Diamond named TNAAP Pediatrician of the YearAug. 29, 2019, 9:27 AM
by Jessica Pasley
Alex Diamond, DO, MPH, has many titles and serves in multiple roles — associate professor of Pediatrics and Orthopedic Surgery, director of the Program for Injury Prevention in Youth Sports (PIPYS) and team physician for Vanderbilt University, the Nashville Predators and the Nashville Sounds.
But he favors one — advocate.
Colleagues throughout the state agree, voting him Pediatrician of the Year.
It’s the second consecutive year a Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt physician has garnered the award from the Tennessee Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics (TNAAP).
Diamond will be honored on Sept. 13 during the organization’s Excellence in Pediatrics Reception and Annual Awards event, which began in 1985, and recognizes and honors pediatricians and community members who have made exceptional contributions to children’s health advocacy in Tennessee.
“I am an advocate for children,” said Diamond. “That is what I try to do for my patients and for the programs that we run. That is what I hope to be remembered for. I think it is the one thing that best describes my professional mission.”
Diamond, a graduate of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, completed his residency in pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. He came to Vanderbilt for a primary sports medicine fellowship in 2007, joined the faculty in 2008 and received a Master of Public Health degree in 2011.
He is also the co-founder of the Safe Stars initiative, the first youth sports rating system in the country.
One of the nomination letters highlighted the program, which is nationally recognized, and it’s potential to “set the youth sports standards for children across the country.”
“Sports has always been a real transformative part of my life,” Diamond said. “Staying connected to that was really important for me. I believe that when done the right way, athletics provides an unmatched vehicle to improve the physical, mental and emotional health for our youth.”
In his practice, he treats college-age and younger athletes for a range of sports-related injuries and medical issues, from basic pediatric orthopaedic problems to concussions and musculoskeletal disorders.
Being named Pediatrician of the Year came as a complete surprise to Diamond, who said he is humbled by the recognition.
“I know Shari Barkin was last year’s honoree,” he said. “To follow someone that I have the utmost respect for and who has accomplished so much internationally — it’s hard to see myself in that same category.
“In regard to this award, I know that nothing great or special really happens with just one person. It takes a team to accomplish these things, and I hope my receiving this award serves as a reflection of the amazing work that is being done by many individuals and organizations that have allowed me to partner with them.
“I am also so thankful for my family and colleagues for being so supportive of all of my endeavors and appreciate the sacrifices they make as well as their belief in my mission of helping children.”
Diamond is an elected member to the executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness and is an active member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, including serving as the first chair of the Community Advocacy Subcommittee.
He is a member of the sports medicine advisory committee for both the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA). He is the physician representative to the Tennessee Board of Athletic Trainers, a member of the Commissioner’s Council for Injury Prevention for the state of Tennessee and he has testified before the state general assembly on key sports medicine issues affecting the youth of Tennessee.
He also sits on the board of directors for the Nashville Coaching Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to developing and supporting transformational coaches in order to shift the sports culture for human growth.
With more than 35 publications, Diamond’s research focuses on injury prevention and health promotion in youth sports. He serves as a reviewer for several sports medicine journals and was the content consultant on a book for children on sports injuries.