AAPM&R Award Recipients

Members & Publications


Each year, AAPM&R takes time to honor pioneering physiatrists, clinicians, researchers, and public servants who have made significant contributions to both the specialty and to individuals with disabilities and vulnerable populations at risk for disabilities.

View our 2023 Award Recipients below!

Frank H. Krusen, MD, Lifetime Achievement Award

William F. Micheo, MD, FAAPMR

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Dr. Micheo is chairman, professor and sports medicine fellowship director in the Department of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine at the University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine. Dr. Micheo is a founding partner of “Grupo Fisiátrico,” a PM&R single specialty group practice that has provided outpatient services in Puerto Rico for the last 37 years. He is director of the Sports Injuries Unit of the Center for Sports Health and Exercise Sciences of the Olympic Training Center and is currently the medical director for the Puerto Rican delegations that participate in this Olympic cycle.

He was president of AAPM&R (2009), the Puerto Rico Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Association, Puerto Rico Sports Medicine Federation and the Physiatric Association for Spine, Sports and Occupational Rehabilitation (PASSOR). He was a Board member of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation from 2006 until 2018, holding the position of vice chair from 2015-2018. From 1992-2010, he served as the residency training director of the PM&R Program at the University of Puerto Rico.

He was a member of the Residency Review Committee for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education from 2010-2015. He also represented PM&R in the Sports Medicine Subspecialty Board Examination Committee from 2007-2015 and again from 2018-2020. He currently serves on the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee for ACGME, the appeals committee for the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Review Committee and as vice-chair of the Sports Science Commission of the United States Tennis Association.

His areas of academic and research interest include epidemiology of sports injuries, rehabilitation and prevention of sports injuries and management, rehabilitation and return to play following anterior cruciate ligament injury. He has presented extensively at local, national and international scientific meetings and published multiple review and original research articles. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and holds subspecialty certificates in Pain Medicine and Sports Medicine.

His most important achievement is having a great family. He has been married to Dr. Vanessa Marcial for the last 41 years and has two sons, both lawyers, Javier and Francisco.

Distinguished Member Award

Joanne Borg-Stein, MD, FAAPMR

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Dr. Borg-Stein is a physiatrist in Wellesley, Massachusetts and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation and Newton-Wellesley Hospitals. She is currently chief, Division of Sports and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Network and the Harvard Department of PM&R. She is the director of regenerative medicine for MassGeneral Brigham Healthcare. She received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Her clinical areas of clinical expertise are sports medicine, musculoskeletal ultrasound and regenerative medicine. She has organized national and regional courses on regenerative sports medicine, musculoskeletal disorders of pregnancy, athletic hip injuries, post traumatic arthritis and exercise training in rehabilitation, reflecting clinical expertise. Dr. Borg-Stein has a strong interest in women’s musculoskeletal health and sports medicine. Her most recent area of clinical research is in the use of platelet rich plasma injection for sports medicine and musculoskeletal pain.

Michael Fredericson, MD, FAAPMR

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Dr. Fredericson is the first physician promoted to professor of PM&R at Stanford University and is currently the director of PM&R Sports Medicine in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, co-director of the Stanford Center on Longevity and Founder of Lifestyle Medicine. He is also the head team physician for the Stanford Track & Field and Swimming teams, the medical director for Stanford Club Sports and a Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance member. In addition, he has volunteered at both national and international levels with USA Track & Field and the International Olympic Committee.

Dr. Fredericson has been a featured speaker at numerous national and international sports medicine and rehabilitation symposiums, and a visiting professor at many institutions around the country. He has published more than 210 peer-reviewed articles, 40 book chapters and four books focused on an improved understanding and treatment strategies for overuse injuries in athletes. He is currently on the Men's Health Magazine Advisory Board and has also held several scientific editorial appointments, among which are senior founding editor, PM&R, the official scientific journal of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2007 to 2014). Dr. Fredericson also created the first ACGME Sports Medicine Fellowship at Stanford University and continues as fellowship director. He has received a variety of awards for his efforts to develop and foster musculoskeletal education and research for medical students, residents and fellows.

Azlan Tariq, DO, FAAPMR

Tariq headshotDr. Tariq is a physician executive with more than 11 years of experience in variety of leadership roles, including chief clinical officer, chief innovation officer, vice president of medical affairs and several advisory board member positions. He presently is chief clinical officer at Medrina, the largest physiatry group in the U.S., ensuring Medrina’s 650+ providers deliver innovative, high-quality, value-based physiatric care across the post-acute continuum. Dr. Tariq, a first-generation immigrant from Pakistan, completed his undergraduate studies at Stony Brook University, medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and residency at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital. He is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

An AAPM&R member since 2007, he has been actively involved as a TEP representative and Annual Assembly speaker multiple times along with a PM&R BOLD Summit attendee, Physiatry in SNF Member Community chair, Specialty Brand Expansion Committee member and participant in various Academy think-tanks. Dr. Tariq is currently part of AAPM&R’s Future Leaders Program and a Doximity Digital Health fellow.

