SMART’s Dr. Larry Lemak is named Sports Medicine Person of Year

L to R: Stephanie Lennon, ATC, LAT, president of the Athletic Trainers’ Association of Florida; Dr. Larry Lemak, CEO of the Sports Medicine and Athletic-Related Trauma Institute at USF; and Marchell (Micki) Cuppett, EdD, ATC, Director of Educational Design & Technology at USF College of Medicine.

Tampa, FL (April 16, 2007) — Larry Lemak, MD, chief executive officer of the Sports Medicine and Athletic-Related Trauma Institute (SMART) at USF Health, has been named the “2007 Sports Medicine Person of the Year” by the Athletic Trainers’ Association of Florida (ATAF). Dr. Lemak received the award April 14 at the annual ATAF Clinical Symposium and Business Meeting in Orlando.

At the same awards ceremony, Steve Walz, MA, ATC, a member of SMART and assistant athletic director of sports medicine for USF, was named “2007 University Athletic Trainer of the Year.”

The ATAF represents more than 1,200 certified athletic trainers across Florida.

Dr. Lemak spearheaded SMART, an innovative national sports medicine model for the University of South Florida. A state center for the advancement of sports medicine, SMART was created to protect Florida recreational, high school, college and professional athletes. The Florida legislature supports SMART at USF to transform sports safety through integrated education, research and community outreach.

Dr. Lemak is a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon who is a founding partner of Alabama Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, one of the nation’s leading orthopedic clinics. Dr. Lemak has been a pioneer in sports medicine and arthroscopy research as one of the founders of the American Sports Medicine Institute.

Dr. Lemak graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School, and completed his orthopedic residency at the University of Pittsburgh. He specializes in sports medicine, arthroscopy and reconstruction of the knee, shoulder, hip and elbow. More than a 100 physicians and surgeons have been trained and educated by Dr. Lemak and his practice, including several who are team physicians for professional sports organizations in the Tampa Bay area. He serves as Medical Director for Major League Soccer, NFL Europe, Professional Golf Association and Ladies Professional Golf Association.

Not only does Dr. Lemak help standardize the level of care available to professional and college organizations, he also promotes the importance of injury prevention and safety on all levels of youth sports, as the founder of the National Center of Sports Safety (NCSS). SMART, an NCSS affiliate, offers area coaches a youth sports safety course called PREPARE, which was developed by NCSS in conjunction with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

– USF Health -

USF Health is a partnership of the University of South Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, and public health; the schools of basic biomedical sciences and physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. It is a partnership dedicated to the promise of creating a new model of health and health care. One of the nation’s top 63 public research universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, USF received more than $310 million in research contracts and grants last year. It is ranked by the National Science Foundation as one of the nation’s fastest growing universities for federal research and development expenditures.

Story by: Anne DeLotto Baier