Hospital for Special Surgery Designated FIFA Medical Center of Excellence

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has designated Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City, as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence (FMCoE). HSS is one of only three hospitals in the United States to receive this distinction. An inauguration ceremony was held at HSS in the Richard L. Menschel Education Center on 19 May 2014. Professor Jiri Dvorak, FIFA Chief Medical officer, presented the award.

“The Sports Medicine profession has made great strides in how we evaluate and treat sports injuries in professional athletes,” explained Riley J. Williams, III, M.D., orthopedic surgeon in the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at HSS and Medical Director for New York Red Bulls for nearly seven years. “Soccer is global and the number one sport played by young athletes. This designation by FIFA gives sports medicine at HSS the vehicle to focus on soccer and continue to have a positive impact on the injuries associated with the sport.”

The "FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence" distinction reflects the organisations allegiance to medical care by focusing on those institutions around the world that excel at prevention, treatment of injury and research. In addition, the vision behind creating a global network of Medical Centers of Excellence is to provide football players with access to the highest quality sports medicine care.

"As the former medical director of Schulthess Clinic in Zurich (the first FIFA Medical Center of Excellence) I am very familiar with HSS’s sports medicine, rehabilitation and performance care for professional and elite athletes because both institutions are members of the International Society of Orthopedic Centres,” said Professor Dvorak. “In 1975, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who was a development officer at the time, integrated medicine as part of the advancement of the game of football [soccer] by promoting it as a health enhancing leisure activity and preventing negative aspects including injuries.

"This was also our philosophy when we created F-MARC (FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Center) on July 1, 1994, on the occasion of the FIFA World Cup USA. With three FIFA Medical Centres of Excellence in the United States, FIFA will support the National Council on Youth Sport Safety (NCYSS), hoping to positively contribute to the improvement of public health, using the popularity of football (soccer) as a conduit to young boys and girls."

“This recognition is an extraordinary privilege and complements HSS’s longstanding connection to world-class athletes through a broad range of sports, including soccer, as the official hospital of the New York Red Bulls,” said Louis A. Shapiro, President and CEO, Hospital for Special Surgery. “While our sports medicine service is dedicated to the care of professional athletes, clinicians throughout HSS are committed to getting them back safely to their highest level of play.”

Hospital for Special Surgery, the No. 1 hospital in orthopedics, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report (2013/14) is world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS has trained sports medicine leaders in institutions all over the world and helped thousands of athletes get back to their game. The Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at HSS is dedicated to treating athletic injuries and is one of the most highly respected departments in athletic medicine today.

Its physicians are experts in advanced surgical techniques, including many that were pioneered at Special Surgery. In addition, HSS physicians are official team doctors for the New York Giants, Mets, Knicks, Liberty, and Red Bulls. HSS is also the official hospital for New York Road Runners for the Tata New York City Marathon and designated the first National Medical Center of the United States Olympic Committee’s National Medical Network.