He's passionate about innovating the strategic redesign of healthcare delivery, fostering team growth and support, enhancing patient and workforce engagement and driving positive cultural transformation. Through his lecturing, clinical research and involvement in advocacy organizations and other professional societies, Dr. Tariq seeks to improve the lives of persons with disabling conditions while promoting physiatry to all stakeholders.

PM&R Public Service, Health Equity and Advocacy Award

Talya K. Fleming, MD, FAAPMR

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Dr. Fleming is an accomplished academic physiatrist who is passionate about advocating for healthcare policies and practices to improve access to care for individuals with disabilities and under-resourced communities. While maintaining dual board certification in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Brain Injury Medicine, she serves as the medical director of the Stroke Recovery Program, Post-COVID Rehabilitation Program and Aftercare Programs at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison, New Jersey. As an associate professor of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, she is a clinician-researcher-educator dedicated to teaching and mentoring rising healthcare professionals. She presents her innovative clinical research nationally and internationally with a focus on stroke rehabilitation, cardiac rehabilitation, brain injury medicine, post-acute care rehabilitation and transitions of care. Her research contributions have been recognized with the 2022 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation President’s Citation Award and the Wiley Publishing Company, Top Cited Article 2021-2022.

Dr. Fleming serves as a leader within the Academy as the co-chair of the PM&R BOLD Steering Committee — Rehabilitation Care Continuum practice area, a new member of the Nominating Committee and Exercise As Medicine Community group, as well as an associate editor of PM&R: The journal of injury, function and rehabilitation. She is an active member of AAPM&R’s Multi-Disciplinary PASC Collaborative and has developed numerous consensus guidance statements related to Long COVID.

Brenda S. Waller, MD, FAAPMR

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Dr. Waller has enjoyed a career in physical medicine and rehabilitation for 34 years. She received her early education in rural Virginia and later attended Howard University obtaining a BS in chemistry and then to the University of Pittsburgh for her medical degree. Dr. Waller attended the residency rehabilitation program at Schwab Rehabilitation Center in Chicago at which time she was introduced to the Academy and has been a member since 1989.

She helped form the African American Physiatrists into one of the Special Interest Groups of the Academy; transitioning it into the current African American Physiatrists Member Community. She also served as a member of AAPM&R’s Membership Committee from 2013-2018, Nominating Committee from 2018-2020, and remains a behind-the-scenes advocate and mentor.

Dr. Waller maintains her sole proprietor private practice — PRIS, PLC (Physical Rehabilitation & Interventional Spine), and has been recognized for her many years of service as a teaching facility for paraprofessional medical staff including pharmacy and laboratory techs, medical assistants and billing/coding specialists. Dr. Waller has spent the last 25 years focusing on the diagnosis, treatment and management of neuromusculoskeletal conditions including chronic pain. Her practice settings have included medical directorships and staff physician for independent rehabilitation centers, extended care facilities and academic departments. She maintains an expert witness designation in the field of PM&R in neuromusculoskeletal management and has maintained high favorable settlement outcomes for plaintiff’s attorneys that she has advised.

Rehabilitation Services Volunteer Project—RSVP


Recognizing that uninsured and underinsured individuals with disabilities in Texas lacked access to rehabilitation services, a group of rehabilitation professionals joined together in 2011 to volunteer their time and skills to provide outpatient care to these patients in a coordinated manner. After informally volunteering for a year, the Rehabilitation Services Volunteer Project (RSVP) was officially incorporated in 2012. Since its inception, RSVP has expanded its efforts to Colorado and then Georgia.

RSVP is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that provides rehabilitation services and durable medical equipment (DME) to uninsured and underinsured individuals with disabilities who lack access to the services we provide. The RSVP Clinic groups provide outpatient services to individuals with brain injuries, stroke, spinal cord injuries, and amputations. These services may include medical care, nursing care, pharmacist management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, prosthetic and orthotic evaluations, neuropsychological evaluation, social work, case management, peer support and spiritual care. The medical equipment division (RSVP-MED) provides durable medical equipment (such as wheelchairs, bathroom equipment and walkers) to individuals in our community with disabilities (regardless of diagnosis) who lack access to this equipment.

