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HSS Names John P. DiFiori, MD, New Chief of Primary Care Sports Medicine

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.