AAPM&R Award Recipients

About Us


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 2022 Award Recipients below!

Frank H. Krusen, MD, Lifetime Achievement Award

Gail L. Gamble, MD, FAAPMR

Gail L. Gamble

Gail L. Gamble, MD, FAAPMR graduated from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in Government and Western European History. She later received a master’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University. After finding her passion in medicine, she completed her Medical degree from Mayo Medical School in 1979 and her graduate training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic in 1984.  

For more than 28 years at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Gamble provided major leadership in cancer rehabilitation and other administrative positions. In 1994, she was elected as the first woman president of the Mayo Medical staff as well as a four-year term as Chair of the Mayo Foundation Medical Industry Relations and Conflict of Interest Committees. Her core value at Mayo Clinic was advocating for excellence in patient care, a need that is greater than ever today. 

Dr. Gamble has made significant contributions to the specialty of PM&R and national medical organizations. She served on the board of AAPM&R, and was elected president in 2001. She also represented the specialty as its delegate to the American Medical Association, where she was named to the AMA Women in Medicine Advisory Panel, serving as chair for four years. She was also appointed as the first president of the Foundation for PM&R. 

She has long been active in health policy issues and served as a delegate to the Minnesota Medical association for nearly 20 years, holding several offices including chair of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Gamble was appointed to the National Advisory Board of Rehabilitation Research at N.I.H., as well as the Resident Review Committee for PM&R within the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. She eventually served as vice chair and then chair of this governing body for her specialty.   

In 2008, Dr. Gamble was recruited to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, formerly-named the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), to enhance and further develop its Cancer Rehabilitation program as its medical director. Among her many impacts at RIC, she initiated a successful outpatient practice for cancer patients, as well as a Lymphedema Clinic to address complex patient challenges in a team setting. She also expanded the Cancer Rehabilitation program to multiple RIC clinics throughout the Chicago area. 

Throughout her career, she has been committed to assuring that functional health for cancer patients is addressed and protected at all points of cancer care, throughout the entire continuum from diagnosis to wellness.

Distinguished Member Award

James W. Atchison, DO, FAAPMR

James W. Atchison

James W. Atchison, DO, FAAPMR is a physician in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, where he holds a joint appointment with the Department of Neurologic Surgery. Dr. Atchison specializes in the evaluation and treatment of non-operative spine care and rehabilitation, spinal manipulation and comprehensive chronic pain management.

He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, Ohio, followed by an internship in internal medicine at Cuyahoga Falls General Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He then completed his Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Atchison is a nationally-recognized teacher and researcher, and in 2010 was presented with the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Distinguished Clinician Award. He has spent his career providing excellent patient care in academic medical institutions, including the University of Kentucky, University of Florida, Northwestern University and Mayo Clinic. Dr. Atchison has published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles and presented more than 100 national lectures.  

Heakyung Kim, MD, FAAPMR

Heakyung Kim

Heakyung Kim, MD, FAAPMR is an accomplished academic physiatrist, professor and chair of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Kimberly-Clark Distinguished Chair in Mobility Research at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, Texas. She is a passionate advocate for PM&R and for the life span care for people with cerebral palsy. She is a World Health Organization (WHO) member of a development group preparing a package of rehabilitation intervention for people with cerebral palsy.

She received her medical degree from the Medical School of Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea and was trained at the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of Yonsei University, School of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea and at the Department of Rehabilitation of UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School/Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. She is a board-certified physiatrist in the U.S. and South Korea, and holds subspecialty boards in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine and Brain Injury Medicine.

Dr. Kim is nationally and internationally regarded as an expert in pediatric rehabilitation medicine, especially caring for people with cerebral palsy. As an AAPM&R fellow member, she serves as faculty of the STEP Ultrasound Course and participates in numerous workshops and lectures on Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine and other educational activities at AAPM&R. Her research interests focus on people with cerebral palsy, especially spasticity and drooling management with botulinum toxin, robotic therapy and telehealth. 

John C. Shaw, MD, FAAPMR

John C. Shaw

John C. Shaw, MD, FAAPMR is gratis faculty at the University of Louisville Neurosurgery, division of PM&R, medical director at Passport Travel Health and civil surgeon, in Louisville, Kentucky. In a career spanning more than 35 years, Dr. Shaw has made his mark on physiatry, with a focus on restoring upper extremity function in tetraplegic spinal cord patients.

In 1980, Dr. Shaw helped create the Institute of Rehabilitation (the first comprehensive rehab center in the country) and its residency and occupational therapy programs in Chonju, South Korea. He also opened and served as the medical director for the Good Samaritan Rehabilitation Center in Pusan, Korea in the 1970s, which aided children with disabilities and included therapy, orthotics, surgery and a residential facility.

In addition to his extensive work in Korea, Dr. Shaw served as medical director of the Southern Indiana Rehabilitation Center from 1993 to 2017—a 60-bed center in Albany, Indiana—where he specialized in spinal cord rehabilitation and developed the ARMS program to restore relaxation and function to the spastic arm.

In 2014, the JC Shaw Rehabilitation Center was opened in his honor as part of the Presbyterian Medical Center in Chonju. Through retired from clinical care, Dr. Shaw teaches a cadaver lab every spring and fall for University of Louisville PM&R residents.

