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Kinesio offers UNM $300k for new center

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque company behind a popular brand of therapeutic tape used by athletes is offering University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center $300,000 to set up a teaching clinic on its taping methods.

The University of New Mexico Board of Regents’ Finance and Facilities Committee on Tuesday approved the creation and naming of the Center for Kinesio Taping Methods. The request now heads to the full board of regents for final approval.

According to a UNM Health Sciences memo, Kinesio proposes to donate $300,000 to the Pain Center in the School of Medicine’s Department of Neurosurgery dedicated to the teaching of its taping method for a period of three years, ending on June 30, 2020.

“It is our intent to place a sign in the hallway next to the PT (physical therapy) room designating the Center,” reads the memo. “In partnership with UNM’s Health Sciences Center, it is Kinesio’s wish to provide a program for innovative teaching and outstanding, compassionate patient care in the treatment of pain.”

In addition to the cash gift, the company will also donate Kinesio tape to be used for educational purposes.

The UNM Pain Center comprises doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, myofascial pain specialists, psychologists and psychiatrists.

Pain management has been a key treatment interest for Kenzo Kase, the chiropractor who pioneered the tape product and its application method, according to the memo. Kase’s daughter, Elisa Kase, vice president of the company, is a UNM alumnus and former collegiate athlete, according to the memo.

Kinesio Holding Corp. headquarters are located at 4001 Masthead NE is next door to Cre-Med, Kinesio’s manufacturing center, where 50 people are employed.

The company said the tape is sold in 70 countries and has been seen on the bodies of numerous Olympic and professional and amateur athletes. According to a 2016 Journal article, the company was selling about 180,000 rolls of tape each month.