April 18, 2017
Canavans’ gift expands sports medicine options for student-athletes
In 2007, a gift from M. Joseph Canavan ’65 & ’89P and his wife, MaryBeth, allowed Providence College to open the Canavan Sports Medicine Center, a 4,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in Alumni Hall that serves more than 300 student-athletes.
Now, a second major gift from the Canavans will expand sports medicine options for student-athletes. It will help them to benefit from the latest in technology, including compression-boot systems to aid recovery from workouts, sleep monitoring software that also measures hydration, new manual therapy techniques, and a portable X-ray machine.
“This transformative gift will help Providence College student- athletes to be on the cutting edge of all areas of sports medicine,” said Steven R. Napolillo ’98, senior executive associate athletic director for external relations. “We’ll be able to give our student-athletes top-notch athletic training services, sports psychology, and first-class facilities for rehabilitation. The gift will allow the highest level of care so that student-athletes can be successful in competition and in the classroom.”
In addition to enhancing the Canavan Sports Medicine Center, the gift will help outfit the athletics innovation lab that will be built as part of the new Ruane Friar Development Center. The lab will include relaxation pods, sleep pods, and technology to assess body composition and monitor blood-oxygen levels during exercise. (The Ruane Friar Development Center also will include a men’s basketball practice facility, a new Friar Athletics Hall of Fame, and an expanded home for the Center for Career Education and Professional Development.)
“When Steve Napolillo approached me last year saying that Joe and MaryBeth were looking to make a long-term commitment to our sports medicine program, I was excited at the possibilities this would bring for our student-athletes,” said John P. Rock, senior associate athletic director for sports medicine.
So far, the new Canavan gift has made possible the purchase of 10 NormaTec compression-boot systems that student-athletes can wear while on the road to flush lactic acid from their muscles. A software system was purchased that allows staff to monitor the sleep patterns and hydration levels of student-athletes, since research has shown a correlation between sleep and performance, Rock said. With the gift, staff also have been trained in Positional Release Therapy, a specialized technique to treat soft-tissue injuries in the body.
“The cutting-edge machines will really help our student-athletes be successful,” said Canavan, a long-time men’s basketball season-ticket holder who travels to BIG EAST and NCAA tournaments. “Providence College and PC athletics have been a huge part of our lives. Coach (Ed) Cooley, his staff, and the players are like a part of our family.”
Canavan, who is president and CEO of Canavan Corporation, is an emeritus member of the PC Board of Trustees. He has been involved in the medical diagnostics field for 30 years and is founder and former president of Diagnostic Medical Laboratory, Inc. and Vision Medical Imaging, Inc.