SEBRING — AdventHealth teamed up with the 67th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring to provide fast care for the drivers of fast cars.
“Our teams will be providing the best care possible to drivers and fans during what is expected to be a record-breaking weekend for attendance,” said Randy Surber, president and CEO of AdventHealth Sebring. “Our top priority is making sure everyone stays safe and healthy while enjoying SuperSebring events.”
Crashes at high impact can cause concussions and other serious medical emergencies, so AdventHealth is providing a team of emergency room doctors and nurses to provide trauma care at the races.
When AdventHealth signed on as the official partner, raceway officials asked them to step up and use only emergency room physicians at the track, said Dr. Cary Pigman, medical director of the AdventHealth Care Center at Sebring International Raceway.
The Infield Care Center, which is designed for drivers and their crew, will have emergency equipment including resuscitation equipment and supplies to manage a major trauma. However, patients requiring X-rays and lab tests will be transported to a medical facility.
“Modern racing cars are equipped with accelerometers to measure the impact of crashes,” Pigman said. When an accelerometer measures a serious impact, then the driver must be examined before being admitted back on the track, he explained.
“A lot of what we do is clearing medical exams, making sure drivers are safe to return to the tracks,” Pigman said.
Burns from hot brake motors or exhaust manifolds are common injury for crew members.
Surber relayed the story of how AdventHealth handled one injury at the races. A weight fell on a crew member’s hand, and the member was admitted, treated and released from AdventHealth Lake Placid in less than 30 minutes. “It’s fast care for fast cars,” Surber said
Services at the Infield Care Center will be provided through Saturday of the main race event from 7 a.m. until the track is “cold,” which varies from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly.
In addition to caring for drivers, AdventHealth care teams will also provide comprehensive, on-site services for fans at the exclusive Midway Medical Center. Family doctors will man this station since most of the cases will involve dehydration, colds and other illness generally treated by a primary care physician, Pigman said.
Midway First Aid Center will be open daily Wednesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. It will be located at the first turn on the track and will primarily serve fans who have minor illnesses or injuries.
“The track is celebrating 67 years and we’ve been here 71 years,” Surber said. “This is the perfect match of two legacy community organizations coming together to provide exceptional whole-person care to fans visiting from around the world.”
As part of the SuperSebring weekend, AdventHealth will also be part of the Fan Zone with family-friendly games like “Operation,” an interactive photo booth, and giveaways. Game winners can take home an extra prize and one lucky fan will win a 50th anniversary poster autographed by some of racing’s top drivers.
Fans also have a chance to win cash prizes sponsored by Southern M Printing Events, who will donate $5,000 – up to $15,000 – to be split evenly among the AdventHealth Lake Placid, Sebring and Wauchula Foundations, which help provide lifesaving equipment to our hospitals.
In the past, the community doctors and nurses volunteered at the races, according to Kelly Ashworth, Raceway Nursing Director. “Dr. Donald Geldart and Mark Sager headed it up in the past, but this is the first year the races have had a formal relationship with AdventHealth,” Ashworth said.
“This is an exciting time as we expand how we provide care to the hundreds of racers, fans and staff at Sebring International Raceway,” Pigman said.
“We’ve had a presence at the track for years but we are so excited to make the partnership official to provide our brand of inspired, compassionate, whole-person care to everyone who needs it,” Pigman said.
As the Official Health Care Partner of the raceway circuit and its events, AdventHealth will return to the track in November to provide care during the Michelin IMSA Encore races. AdventHealth will continue to serve as the official hospital year-round for drivers, fans and employees during track activities throughout the season.