2023 PASSOR Legacy Award and Lectureship

Nitin B. Jain, MD, MSPH, FAAPMR

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Dr. Jain is a tenured professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Surgery. He serves as vice chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and chief of the section of Musculoskeletal Medicine and Research. In his institutional role as UT Southwestern’s co-director of Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine, he leads the UTSW sports and musculoskeletal clinical and educational programs. As director of the UTSW Musculoskeletal and Sports Research Program (MSRP), he leads the institutional collaborative research program with the goal to increase extramural funding. Dr. Jain holds the endowed Dallas Rehabilitation Institute Distinguished Chair in Orthopaedic Rehabilitation at UTSW. A sports medicine specialist, he is an expert at treating nonsurgical musculoskeletal disorders.

Dr. Jain earned his medical degree at the Baroda Medical College of Maharaja Sayajirao University in India. Following a research fellowship in sports medicine and orthopaedics at Duke University and a research fellowship in epidemiology and outcomes at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He received advanced training in shoulder surgery through a fellowship at the Harvard Shoulder Service. He also holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Jain has published more than 100 peer-reviewed original manuscripts and has written many articles and book chapters on these subjects. He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute for research in sports medicine and musculoskeletal disorders including genetics. He is a deputy editor for the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, associate editor for Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery and he serves as a reviewer for numerous scholarly journals.

Early PM&R Career Award


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Dr. Herman is an accomplished sports medicine physiatrist, researcher and educator in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of California at Davis where he has been an associate professor since 2021. He completed medical school and PhD training (Biomedical Engineering) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He subsequently completed his PM&R residency at the University of Virginia, and his fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the University of Florida.

Dr. Herman is the director of Sports Medicine Research for his department and maintains an active interdisciplinary research program focused on sports injury risk assessment, biomechanics and prevention related to musculoskeletal injuries and concussions. He has more than 100 publications to his credit, and his research has been recognized with multiple awards, including the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Excellence in Research Award and O’Donaghue Sports Injury Research Award, as well as twice with the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine’s NCAA Award for Research on Collegiate Athletes.

In addition to his service work across several professional organizations, journals and grant agencies, he has served as a representative for AAPM&R to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Appropriate Use Criteria for ACL Injury Treatment and Prevention Writing Committee and is currently a member of AAPM&R’s Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee.

 Prakash S. Jayabalan, MD, PhD, FAAPMR

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Dr. Jayabalan is the physician scientist director of the Nancy W. Knowles Strength and Endurance Lab at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and an associate professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He currently serves as chair of the Academy’s Health Policy and Legislation Committee and is a member of the Quality, Practice, Policy and Research Committee and Sports Medicine Workgroup. He focuses his clinical practice on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries and degenerative joint disease.

Dr Jayabalan’s laboratory’s research focuses on the use of biological markers to develop novel, individualized rehabilitation and exercise strategies for individuals with knee osteoarthritis. He has multiple ongoing NIH and non-NIH funded research projects with the ultimate goal of optimizing the functional performance and recovery of patients with musculoskeletal disease. In addition to numerous publications, his research has received many national and international accolades, including Best Paper Awards at both the AAPM&R and AAP/ISPRM Annual Meetings, the Nadler Award from the Foundation for PM&R, Scientific Communication Award from the Institute of Translational Medicine and the Young Investigators award from the AMSSM. As an educator, he has also received the Resident Mentor of the Year award from the Northwestern PM&R residency on several occasions. All of his accomplishments were recently recognized as he was chosen as a ‘40 under 40’ Chicago scientist.

Matthew J. McLaughlin, MD, MS, FAAPMR


Dr. McLaughlin is a dually-trained pediatric physiatrist and clinical pharmacologist whose primary research encompasses the concepts of Precision Medicine and Pharmacogenomics. He utilizes the premise of trying to incorporate ‘the right drug at the right time in the right patient’ to optimize treatments related to spasticity and neuropathic pain in children with cerebral palsy. He currently serves as an associate professor and division director at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to an NIH-sponsored Clinical Pharmacology Fellowship, he has undertaken significant training from the Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program and the Neurorehabilitation and Restorative Neuroscience Training Networks. He has received both K- and R-level funding from the National Institute of Health/National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research for his work in Precision Medicine. He has been the recipient of many awards, such as the Best Article by a Young Investigator in the PM&R Journal, the Presidential Trainee award and the Darrell Abernethy Award, both through the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Dr. McLaughlin’s passions outside of work involve cycling and adaptive sports, and he has merged these roles serving as both an international and national-level paracycling classifier for Union Cycliste Internacionale and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Through his volunteerism with AAPM&R, ABPMR and AAP, he has made many significant connections to the specialty.

