ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The University of Michigan Bone & Joint Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation Center has announced a $175,000 gift from George A. Wade, M.D., to support doctoral fellows studying prevention and rehabilitation science at the Bone & Joint Center.
The fellowship is the first of its kind for the Bone & Joint Center and will provide national leadership in injury prevention. The five-year commitment will be matched by the U-M's President's Donor Challenge, bringing its total value to more than $262,000.
Wade, currently the director at the Idaho Sports Medicine Institute, earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from U-M. While working on his master's degree, he served as an assistant track coach and teaching fellow in physical education under the direction of U-M alum Andrew Kozar, M.D.
When Kozar left U-M to head the men's physical education department at University of Tennessee, he hired Wade as an instructor and eventually talked Wade into pursuing medicine.
"I was planning to join the Marines," says Wade of his original career prospects. "Andy convinced me to try teaching first, and then, within a month, he recommended me to medical school."
Wade wanted to name the fellowship in honor of Kozar, who recalls, "George was the best student I had the privilege to work with at Michigan. I was impressed by his excellence as an athlete and his love of learning."
The Center, which brings experts from the U-M Medical School, the College of Engineering, the School of Kinesiology, and the School of Public Health, has been focusing its efforts to identify injury mechanisms, implement prevention strategies and ultimately help reduce the occurrence of sport and recreational injuries.
More than 4.3 million nonfatal sports- and recreation-related injuries are treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Injury prevention is an issue for professional and recreational athletes, and injuries can impact life beyond the court or field.
"Without a better understanding of injury mechanisms and complex causes, the risks of injury will continue to escalate for many more years to come," says Ron Zernicke, Ph.D., director of the Center. "The Andrew Kozar Fellowship will give U-M researchers
the funding and tools they need to investigate and further the knowledge of injury mechanisms and prevention programs."
Wade says he is grateful for his experiences at U-M. He came to Michigan on a track scholarship and attended graduate school on a teaching fellowship.
"I've always believed in giving back to my school, and supporting graduate education - especially in my own field of sports medicine and orthopedics - and the gift to the Bone & Joint Center is a perfect fit," he says. "Prevention is really the name of the game. If you can prevent an injury, it's a hundred times better than trying to fix it."
About the Center
The University of Michigan Bone & Joint Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation Center is a collaborative effort between the Medical School, the College of Engineering, the School of Kinesiology and the School of Public Health. The Center's mission is to excel in the creation of new knowledge in all areas relevant to the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injury and arthritis. The Center is dedicated to conduct mission-driven research, train the next generation of multi-disciplinary researchers, provide leadership for local, national, and international collaborations and partnerships, and promote the effective translation, use, and exchange of knowledge. For more information about the Center, visit www.bjiprc.umich.edu.
Written by Christina Camilli-Whisenhunt