As PGA Championship looms, Northwell gears up

Healthy grounds: The crowds expected to swarm Bethpage Black for this May's PGA Championship will have their medical needs met by Northwell Health.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

When the masses congregate on Long Island in May for one of professional golf’s crown-jewel events, they’ll be in good hands, medically speaking.

New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health has been named the Official Healthcare Provider of the 2019 PGA Championship, scheduled for May 13-19 at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale.

More than just a marketing coup, the official-provider status makes Northwell Health – the state’s largest healthcare system by numbers of providers and patients – responsible for the medical needs of the thousands of spectators, volunteers and players expected at Bethpage Black.

Northwell Health will meet this challenge with three on-course medical stations, each staffed by registered nurses, orthopedic surgeons and emergency-medicine physicians, as well as “certified athletic trainers,” according to the health system.

On-site emergency care will be provided by Northwell Health’s Center for Emergency Medical Services, the metropolitan area’s largest hospital-based ambulance service, while other health system employees will be on hand to share wellness and prevention information with spectators.

In the Black: (From left) Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling, PGA Championship General Chairman Charlie Robson and PGA Championship Director Scott Reid announce Northwell Health as the 2019 PGA Championship’s Official Healthcare Provider.

Noting “health and wellness are key components of the game of golf,” John Handley, sales and partnerships director for the 2019 PGA Championship, said the Florida-based PGA Tour was especially pleased to find a regional partner capable of covering the sizeable medical needs at one of the tour’s four major championships.

“The PGA Championship is proud to partner with a company that is based in New York State to provide these services, as well as present fitness and wellness programs for spectators in attendance at Bethpage Black,” Handley said Wednesday.

And the health system, naturally, is thrilled to step up at one of the world’s premier sporting events, according to Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling.

The PGA Championship annually attracts the strongest international field and boasts an illustrious history featuring Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and other all-time champions – a tournament that “elevates the stature of Long Island and highlights its abundance of recreational offerings that make it an extraordinary place to live and work,” Dowling noted.

“Northwell is proud to support the PGA Championship,” the CEO added. “As the event’s Official Healthcare Provider, Northwell is pleased to offer its clinical expertise in the areas of emergency medical services, orthopedics and hospitality, to ensure another successful tournament at Bethpage Black.”

The 2019 PGA Championship marks the first time Northwell Health has served as the Official Healthcare Provider of a PGA Tour event, though the tour has become very fond of the toughest course at state-owned Bethpage State Park.

In 2002, Bethpage Black became the first public course to host the PGA’s U.S. Open event. The Open returned in 2009; in 2012 and 2016, Bethpage Black hosted The Barclays, a FedEx Cup event.