PM&R Awareness and Value Award

Lori M. Grafton, MD, FAAPMR

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Dr. Grafton’s areas of clinical expertise involve the specialized care of individuals with traumatic brain injury, including optimizing medical and behavioral management through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach. She continues to work toward establishing a continuum of care for brain-injured patients who receive their care at Penn State Health, with an ongoing focus on early consultation and intervention as well as long-term management.

During her time at Carolinas Rehabilitation, she served as the fellowship director of brain injury medicine, the co-director of the Carolinas Concussion Network, and was active in TBI consults at Carolinas Medical Center. When she transitioned to Penn State, she successfully worked toward accreditation of a newly-established Brain Injury fellowship at Penn State College of Medicine, which she co-directs, from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. She also continues to be active in teaching others about PM&R and specifically TBI rehabilitation through her work in consults first at Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center and now in a new service line at Penn State Health Holy Spirit Medical Center and Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center.

She has been an invited speaker for both PM&R as well as other specialties. In October of 2022, she was an invited speaker at the Penn State Fourth Annual Neurocritical Care Conference where she spoke on “Agitation Management in Traumatic Brain Injury” and she was recently invited to present a didactic lecture for the neurosurgery residents. In addition to teaching fellows, Dr. Grafton has extensive experience in educating medical students, resident physicians and advanced practice providers. She has served as a facilitator for the Interprofessional Education Course during their neurology clerkship where she guided students through the continuum of care for their patients.

David S. Rosenblum, MD, FAAPMR


Dr. Rosenblum was drawn to the field of physiatry after witnessing the functional difference the discipline could make in the lives of those recovering from life-altering illnesses or injuries. Board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine and Brain Injury Medicine, he joined Gaylord Specialty Healthcare in 1992. Along with his interdisciplinary team, he has helped propel Gaylord Specialty Healthcare to the national forefront of clinical care, rehabilitation and research. As director of Gaylord’s Spinal Cord Injury Program, he led Gaylord Hospital to be among the first in the nation to use the intrathecal baclofen pump for the treatment of severe spasticity and to pioneer in the usage of exoskeletal robotic technology to allow people with spinal cord injuries or lower extremity paralysis or weakness to stand and walk.

For the past 16 years, Dr. Rosenblum has been the research site director at Gaylord Hospital as part of the Model SCI Systems, most recently with the Spaulding New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model system where he is the co-director of Clinical Care. In 2020, Dr. Rosenblum became the medical director for Gaylord’s Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation, a hub for accelerating world-class rehabilitative research, technology development and innovation. He was also instrumental in the design and development of the University of Connecticut PM&R residency program, Connecticut’s first PM&R Residency program. He serves as this program’s associate program director and is the site director for the resident rotations at Gaylord Hospital. He is also an associate clinical professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Yale School of Medicine.

Lauren T. Shapiro, MD, MPH, FAAPMR


Dr. Shapiro is an associate professor of Clinical Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where she serves as the vice chair of quality, safety and compliance for the PM&R department. She also serves as the medical director of the stroke rehabilitation service at the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a role that integrates her interests in inpatient rehabilitation, neuro-rehabilitation, medical education and global health. She is board-certified in PM&R and Brain Injury Medicine.

After graduating from Rice University, Dr. Shapiro received her medical degree from SUNY-Stony Brook School of Medicine, and completed her residency at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where she served as chief resident. She subsequently earned her MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her scholarly interests lie at the intersection of public health and PM&R, with a focus on the evolving hurricane preparedness needs for individuals with disabilities as a result of climate change, a topic on which she has extensively presented and has published a number of peer-reviewed articles.

Dr. Shapiro serves on AAPM&R’s Reimbursement and Policy Review Committee and has worked to keep members apprised of recent inpatient billing and coding changes. As the chair of the Inpatient Rehabilitation Member Community for the past four years, she has facilitated opportunities for inpatient physiatrists to share their experiences, review best practices and discuss strategies for advocating for patients who require inpatient rehabilitation.

2023 Awards Committee 

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Scott Laker, MD, FAAPMR (Chair)

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Lester S. Duplechan, MD


Peter C. Esselman, MD MPT


Cindy B. Ivanhoe, MD

Michael Saffir

Michael Saffir, MD, FAAPMR

Thank You for Nominating

Thank you to all members who participated in this year’s awards nominations!

Award Descriptions

Past Award Recipients