Dr. Suzanne Leclerc To Lead the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee
Dr. Suzanne Leclerc, Medical Director at INS Québec, will be the head of the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) for the next two years. This Canadian committee reporting to Own The Podium brings together the chief medical officers of each of the four Canadian sport institutes, the chief medical officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the chief medical officer of the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Dr. Robert McCormack, chief medical officer for the Canadian team at several Olympic Games and former medical director of the COC.
Dr. Leclerc will lead the committee, which aims to make Canada an international leader in performance medicine, injury prevention and innovative health services in order to support Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and those in the NextGen program.
In addition to the tasks assigned to each committee member, as head of the committee, Dr. Leclerc will be responsible for coordinating efforts and managing priorities. “My role is to manage schedules and timelines, and to monitor the projects put in place and ensure they are delivered. Of course, the set of priorities is established through consultations with all committee members,” she explained.
“Dr. Suzanne Leclerc has everything it takes to lead this group. Her renowned sport medicine skills are complemented by scientific curiosity, a fresh perspective, infectious energy and unwavering commitment,” said Roger Archambault, Vice-President, Performance Services at INS Québec. “Dr. Leclerc’s role in the SMAC confirms that INS Québec is a prominent player in the Canadian sport landscape as a member of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSI Network). Contributing to the management of high-level sport, both nationally and provincially, is essential to fostering a healthy development environment for our athletes and sport service providers.”
“Own the Podium is very pleased to have Dr. Suzanne Leclerc lead this important advisory group over the course of the next two years,” said Andy Van Neutegem, PhD, Director, Performance Sciences, Research and Innovation at OTP. Her expertise and work with Olympic and Paralympic sport is invaluable and we look forward to working with Suzanne and the rest of the chief medical officers to advance Canadian high performance sport.”
The role of the SMAC in the Canadian sport system
The committee’s work is based on the needs of the Canadian sport system in terms of sport medicine and is inspired by what is being done on the international scene. The committee helps to unify and coordinate knowledge while sharing experiences and best practices. As Dr. Leclerc explained: “We want to help our athletes to continuously improve and stay healthy. Our work is based both on what is being done by the International Olympic Committee and what is needed at national and provincial levels. We need to improve the structures and become extremely successful in sport medicine in order to properly coach our athletes in terms of health care. That is why this committee exists.”
To achieve its objectives, the SMAC has established four main themes: ensuring continuity of health services among teams; monitoring the health status of athletes during training and competition; establishing a protocol for injury monitoring, injury prevention programs and promoting research and innovation in this area; providing support and leadership in sport medicine in Canada.
In a future article, Dr. Leclerc will address an essential subject for the sports community: “Dealing with the reality of COVID-19”.