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Exercise Athletic Performance Researcher Joins Sanford Health

National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance to Open in Sioux Falls

(Sioux Falls, SD) Sanford Health announced today exercise, heat stress and athletic performance expert Michael F. Bergeron, PhD, FACSM has joined the team. Internationally known for his research and work with athletes, Dr. Bergeron will serve as director of the new National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance at Sanford based in Sioux Falls. In addition to his research, Dr. Bergeron will offer services for athletes including detailed physiological evaluations in a controlled environmental chamber, fitness testing and assessments on the athletic field as well as presentations and seminars for teams and organizations.

“One of the biggest challenges facing athletes is attempting to train or perform safely and effectively. Dr. Bergeron’s detailed research on promoting athletic performance and safety will provide parents, coaches and players with specific and practical knowledge to use while practicing and playing, and we are thrilled to welcome him aboard” said Becky Nelson, Sanford Health Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Dr. Bergeron has published and presented his research internationally and has worked with a number of junior, collegiate and professional athletes on performance and nutrition related to preparation, competition and recovery strategies with a particular emphasis on preventing muscle cramps. Through the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance at Sanford, Dr. Bergeron will help athletes of all ages implement strategies to reduce injury risk and improve performance.

“My goal is to be an advocate particularly for children and adolescents by developing new recommendations and guidelines for youth sports governing bodies, so our young athletes are able to perform as safely and effectively as possible,” said Dr. Bergeron. “Joining an organization like Sanford Health and working with Sanford Children’s allow me to expand my research in youth sports, as well as immediately share that knowledge so I can make a significant impact in the lives of young people.”

Dr. Bergeron’s research includes studies on exercise, performance and fitness for youth and adults with an emphasis on the effects of exercise in the heat on fluid and mineral balance, as well as thermal and cardiovascular strain. In addition, Dr. Bergeron is studying the effects of exercise and heat stress on calcium balance and bone turnover in active young athletes and red blood cell sickling and inflammation in people with sickle cell trait.

"ACSM has benefited greatly from Dr. Bergeron’s volunteerism and commitment to youth sports and health,” said James R. Whitehead, Executive Vice President, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). “He has had a role in ACSM partnerships and has engaged experts so our organization can advance one of our core strategic priorities to promote activity for children and safety for young athletes. As a top researcher in his field, Dr. Bergeron is an asset to ACSM, donating his time and expertise to help build capacity and provide resources to improve the public's health and advance scientific and clinical discovery.”

Joining Sanford Health also allows Dr. Bergeron to help children with type 1 diabetes. “Because of Sanford Health’s goal to cure type 1 diabetes through the Sanford Project, I also intend to expand my research to help athletes with type 1 diabetes so they can perform safely and reach peak performance too,” added Dr. Bergeron.

About Michael F. Bergeron, PhD, FACSM

Dr. Bergeron is a Fellow and Trustee of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and immediate past Chair of the ACSM Strategic Health Initiative – Youth Sports and Health Committee. He is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Executive Committee for the Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness and currently serves as an Editorial Board member for the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism and Journal of Athletic Training. He also serves as a clinical and scientific consultant to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Medical Services and has been a regular member of scientific review panels of the Congressionally Directed Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program for the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the United States Army Medical Research and Material Command in the areas of disease prevention and epidemiology, bone health, military medical readiness and military nutrition.

For more information on Dr. Bergeron, visit

Stacy Bauer Jones | Media Relations Coordinator
(605) 328-7056 |