious disease specialists,” said Dr. Byington. “Helping Team USA is an incredibly unique opportunity and I look forward to providing the entire delegation with the most up-to-date and fact-based information available.”