CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and Carle Health are extending their long relationship five additional years through the 2026-27 academic year.

“At Illinois, we have been fortunate to partner with Carle Health, one of the Midwest’s leading health systems, for many years, and our student-athletes are the beneficiaries of their expertise, care, and concern,” said Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman. “Carle has remained proactive to stay at the forefront of sports medicine to meet the evolving needs of our student-athletes, including enhanced services in injury identification, prevention, and mental wellness. I am grateful for their creativity and flexibility, which was never more evident than during the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank Carle Health CEO Dr. Jim Leonard, Senior Vice President of Specialty and Ambulatory Care Caleb Miller, and the full team of Carle physicians and specialists who provide comprehensive, first-class care to our Fighting Illini student-athletes on a daily basis.”

Carle doctors provide medical care to all Fighting Illini student-athletes, with Robert Bane, MD, Jeremy Henrichs, MD, Jerrad Zimmerman, MD, Amy MacDougall, MD, Sara Dumich, MD, James Liu, MD, Adam Kahn, MD and Jon Aubry, MD, leading those efforts. Specialty services provided include cardiology, spine specialists, ear-nose-throat, neurology, and gastrointestinal, among others, allowing all Illinois student-athletes access to a wide array of experts to help support all the general health-related challenges Illini student-athletes need.

“We are thrilled to continue this partnership with Illinois to ensure the best possible care for student-athletes,” said James C. Leonard, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Carle Health. “As the Official Healthcare Provider for Fighting Illini Athletics, Carle has continued to expand support with Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, as well as diagnostics, specialty care and care for mental health and wellness. This approach is important to success on the field, in the classroom and for years to come.”

The Carle Orthopedics and Sport Medicine facility near campus makes it easy for student-athletes to receive fast and state-of-the-art attention as needed, and is a tremendous asset to DIA sports medicine coverage. The Carle medical staff collaborates closely with the DIA Sports Medicine personnel, including 21 UI licensed and certified athletics trainers in the day-to-day care of Illini student-athletes.

The recent additional support of mental health and wellness programming is another major area of emphasis by Carle. The health system provides three licensed clinical social workers and two psychiatrists who work either part time or full time with Illinois student-athletes.

Carle Health combines clinical care, health insurance, research and academics in a way that solves real-world problems today with an eye toward the future. Supported by a deep philanthropic spirit, we’re dedicated to doing what it takes to make life better for as many as possible. Our mission is to serve people through high-quality care, medical research and education. Based in Urbana, IL, the vertically integrated system includes more than 11,000 employees in its hospitals, multi-specialty physician groups, health plans and associated healthcare businesses including the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the world’s first engineering-based medical school. Named a Great Place to Work®, Carle Foundation Hospital also ranks as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals by Healthgrades®, and both Carle Foundation Hospital and Carle BroMenn Medical Center hold Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest honor for nursing care. The 453-bed Carle Foundation Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center, offers Level III perinatal services in Urbana; Carle BroMenn Medical Center with 200 beds in Bloomington-Normal and nearby 25-bed critical access Eureka Hospital; the 104-bed Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney; the 24-bed critical access Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center; and multi-specialty physician practices with more than 1,000 doctors and advanced providers.

The Carle extension was secured on behalf of the University by LEARFIELD’s Fighting Illini Sports Properties, Illinois Athletics’ multimedia rightsholder and local dedicated team. LEARFIELD is a media, data, and technology services leader in intercollegiate athletics. The company unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans through an omnichannel platform with innovative content and commerce solutions. LEARFIELD services include licensing and collegiate sports properties’ multimedia sponsorship management; publishing, audio, digital and social media; data analytics and insights; ticketing software; and ticket sales, premium seating, and fundraising services; branding; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue technology systems. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for NACDA’s acclaimed LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup, recognizing athletic departments across all divisions.