Visionary Partnership Unveiled

20 Jun 2024
Company News

In a groundbreaking collaboration, Carlton Football Club and Imaging Associates Radiology have announced the commencement of construction for a state-of-the-art imaging centre at IKON Park. This joint venture aims to deliver world-class medical imaging services to Carlton’s professional AFL and AFLW players, as well as to the wider community.

Carlton Football Club's AFLW Team on field at IKON Park

For over a decade, Carlton players have travelled to Imaging Associates for private and rapid imaging services. The relationship has been built on shared education, high-quality scans, and strong medical collaboration, enhancing diagnosis, treatment, and return-to-play planning. Imaging Associates recently introduced a game-day ultrasound service with Musculoskeletal (MSK) lead, Dr. Mark Rassie, leveraging an extensive database of previous images and clinical cases for improved player injury diagnosis and follow-up. Imaging Associates is renowned for its expertise in musculoskeletal imaging and women’s health imaging, attracting doctors from across Australia and New Zealand who seek its radiology fellowships. The alignment with Carlton Football Club is seen as a perfect fit, with its location close to major medical hubs such as the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Peter MacCallum Centre, and the Royal Children’s Hospital

“Musculoskeletal imaging and women’s health imaging are in our DNA. This joint venture perfectly aligns with Carlton’s vision and our dream of creating a flagship destination site in Carlton’s heartland. IKON Park, as home to AFLW, is an ideal place to offer community access to elite female imaging at the same exceptional standard as our sports imaging,” stated Imaging Associates Chairperson, Dr Chris Holden.

The new imaging centre will offer specialised services in sports and women’s health imaging, featuring cutting-edge technology such as 3T MRI, Breast 3D tomosynthesis, ultrasound, CT, and digital X-ray.

Rendering of new Imaging Centre at IKON Park
Rendering of the new imaging centre located at IKON park, courtesy of Carlton Football Club

“Players will have instant access to world-class facilities with no travel or delays. The collaboration between Carlton Football Club staff and with our on-site radiologists will allow for improved in-game and out-of-game assessment and management of athletes. We are also looking forward to the joint skillset development and research projects between Imaging Associates staff and Carlton’s football department,”

Dr. Mark Rassie, Radiologist and MSK Lead.

Beyond benefiting elite athletes, the centre will serve local community sports clubs and patients. The goal is to extend the level of care, service, and expertise provided to AFL and AFLW players to the broader community, enhancing overall health outcomes.

The long-term goals for the partnership include a decade-long commitment to supporting AFL players both on and off the field and making a lasting health impact in the community. The collaboration also opens new opportunities for on-site research into soft tissue injuries, workload monitoring, and treatment techniques.

“I envision the IA/CFC joint venture becoming the benchmark for medical and sporting collaborations, excelling in both medical excellence and community impact over the next five to ten years,” shared Dr. Rassie. 

The IA medical team is also looking forward to the opportunity to assist with concussion and ACL injury research along with current topics pertinent to female athletes such as stress fractures.

Dr. Chris Holden expressed his excitement about the venture, citing his passion for sports imaging and the unique challenge of AFL/AFLW. He emphasised the shared journey with club doctors, physios, fitness teams, players, coaches, radiographers, and radiologists, which presents an amazing opportunity for both care and on-field success.

As construction commences for the new IKON Park imaging centre, interested parties are encouraged to contact Imaging Associates for more information. This venture promises to be a significant milestone in integrating elite sports and advanced medical imaging, benefiting both Carlton Football Club and the wider community for years to come.

While eagerly awaiting the opening of IKON Park, Imaging Associates is ready to assist at its other 9 locations across the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne, Gippsland and in Wagga Wagga NSW.

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