Dr. Stanley A. Herring receives lifetime achievement award

The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is honoring Herring, co-founder of The Sports Institute.

Dr. Stanley A. Herring, co-founder and senior medical advisor of The Sports Institute at UW Medicine, is the recipient of the 2021 Frank H. Krusen, MD, Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The award was established to honor Krusen, a founding father of the academy who pioneered the practice of physical medicine and rehabilitation. The Krusen Award is the academy’s highest honor. Its recipients are selected for their outstanding and unique contributions to the specialty.

Herring, a board-certified physiatrist who has been in practice for nearly four decades, is receiving this award for his numerous local and national contributions to enhancing sports medicine and athlete safety. Among them is his role in the successful passage of the Zackery Lystedt Law in Washington state, and in helping pass similar youth concussion legislation in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“It is an absolute and humbling honor to receive this award from such an important organization,” said Herring. “Without Dr. Krusen, physical medicine and rehabilitation would not exist as it does today. His legacy has inspired everyone who practices physiatry to emulate his impact, and I am incredibly thankful the academy views my life’s work reaching that bar.”

Herring's interest in physical medicine and rehabilitation as a career piqued early as an undergraduate when he was offered the opportunity to teach exercise classes for injured athletes. It was there he saw the power of exercise in injury rehabilitation, which continues to drive his work today.

Herring is a clinical professor of rehabilitation medicine, orthopaedics and sports medicine, and neurological surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and holds the Zackery Lystedt Sports Concussion Endowed Chair in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. He is medical co-director of both UW Medicine Orthopedic Health and Sports Medicine, and the UW Medicine Sports Concussion Program, and is a team physician for the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners.

“When one speaks with Dr. Stanley Herring, it’s apparent they’re speaking with someone truly dedicated to improving patient care and outcomes,” said Dr. Peter Esselman, chair of the UW Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. “That dedication has been crucial on all levels of healthcare, and has made him such an important figure locally and nationally. All the while, he maintains the humility, compassion, and kindness that makes him a true friend to everyone. The work never stops, but this is a moment to pause and honor one of the most impactful people in physical medicine and rehabilitation."

“If I was tasked to design the ideal physician, the three attributes with which I would begin are intelligent, engaging, and empathetic. Dr. Stanley Herring personifies these qualities,” said  Dr. Stuart M. Weinstein, president of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and clinical professor of rehabilitation medicine at the UW School of Medicine. “Having worked side-by-side with him for more than 30 years, I can justifiably claim that he has committed his career to helping all people – whether an elite athlete or the grandma next door – overcome complex medical challenges, always advocating for their rehabilitation care, and maximizing their ability to thrive despite (at times) having chronic disabilities. This prestigious award could not have been bestowed on a more deserving individual.”

Herring also has held many national leadership positions, including president of the North American Spine Society, member of the Board of Trustees of the American College of Sports Medicine, and board member of the Foundation for Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. He is also a founding member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the Physiatric Association of Sports, Spine, and Occupational Rehabilitation.

Herring’s knowledge of physical medicine and rehabilitation and sports safety is among the most in-depth globally. He is on the editorial board of professional journals, has been an editor of nine textbooks, and is an author of 98 peer-reviewed journal articles and 55 textbook chapters. But it’s not only his knowledge that sparks the impact he makes, it’s also his passion and drive to create lasting, positive change for patients and communities everywhere.

He, along with the other 2021 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation award winners, will be honored at the academy's Annual Assembly in November.

-- Media Contact: Susan Gregg, sghanson@uw.edu

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