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Partnering with HSS has been invaluable to our
efforts of keeping kids healthy and safe.

Rick Nadeau, VP Youth Programs
Madison Square Garden Company

HSS Sports Safety


Participating in sports and recreational activities provide physical and psychosocial health benefits that can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, these health benefits come with the risk of injury. Experts estimate that of the 213 million Americans (age six and older) who participate in sports and fitness activities each year, nearly 9 million will suffer a sports-related injury. Young athletes account for more than half of these injuries, most of which are musculoskeletal injuries of the lower and upper extremities.

The good news is that half of these injuries are preventable. Several million devastating injuries can be avoided each year by providing the information, training, tools and resources that help keep young athletes safe and healthy. In response to the rapid rise in youth sports injuries and lack of helpful educational resources, the HSS Sports Safety Program was established in 2015 with a generous donation from HSS Board member James Dinan and his wife, Elizabeth Miller, through the Dinan Family Foundation.

Meeting the Challenge of a Costly Epidemic

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury can not only end an athlete’s sports season, it can leave lingering effects that last a lifetime. ACL injuries have seen a startling increase of more than 200% since 2005, with costs of surgery and rehabilitation surpassing 2.5 billion dollars each year. Even more alarming are the debilitating effects of osteoarthritis that can be seen within ten years of an injury. Our ACL Program is a unique, public health approach to ACL injury risk management.

Our education series offers pioneering education to ALL individuals directly responsible for the safety of young athletes, from coaches and teachers to parents and sports administrators. We’ve even created exciting programs designed specifically for young athletes themselves. HSS Sports Safety is the first program to offer free, highly effective education, tools, and resources to everyone that shares the responsibility of keeping children safe when playing sports.

The HSS Sports Safety team has made it our mission to be the most trusted sports safety education program in the world.

Program Administration

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James Kinderknecht, MD

Co-Medical Director

Dr. Kinderknecht has spent the past twenty years caring for athletes of all ages and levels. His experience includes being a team physician for the New York Giants, New York Mets and St. Johns University. As such, he believes there is great value in youth sports and athletic activities. In addition, Dr. Kinderknecht enjoys promoting the positive benefits of physical fitness to high-endurance athletes as well as individuals who want to begin an exercise program. He is the program director of the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at Hospital for Special Surgery. 

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Robert G. Marx, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Co-Medical Director

Dr. Marx is an Attending Orthopedic Surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery and Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. He specializes in surgery of the knee and shoulder. In an effort to improve patient outcomes, Dr. Marx has also conducted extensive clinical orthopedic research. He has published three books, over a dozen book chapters, and over 170 peer-reviewed scientific publications. Dr. Marx has received numerous awards for his research and patient care, including being named one of the "Best Doctors in New York" by New York Magazine for multiple years. 

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Laura Robbins, DSW

Senior Vice President, Global & Academic Affairs

Laura Robbins is Senior Vice President Global & Academic Affairs and the Designated Officer for Graduate Medical Education at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). Ms. Robbins is responsible for HSS’ academic vision to transfer knowledge and expertise around the world. She also leads HSS’ continuum of academic programs across medical school, undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education.

In her role, she leads HSS eAcademy, the largest provider of musculoskeletal continuing medical education, which educates more than 19,000 medical professionals from over 150 countries each year. Most recently, Ms. Robbins spearheaded the launch of HSS Global, which aims to raise the level of orthopedic education and training, and improve access to high quality, trusted orthopedic care worldwide. HSS Global is partnering with orthopedic departments in South Korea, Brazil and many other countries through multi-year education, mentorship and professional training collaborations.

In addition, Ms. Robbins has the responsibility for strategic planning to meet, exceed and develop best practices for regulatory requirements such as Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education, Joint Commission and the New York State Department of Health.

A major part of achieving HSS’ academic mission is collaborating with Weill Cornell Medical College to align academic goals for faculty and improvement of physician education and training in a changing healthcare environment. To this end, she teaches research courses annually and is appointed to numerous academic committees at the Medical College.

Ms. Robbins has also held many national appointments, including as Chair of the National Arthritis Foundation from 2004-2006. Ms. Robbins joined HSS in 1989 as Director of Community Education and has been an Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College since 1995. She holds a doctorate in social work from the Hunter College School of Social Work.

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Sandra Goldsmith MA, MS, RD

AVP, Education and Academic Affairs

Sandra has worked in the public health sector for over 20 years. She has extensive experience designing, delivering and evaluating innovative wellness programs for underserved populations and for populations with specific health needs. Currently, Sandra is the Assistant Vice President for Education & Academic Affairs at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) where her focus is on musculoskeletal disease. She has also worked as an adjunct professor at New York University and Hunter College, teaching nutrition classes to both graduate and undergraduate students. Sandra has presented at local and national conferences, authored articles in peer reviewed journals and for Body Positive Magazine and appeared in the Daily News and on NY1. Sandra earned her Master’s degrees at New York University and a BS from Syracuse University.

