DeHaven Elected to Sports Medicine Hall of Fame

August 24, 2006

Kenneth E. DeHaven, M.D.

One of sports medicine’s most prestigious honors has found a home with a long-time member of the University's medical faculty.  Kenneth E. DeHaven, M.D., senior associate dean for Clinical Affairs and director of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group, recently was inducted into the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Sports Hall of Fame, the organization’s highest tribute. 

DeHaven has helped shape the landscape of the orthopaedic sports medicine specialty, beginning his career at a time when the field was in its infancy.  Over the next three decades, DeHaven would become a prominent leader in sports medicine, known nationally for his research and surgical work, as well as his willingness to mentor young orthopaedic surgeons.

Among his notable accomplishments was pioneering the use of arthroscopy to not only diagnose, but to treat, knee injuries, a novel approach in the mid 1970s when arthroscopy was not yet a mainstream surgical procedure. In addition, DeHaven was the first in the field to question the then standard treatment for knee tears – complete removal of the injured meniscus. Through clinical observation, and eventually scientific research, DeHaven would prove that a torn meniscus often could be repaired successfully. Collectively, these clinical contributions have saved many professional sporting careers, and helped countless other athletes not only stay in the game, but return to the game sooner.

In accepting the honor, DeHaven joins a veritable list of “who’s who” in sports medicine, including the two physicians who helped to establish the field as a subspecialty of orthopaedics, and even the physician who developed the “Tommy John elbow surgery.”

“My love of sports and medicine intertwined in such a way that I have been able to pursue both passions equally,” DeHaven said.  “I am honored to receive such a prestigious appointment, and am humbled to sit in the company of those who were inducted before me.”

“Dr. DeHaven’s accomplishments have long been legendary within the field of sports medicine and orthopaedics,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. “The Medical Center community and his patients have been most fortunate to have Rochester become his professional home, where we have truly benefited from his clinical, research and teaching methods first-hand. I congratulate Dr. DeHaven on receiving this well-deserved honor.”

DeHaven’s success is not surprising stuff coming from a three letterman varsity player, participating in football, basketball and track in high school in Dayton, Ohio, and in football at Dartmouth College. DeHaven would go on to study medicine at Dartmouth’s College of Medicine and Northwestern University Medical School before joining the Cleveland Clinic for his orthopaedic residency. While at Cleveland, he benefited from the vision of C. McCollister Evarts, M.D.  At that time, the former Medical Center CEO was chair of Orthopaedics at Cleveland, and arranged for DeHaven to complete an elective rotation in sports medicine within his residency before sports medicine fellowship training was formally offered.  He spent three months of his residency in Atlanta studying under the tutelage of Fred L. Allman, Jr., M.D., the first physician to devote his practice entirely to sports medicine.

DeHaven soon had a thriving sports medicine practice at the Cleveland Clinic. When Evarts was recruited to start up the Medical Center’s own Department of Orthopaedics in 1974, he turned to DeHaven to develop the burgeoning sports medicine field in Rochester.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

In short order, DeHaven put together a collaborative sports medicine practice, recruiting other sports medicine faculty and hiring physical therapists and athletic trainers to help treat and rehabilitate athletes. He also worked with the area’s minor league professional teams, becoming team physician for the Rochester Red Wings AAA Baseball team, the Rochester Americans Professional Hockey Team and the Rochester Rhinos Soccer Team, and helped establish the practice of assigning athletic trainers to high school and college sports teams.  Today, University Sports Medicine is the region’s largest sports medicine and athletic training organization, providing services to 18 high schools, four colleges, and five professional teams, and handling over 58,000 patient visits a year.   

DeHaven has authored or co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed articles and 30 textbooks or chapters of textbooks. Among his many professional appointments he has served as president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, and the Arthroscopy Association of North America. He also has received numerous local and national awards including the AOSSM Mr. Sports Medicine Award, The John C. Kennedy M.D. Memorial Lectureship, and the University of Rochester Spike Garnish Award.

Today, DeHaven continues seeing patients while overseeing the activities of the University Medical Faculty Group. 

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Germaine Reinhardt
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