After an injury-laden Challenge Cup final that saw two players forced off the field and another stretched out before going to the hospital following second-half collusion, the NWSL is taking action.
The American league hired Dr. Cindy Chang, the first ever Chief Medical Officer to oversee medical operations and protocols and further build on best practices for preventative care.
“We’re very pleased to welcome Dr. Chang as the NWSL’s first Chief Medical Officer,” said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman.
“Player health and safety is our top priority at the league, and I am confident that given her extensive background in the field of sports medicine as well as her passion for the well-being of all athletes, Dr. Chang will be an excellent addition to our team.”
“The selection of Dr. Chang as Chief Medical Officer lives into NWSL’s commitment through the Collective Bargaining Agreement to prioritize and invest in player health and safety,” added NWSLPA Executive Director Meghann Burke. “Dr. Chang has the qualifications that our players need and deserve.”
This is the latest step by the NWSL to protect its players.
“I am excited to be the first Chief Medical Officer for the NWSL,” said Dr. Chang.
“I look forward to providing the highest quality medical care for our elite athletes so they can perform at their peak and continue elevating the best women’s soccer league in the world, and I am honored to work alongside my NWSL sports medicine colleagues to develop and implement health, safety, and wellness initiatives that define the standard of care for our athletes.”
Dr. Chang has worked in the sports medical field for several years, earning awards for her dedication like the 2003 AMSSM Founders Award, the 2013 Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award by the United States Sports Academy, and the 2016 Jack Weakley Award of Distinction by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.
She also has a special connection to the league after her daughter Carlin Hudson was drafted in 2018, and has since appeared for the North Carolina Courage and the Washington Spirit.