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Mass General Brigham Athletic Training Conference Focuses on Building the Athlete's Foundation

Panelists Zdeno Chara, Peter Asnis, MD, Scott Waugh, PT, and John Whitesides CSCS, with moderator Kelly McInnis, DO Mass General Brigham Athletic Training Conference panelists Zdeno Chara, Peter Asnis, MD, Scott Waugh, PT, and John Whitesides, CSCS, with moderator Kelly McInnis, DO.

The event, headlined by Zdeno Chara at Gillette Stadium, welcomed over 300 athletic trainers, coaches, clinicians and administrators to learn about the latest strategies and research to support athlete performance

Keynote speaker Zdeno Chara

Mass General Brigham hosted its third annual Athletic Training Conference at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Tuesday, June 18. This year’s conference explored the combination of training elements that can sustain and enhance an athlete’s performance, including nutrition, sleep, mental health, musculoskeletal and cardiac screening, injury prevention, strength and conditioning, and recovery. The event was headlined by Boston Bruins legend Zdeno Chara, who emphasized the importance of young athletes exploring multiple sports and how critical it is for athletic trainers and medical teams to build trust by understanding each athlete at a personal level.

Chara was later joined on a panel by Dr. Pete Asnis, Mass General Brigham Director of Professional Sports and head team physician for the Bruins; Scott Waugh, Massachusetts General Hospital’s Clinical Director of Sports Medicine Physical Therapy and manager of player rehabilitation for the Bruins; and John Whitesides, the previous strength and conditioning coach for the Bruins and director of BFit, their health and wellness program for schools. The panel was moderated by Dr. Kelly McInnis, Director of the Mass General Brigham Women’s Sports Injury and Performance Clinic, team physician for the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots, and consultant for the Bruins, Boston Ballet, and New England Revolution. The panel explored the ways in which the Bruins build a winning culture and how the trust earned by the medical team enables players to achieve their optimal performance. The overall message was the importance of building those connections between players and caregivers to ensure athletes can perform and thrive. The panel emphasized that the same approach taken for professionals is transferable for the conference’s attendees to bring back to their youth athletes.

Panelists Zdeno Chara, Peter Asnis, MD, Scott Waugh, PT, and John Whitesides CSCS, with moderator Kelly McInnis, DO

“Youth athletes need to navigate such a complex environment while facing more challenges than ever before,” said R. Scott Gassett, Vice President of Mass General Brigham Sports Medicine. “The dedicated professionals that support their success are constantly looking for ways to improve. That’s why we were so proud to bring the incredible expertise we have at Mass General Brigham Sports Medicine directly to those who work with these youth athletes every day. Throughout the day, our experts and collaborators demonstrated the clinical excellence and innovation that makes Mass General Brigham Sports Medicine a national leader.” 

The speakers and panelists included experts in orthopedic surgery, physiatry, cardiology, psychology, strength and conditioning, and nutrition. The program also showcased collaborations with the Mass General Brigham Center for Sports Performance and Research, located within Patriot Place in Foxborough.  Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the latest sports medicine research and technology, network with colleagues in the industry, and leave with the increased knowledge, skills, and passion needed to advance their sports medicine careers.

Mass General Brigham Sports Medicine provides clinical services to the Boston Bruins, New England Patriots, New England Revolution and Boston College, as well as numerous college and high school athletic programs throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. To learn more about sports medicine programs and services from Mass General Brigham visit For information about careers for athletic trainers visit the athletic training page.

Media contact

Tim Sullivan
Mass General Brigham

About Mass General Brigham

Mass General Brigham is an integrated academic health care system, uniting great minds to solve the hardest problems in medicine for our communities and the world. Mass General Brigham connects a full continuum of care across a system of academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, physician networks, community health centers, home care, and long-term care services. Mass General Brigham is a nonprofit organization committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Mass General Brigham is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations with several Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals. For more information, please visit