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HealthSouth signs deal to staff all PGA events

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - HealthSouth Corp. struck a deal with the PGA Tour to provide +health+ +care+ at all PGA and Senior PGA events, nearly 80 tournaments a year.

Birmingham-based HealthSouth already had a similar agreement with the Ladies Professional +Golf+ Association to provide tour members with personal conditioning, preventive care and rehabilitative care.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem "stated that the tour sought out HealthSouth because we were the only +health+ +care+ company in America that could provide them with a nation-wide network of facilities specialising in the treatment of professional sports athletes and their injuries," said HealthSouth founder and Chief Executive Officer Richard Scrushy.

The agreement is for an unlimited time period. HealthSouth is committing two 48-foot mobile fitness facilities to travel with the two tours.

Staffing will be led by HealthSouth-affiliated physicians James Andrews and William Clancy. The two will join Dr. Frank Jobe of the HealthSouth/Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles as medical directors for the two tours.

HealthSouth's network of centres will also be available in case players need more extensive care, Scrushy said. The company has 2,000 facilities in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

"Their partnership is something I've been wanting to see happen for years," said Gene Hallman, director of the Bruno's Memorial Classic Senior PGA event held yearly in Birmingham and organiser of +golf+ events nation-wide.

Hallman said the agreement could be key in bringing a PGA event back to Birmingham annually.

"HealthSouth's affiliation puts Birmingham even more on the national +golf+ map and can only do good things in drawing attention to this city for future events," he said.

HealthSouth was already creating a strong relationship with the association. Senior PGA players Ben Albus, Bruce Devlin and Tom Wargo all sought treatment there after mishaps while playing in Birmingham.

HealthSouth has had a similar relationship with the Ladies Professional +Golf+ Association for nearly 10 years and has sponsored an LPGA tournament for four years.

The company created a HealthSouth +Golf+ Program, which trains clinicians around the country in handling golfers' injuries and how to return them to playing. The program also provides training advice for healthy players.

HealthSouth and the PGA will begin a national education campaign to teach the game and training techniques to amateur golfers.