Hospitalists Can Help Determine 2016 Olympic Venue

The Olympics' prestige always results in many people, and if Chicago got its wish, they would need more than 500,000 spectators requiring medical personnel.

With the 2008 Beijing Olympics having come to a close, Chicago has wasted no time in shifting focus to the 2016 games. With the opportunity to host, the city’s bid team is relying on the Chicago’s strengths, and medical care is certainly one of them. The Olympics’ international prestige always results in a massive amount of people, and if the Chicago bid team was to get its wish, they would need to be prepared to not only host the games, but be prepared for more than 500,000 spectators who would require a large medical personnel. Plus, in order to become the official medical-care provider for the Olympics, care must be provided “free and available via mobile vans or trailers for tourists and game attendees.” Such a daunting task required Intermountain, the official medical-care provider of the 2002 Winter Games, to offer the services of more than 1,100 doctors, nurses, and other medical volunteers, who treated more than 11,000 people with various ailments, all of which amounted to more than $8 million in medical care services and supplies. Considering the massive effort put forth by Intermountain to ensure that healthcare would be available, it’s even more staggering to think about how the Summer Games are “2 ½ to 3 times bigger than the Winter Olympics, requiring tens of millions of dollars in donated medical supplies, staff time and volunteers.”

Many Chicago hospitals will be placing a proposal to become the 2016 Olympic Games’ official medical-care provider; some include Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, and the University of Chicago Medical Center. Healthcare employees who become part of the team that is selected as the official medical-care provider can take pride in knowing that they helped bring their city the Olympic Games, and that they were able to help the thousands of people who needed aid during that time. In addition to making sure that all spectators and athletes are in good hands, the marketing potential for the hospitals involved is huge. The healthcare provider would then be able to use the sacred Olympic logo, and would forever be associated with maintaining a certain quality of care that was necessary for sports’ oldest and most prestigious competition.

Chicago’s bid team knows that they have a unique advantage, due to the city’s well-known reputation for some of the world’s largest drug, device, and hospitals suppliers. Not only that, but Chicago also has well-established sports medicine programs at many of its academic medical centers and doctor groups. Healthcare providers in the Chicago area, namely hospitalists, should take pride in knowing that their hard work will be atop the list of selling points that may bring the Olympics right to them.