2022 PASSOR Legacy Award and Lectureship

Matthew Smuck, MD, FAAPMR

Matthew Smuck

Matthew Smuck, MD, FAAPMR is the chief of PM&R and professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford University where his clinical work concentrates on medical and interventional management of spine disorders. Dr. Smuck is internationally-recognized as a physician leader in spine care for his authorship of more than 100 publications on the mechanisms and treatments of spine disorders, his contributions to spine care guidelines, his service on international working groups to influence treatment trends and his leadership appointments.

Dr. Smuck has been a member of AAPM&R since 1998 and provided years of service to the Academy and other societies. Dr. Smuck is an award-winning researcher and pioneer in the field of human physical performance monitoring. He founded and currently directs the Wearable Health Lab at Stanford, focused on developing methods of wearable sensor data analytics to discover digital phenotypes of mobility-limiting orthopedic and neurologic diseases, and applying these methods to improve disease detection, prevention and treatment. Dr. Smuck’s research is supported by multiple society awards, gifts and grants from industry, PCORI and the NIH. His work is recognized by various research society awards and publication awards, including the ISSLS Medtronic Award, the AAPM&R’s President’s Citation Award, the PM&R Journal’s Best Original Research Award, numerous Outstanding Paper Awards from The Spine Journal, the ISSLS Prize and the NASS Henry Farfan Award.

Distinguished Public Service Award

Michele L. Arnold, MD, MBA, FAAPMR

Michelle Arnold

Michele L. Arnold, MD, MBA, FAAPMR is a physician executive with more than 14 years of experience in a variety of leadership roles, including hospital chief medical officer, regional executive medical director overseeing multiple service lines, chief medical informatics officer, medical group vice president of medicine, as well as chair of multiple hospital and system committees and service on several boards of directors. She is currently vice president and chief medical officer at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colorado, featuring 310 licensed beds, and the Western Slope’s only level II trauma center, with accountability for safety and quality-of-care.

Dr. Arnold is an inspirational physician committed to the equitable delivery of safe, high-quality healthcare for all, and passionate about innovating strategic redesign of healthcare delivery, building and supporting teams, patient and workforce experience/engagement, and positive culture change. She was the recipient of the Rod and Nancy Hochman Physician Leadership award and scholarship in 2019 and Seattle Met Top Doctor Award winner in 2019, 2020 and 2022. A member since 1999, Dr. Arnold has held several committee positions within the Academy, including the Nominating and Membership Committees (2015-2019). 

Andrew J. Haig, MD, FAAPMR

Andrew J. Haig

Andrew J. Haig, MD, FAAPMR is board-certified in PM&R, Pain Medicine and Electrodiagnostic Medicine and currently in private practice in Middlebury, Vermont. He is professor emeritus at the University of Michigan and volunteer professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Throughout his career, Dr. Haig has advanced the field of PM&R through research, teaching and advocacy. As co-principle investigator for the $21-million Vermont RETAIN grant, he is developing a national model for ensuring PM&R processes are included in return-to-work strategies. After his brother suffered a spinal cord injury, they formed the not-for-profit International Rehabilitation Forum, which recently held its first world conference on disaster rehabilitation, leading to major international efforts advancing rehabilitation after natural and human-induced disasters. 

As a scientist, he validated Paraspinal Mapping EMG, performed the first blinded trials in electrodiagnostic medicine and eventually showed that EMG is superior to MRI in diagnosing spinal nerve disorders in older people.  Through a decade of NIDRR funding he advanced our understanding of spinal biomechanics. Dr. Haig founded the University of Michigan Spine Program and Cancer Rehabilitation program, and has mentored leaders in PM&R in the U.S. and a dozen foreign countries. 

Richard T. Jermyn, DO, FAAPMR

Richard Jermyn

Richard T. Jermyn, DO, FAAPMR is a professor and chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and is the director of Rowan Medicine’s Neuromusculoskeletal Institute. He is also a consultant and expert witness for the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners.

Dr. Jermyn is a pioneer in treatment, education and research in the field of pain management and, more recently, addiction medicine. His career has focused on underserved communities and spans HIV, chronic pain and addiction medicine. Dr. Jermyn was the first in the nation to establish a curriculum focused on the prescription of opioids for second-year medical students at Rowan School of Medicine. He is a nationally-recognized leader in the field and his flagship program has evolved into a dynamic clerkship for third-year medical students and residents.

Dr. Jermyn's clinical trial research interests have exceeded $1.6 million in funding. Currently, he receives funding from the State of New Jersey to provide an educational program focusing on the appropriate prescription of opioids. He has also received numerous teaching awards, most notably: Master Educator, Excellence in Teaching, Golden Apple and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. He is sought after for his expertise and ability to deliver compassionate care, which has led to him taking leadership positions on many national grant review panels, advisory boards and major committees.

2022 Awards Committee 

D.J. Kennedy

D.J. Kennedy, MD, FAAPMR (Chair)

Deborah Lee Bernal

Deborah L. Bernal, MD, FAAPMR

Nneka L. Ifejika

Nneka L. Ifejika, MD, MPH, FAAPMR

Darryl L. Kaelin

Darryl L. Kaelin, MD, FAAPMR

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