A Journey into Advanced Healthcare

Just a few steps into the Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research facility at The Star in Frisco and you know this is where athletes are made, maybe even born, albeit at a nearby Baylor hospital. The impressive 300,000-square-foot facility has the latest and most sophisticated equipment and programs for anyone with a sports injury or looking to improve their game and overall performance. Even mere mortals can benefit from the many services available at the facility, from urgent medical care to imaging, physical therapy and, if need be, orthopedic surgery.

The lobby of the center is where the impressive journey starts. The nearly 60-foot-high ceilings let in an abundance of natural light and make an enormous space seem comfortable and even homey. Dangling from the tall giant ceilings and hovering over the marble floor are aluminum composite tiles that are painted white, blue and yellow to form a deconstructed Baylor Scott & White logo. This is undeniably a world-class facility, aimed at providing the very best medical and therapeutic care. Just being in the lobby, with views of Frisco and beyond, makes a person feel special.

The new Center is continuing to help put Frisco on the map and assisting Baylor Scott & White on their trajectory of healthcare innovation and leadership. The organization, more than 120 years old, has a long and solid history of using research to help propel the art of medicine. As early as 1905, Dr. Arthur C. Scott, Sr. and Dr. Raleigh R. White, two founders, applied for corporate charters “for the study, prevention, relief remedy and care of any and all human disorders and diseases.” For more than 15 years, Baylor University Medical Center was named one of America’s Best Hospitals. The hospital is recognized for its orthopedic care, being named one of the nation’s top 50 hospitals for orthopedic care by U.S. News & World Report.

The new facility in Frisco is essentially a one-stop shop for sports performance, enhancement and physical therapy. It even has a pharmacy conveniently located in the lobby. You can have your day surgery, imaging test or even urgent care visit and get your prescriptions filled on site. Experts say the future of healthcare is geared toward personalized medicine and collaboration among researchers and healthcare organizations. For many, the convenience factor is a huge draw. Why spend hours driving to different medical offices when you have everything located in one building?

Recently opened in May, the facility is one of the largest sports performance and multi-specialty medical complexes in the U.S. The unique project includes a collaboration among a healthcare system (Baylor Scott & White Health), an NFL team (the Dallas Cowboys) and a school district (the Frisco ISD). The sports performance center features an indoor and outdoor practice field, basketball court, performance diagnostic lab, open weight room, private and group training areas, a recovery zone and meeting space. The basketball court was thoughtfully dedicated to Bill Keaton and is called the Bill Keaton Memorial Basketball Court. The former CEO of Baylor Frisco, Mr. Keaton led the vision of the therapy and research center, but passed away last spring, before the center opened. 

But, there is more than just basketball. The ode to football is evident wherever you look. From the molds of famous players’ hands, like Troy Aikman, in the lobby to kid-sized NFL football chairs in the lounge, you cannot mistake you are in Cowboy country. There is even a massive Cowboy blue star in the waiting area of Blue Star Imaging. Bethany Sims, the director of marketing at Blue Star Imaging, says, “What makes us unique is that The Cowboys are all about family. Their family values translate into everything they do. I love how family-oriented we are. It is a true partnership between The Dallas Cowboys and Baylor Scott  White.”

Jared Gillespie, the center manager, says a facility like this with access to a court and field is unprecedented. “This type of collaborative approach is great,” he says. “We have access to a basketball court, indoor football field and state-of-the-art machines like our anti-gravity treadmill. We are able to help anyone who needs to get back to their life, whether it be sport, work or just day-to-day activities. We are using a variety of modalities, like manual therapy and blood flow restriction training.”

“For athletes, the Center, powered by the Fusionetics® Performance Health System, offers individuals and athletes of all ages and skill levels services and amenities to decrease risk of injury, enhance performance and optimize recovery. Performance and healthcare practitioners use Fusionetics and other evaluation and monitoring platforms for the biomechanical evaluation of movement, detecting problem areas and assessing mechanical inefficiencies,” says Julie Smith, the director of public relations for Baylor Scott & White Health. 

Fusionetics, based in Ga., is a collaborative web-based platform used by teams, colleges and healthcare facilities nationwide to improve and enhance player performance. The system tests and analyzes the performance of thousands of athletes and offers personalized programs designed for individual players. Noah McCant, 14, an FISD football player, did rehabilitation with Michael Oviedo, the Center’s director of performance health at Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research at The Star. “When I was running, I pushed it too hard and strained my hamstring. For the last couple of years, I had just been having the same problem. The app Fusionetics really helps out because it shows you what you need to do and the right way to do it and it has been really good for me.”

While inside the building people are healing, regaining mobility and improving performance, the outside is another architectural point on Frisco’s increasingly dotted map. The modern, attractive building was designed by research and design firm Perkins+Will. With plenty of parking and easy access from the Dallas North Tollway, the location has a lot to offer Frisco residents and out-of-town visitors. Situated across from the Omni Hotel at The Star, the center has already hosted some international sports players, like basketball players from China. 

Shopping, dining and other amenities are within walking distance. “The design of the building evokes the spirit of sport — think about the equipment used and the need for performance and protection. A contemporary mix of glass, metal cladding and sunshades create graphic lines on the exterior to form an athletic character throughout,” says Ron Stelmarski, AIA, LEED AP Design Director at Perkins+Will. “The complex literally opens to the community using giant sliding doors and an abundance of glass to showcase what is happening inside.” Mr. Stelmarski also mentions the use of low emitting materials, like composite wood and agrifiber, which helps maintain optimal air quality and a healthy indoor environment. “We also manage the sun using deep overhangs and exterior shading devices allowing for less cooling and better quality of light inside. The outcome translated to an overall 78 percent lighting power reduction and more than 40 percent energy savings over architecture’s 2030 Commitment,” he says. 

Expanding its footprint in Frisco was a natural choice for Baylor Scott & White. The organization already has four locations here. “One of the core benefits to having this facility located in Frisco is the community itself. We are incredibly excited to be collaborating with the Dallas Cowboys, who call Frisco home, as well as the City of Frisco and the FISD. The City of Frisco, known as ‘Sports City, U.S.A.,’ is the perfect location for this important work,” says Ms. Smith.

Lisa Dawson is a full-time working mom of three, a freelance writer and a Frisco resident.