New York, NY—January 30, 2018
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) today announced the appointment of John P. DiFiori, MD, as the new chief of the primary care sports medicine service, effective February 1.
"Our primary care sports medicine team helps our patients determine how their sports injury should be best treated, which can be surgically or with alternative treatments," said Todd J. Albert, MD, surgeon-in-chief and medical director at HSS. "Athletes of all levels turn to us to get them back in the game, and Dr. DiFiori has the experience and expertise that will only enhance our commitment to delivering quality patient care."
Dr. DiFiori succeeds Brian C. Halpern, MD, who served as chief since 2011. Dr. Halpern pioneered the non-operative approach to acute and chronic musculoskeletal problems and was the first non-surgical fellowship-trained and board-certified sports medicine physician at HSS. He will continue to be an integral part of the HSS sports service and will work closely with Dr. DiFiori moving forward.
"Dr. DiFiori’s expertise in treating elite athletes is nationally recognized and we are excited to have him lead our team," said Dr. Halpern.
Prior to joining HSS, Dr. DiFiori was the chief of the division of Sports Medicine and Non-Operative Orthopaedics for the departments of Family Medicine and Orthopaedic Surgery at UCLA. He was also the head team physician for UCLA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics where he oversaw the care of more than 650 athletes in 24 NCAA sports, and was on the sidelines with UCLA football and basketball.
Additionally, Dr. DiFiori also serves as the director of Sports Medicine for the NBA, where he works closely with NBA team physicians and advises the league on all issues related to the health and wellness of NBA players.
"I’m honored to return to the East Coast and look forward to leading this truly talented team of sports medicine physicians," said Dr. DiFiori. "HSS has a long-standing commitment to the athletic community by offering the full spectrum of treatment options, from non-surgical care to surgery to rehabilitation and recovery- it is a privilege to join this institution."
Dr. DiFiori earned his undergraduate degree at Franklin and Marshall College and his medical degree at Temple University before completing his residency at Lancaster General Hospital. He then completed a sports medicine fellowship at UCLA.
In his practice, Dr. DiFiori will see patients of all ages for the evaluation and treatment of sports-related injuries. He is the lead author for the recently published AMSSM Position Statement on Overuse Injuries and Burnout in Youth Sports. He also led a distinguished scientific panel in the development of the NBA’s first ever guidelines for youth basketball participation, which were published by the NBA and USA Basketball. In addition, he served as a site investigator for the NCAA-Department of Defense Concussion study, which is the largest study ever conducted on sports concussions.
"Recruiting distinguished physician leaders, such as Dr. DiFiori, is how we continue to advance the quality of care practices and demonstrate commitment to our clinical specialties," said Louis A. Shapiro, president and CEO at HSS. "Under Dr. DiFiori’s leadership, the service will be the top choice for years to come for active individuals when they suffer sports-related injuries."
Dr. DiFiori is the former president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and is also a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. In the past, he has served as a medical consultant for the NHL Players Association and as a U.S. team physician for the United States Olympic Committee.
He serves on the editorial boards of Current Sports Medicine Reports and the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.
About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the ninth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S.News & World Report (2018-2019). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic of musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.