Program Management

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Joseph Janosky MS, PT, ATC


Joe is the Director of the HSS Sports Safety Program and brings more than 25 years of experience as a physical therapist and athletic trainer to injury prevention program development. 

He has considerable clinical experience treating youth, high school, collegiate and professional athletes, with particular concentration in baseball and rugby. His professional interests include ACL Rehabilitation, the Overhead Athlete, Motor Learning Strategies for Sport Skill Acquisition, and Return to Play. He has taught at both the University of Scranton and Marywood University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Health. Joe has delivered a variety of education and research presentations at sports medicine and public health conferences nationally and internationally. He has recently presented at the 2019 Eastern Athletic Trainers Association Annual Meeting and the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association in 2017. He received the Best Scientific Presentation Award at the 2017 Young Athlete Forum Foundation Conference in Montreaux, Switzerland in 2017 and was awarded the Kevin G. Shea Award for Best Scientific Poster at the 2019 Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine (PRiSM) Society Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Jimmy Russomano MS, CSCS, USAW


Jimmy is the Program Manager for Sports Safety at HSS. His background in strength and conditioning has provided him with a range of experience from young athletes playing sport for the first time to coaching elite athletes in the Big Ten and Big East conferences. His professional interests include teaching fundamental movement skills to athletes, offering coaches an opportunity to continue their education, and giving all stakeholders in youth sport tools to reduce risk of injury and improve sport performance. 

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AJ Pegno

Senior Coordinator

AJ is the Senior Coordinator for HSS Sports Safety. In his current role he develops and maintains partnerships with organizations and schools for HSS Sports Safety. He is also responsible for the community outreach that HSS Sports Safety does for the community. AJ graduated from Endicott College where he received a Bachelor in Science in Communications. Prior to joining HSS, AJ worked at Madison Square Garden and CBS Radio. In addition, he completed internships at WFAN, Clear Channel Communications, WPLJ, and The Heisman Trophy Trust. AJ currently resides in Long Island where he coaches youth boys lacrosse. 

Program Outcomes and Research

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Titilayo Ologhobo, MPH

Associate Director of Outcomes, Public and Patient Education

As the Associate Director of Outcomes in the Public & Patient Education Department, Titilayo oversees the design and implementation of measuring the impact of the Sports Safety Program, as well as the development of evaluation tools that effectively assess the effectiveness of the program. In addition, she leads the team’s efforts in data collection, analysis and reporting activities. 

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Brandon Yates MS, CSCS, USAW

Research Associate

Brandon is the Research Associate for the Sports Safety Program at HSS. He brings several years of experience conducting research on elite and adolescent athletes, older adults, and military personnel. His research areas of interest include musculoskeletal injury prevention, hydration, sports nutrition, cognition, and cardiorespiratory fitness. He currently maintains funding from the National Institute of Health’s Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 

Program Educators

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John Salva, MPT, OCS


John is an educator in the Sports Safety Program at HSS. He has been a physical therapist for over 15 years and is certified as an orthopedic clinical specialist. He has extensive clinical experience working with athletes of all levels. He has taught at the University of Scranton and Marywood University. His professional interests include running/lower extremity biomechanics, dry needling and technology assisted motion analysis. 

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Jonathan D’Angelo, MS, ATC, CSCS


Jonathan is currently part of the sports medicine team for New York City Football Club. His special interest lies in lower extremity dominant sports and ACL prevention. His experience includes working at outpatient physical therapy clinics and sports performance facilities for 7 years. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in chiropractic at the University of Bridgeport. 

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Shelby Yeager, MEd, ATC, LAT, FMSC


Shelby is an HSS Sports Safety Educator. She unfortunately tore her ACL in 1989 which led her into her current career as a certified athletic trainer. Shelby received a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training and Kinesiology from Temple University in 1993 and worked in both Division 1 Football and Women's gymnastics.

She received her masters degree in Health and Physical Education from East Stroudsburg University in 1994 and began her clinical career at Wilkes University. Shelby has also held positions at Greater Nanticoke Area High School and Keystone College. It was during her time serving as the athletic trainer at Keystone that Shelby began her teaching career in their Sports and Recreation Management program. Since 2004, Shelby has worked at Marywood University in a variety of capacities including athletic trainer, Chair of the Department, Clinical Coordinator, and Program Director for Athletic Training. 

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Nominate innovative high school teams

Does your high school sports team find innovative ways to support physical activity, minimize injury risk, and support athletes’ emotional, social and mental well-being? Show us how creative your high school team is to support the health of athletes. Win a $500 award and national recognition. Apply now to the Healthy Sports Index Contest. Presented by The Aspen Institute in partnership with HSS.



Contact Us

For more information about HSS Sports Safety, please complete our contact form or email us at sportssafety@hss.edu.